Development lead time, Japan-US comparison (1)

by mikilight1 in October 17th, 2021

Today, I would like to share three interesting statistics about lead time in Japanese companies and the U.S. companies.

Development lead time

First of all, what is the development lead time? Development lead time is the start of a plan to make a new product to complete the development of the product intended to develop. In other words, it would be the same as (time-to-market minus production and shipping).

According to the research done by Professor Shigemi Yahata, the average development lead time both in Japan and the U.S. is as follows:

   Japan   23.8 months

   The U.S.  11.1 months

These numbers seem very interesting. And, my feelings based on my personal experience in the manufacturing industry are in line with these statistics.

The next question is what made the difference.

Involvement of leadership in the planning phase matters

In Japan, only 14.4% of the president is involved in the planning phase of a development project. And, Sales and Marketing brings ideas from the market. So, the planning phase involves 20% from Sales and Marketing. By contrast, the U.S. is 42%

Suppose the project goes from planning to R&D to prototyping and production. In that case, the president's involvement declines, while Japan has 7.1% involvement in the production phase, the U.S. 22.6%.

Engineers' role is critical in the U.S.

Then, who is the leader of the project?

In Japan, in 33.3% of cases, the president took the leadership role, and 24.6%, Engineer. In the U.S., 26.3% cases are the president, and Engineer is 39.4%.

Next blog

In my next blog post, I plan to discuss the gains of agility as well as the responsibility of the stakeholders.

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