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Managing The Design Factory: A Product Developer's Toolkit

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  214 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The man who launched a revolution in product development with his bestselling Developing Products in Half the Time is back with a new book that's also certain to be a classic. In Managing the Design Factory Donald G. Reinertsen presents concepts and practical tools that will be invaluable for anyone trying to get products out of the pipeline and into the market.

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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Free Press
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Michael Finocchiaro
If you are in product development and are in your 40s or 50s, you probably ran across Reinertsen's book on someone's desk at some point. It is a fairly readable book about design and design making that does a decent idea of abstracting PLM and manufacturing. Maybe not essential business reading, but nonetheless engaging and insightful.
Torben Rasmussen
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is one of the most concise books I have ever read. Don manages to introduce a wealth of valuable tools for managing product devlopment. From shaping the organisation to improving testing practices. All with sound theoretical underpinnings in place.
Clear writing, excellent examples and impressive coverage. While you will not get all the latest buzzwords within the agile movement, it is all there. And with everything delivered with sound financial arguments that will get the attention o
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published back in 1997, Managing the Design Factory contains many ideas that nowadays are considered common sense and widely understood in the realm of product development.
The recurrent theme of the book is that there is no such a thing as best practices in product development that work universally irrespective of the context. There's a wide array of options which all have different impacts on the economics of the business, and it is only by understanding what the optimizing goal is f
Jack Vinson
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
The central point of the book is that all decisions should be based on economic indicators, rather than intuition or some other "feeling." All companies exist for "profit, not product" - an interesting comment on how we do business. We talk about producing information & knowledge, which is then used to make economic decisions.

Queuing Theory
Queuing Theory is an important aspect of the Design Factory in that it shows that overloading (or attempting to get 100% utilization of) a variable process
Ash Moran
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This revolutionised the way I look at product development (in my case, software development). It brings together systems thinking, information theory and queueing theory to derive a set of tools to manage product design. The tools are there to influence four design factors: expense, unit cost, product performance and schedule.

Everything is based on an economic model, which is the book's real value. There are no hard and fast rules ("no best practices") because different forms of product developm
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Schwaber in «Agile software development with scrum» pinpointed two valuable ideas: software development is not a defined process and so it should be controlled iteratively, and software development is analogous not to manufacturing (with its repetitious processes), but to product development (with its one-time processes, and where you mostly do thing for the first time, every time). Manufacturing is a phase usually absent in software development.

Linking software development to product developmen
Leo Fischer
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book offered pretty broad, but specific advice on managing product design cycles, particularly for hardware. The mental models used in this book tend to hail from a more traditional systems engineering background rather than the current agile terminology, but I actually found this to be refreshing because it concretely expresses a process and it lends itself to mathematical expression. The exploration of queues in the design process and their impact on timelines and staffing was particularl ...more
Andrei Savu
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dense and broad. The kind of book I want to keep on my desk.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most of what we consider contemporary Lean/Agile practice can be extrapolated from this work.

For the maths-phobic, an easier read than "Principles of..."
Steve Fenton
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Essential. This book is staying on my desk so I can revisit it regularly. I read this following on from The Principles of Product Development Flow and I found it had even more impact.
Bob Kozik
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not product manager, I am a software engineer. Who picked up this book to see what if anything would be practical for me. The first two to three quarters of book was something I could really power read and get a lot out of, but the remainder I've got to say hasn't really stuck because its all application.

For a software developer the chapters and Queuing Theory and Information Theory were very valuable. Especially the former because when it comes to designing large-scale systems you're going
Ethan Bagley
Dec 15, 2010 marked it as to-read
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For a book about management, this was a great peek at the methods and psychology of management in a smaller development company. Reinertsen's discussions on leadership are also very informative.
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