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We visited the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC two summers ago. It was fascinating to see the actual site and the monuments for each of the first 4 flights. My family truly enjoyed the museum. It has been said that the Wright Brothers were one of the original practitioners of knowledge based development. In fact, the museum listed their three knowledge gaps (Lift, Power, and Control). They started with kites, then gliders, then a wind tunnel, more gliders, and once they were confident they had the knowledge, their first flight.

Understanding your knowledge gaps before you start your design is a key principle behind lean or knowledge based development. But how do you know what you don’t know? For me the answer was revealed by attending conferences like LPPDE North America 2018 where fellow practitioners share experiences and techniques. Anyone can follow a process but understanding why you are following one is even more important. Over a few years I developed an exercise called Knowledge Gap Analysis, but it never would have happened without access to these open environments.

Having the opportunity to share problems where learning happens both at presentations and around coffee is exceptionally rare. Last year I met multiple authors but equally important I met multiple champions working in the trenches of small and large companies. We all have the same problems to solve and looking for creative solutions. Join us in Columbus to share your experiences and learn.

Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden….. I will meet you there.
Somewhere beyond right and wrong resonates throughout the Lean system in Genchi Genbutsu and is at the center of Lean Product and Process Development....
In Lean PD, aim for quick kills; but not too quick.
How cognitive bias can hamper innovation, and what to do about it...
2 comments
Arnoud Herremans
Saturday 21st July 2018

You nicely point out the importance of seeing the knowledge gap. Even if you still have no idea how to bridge that gap, start with acknowledging that the is a gap, instead of wishfully thinking you know al there is to know. You also indicate importance of sharing and how the LPPD exchange provides a platform for that. Thanks for that too !!

Bella Englebach
Monday 02nd July 2018

The Wright Brother's story becomes more and more compelling as an example of lean product development, the deeper you get into their approach of identifying and solving problems using set-based approaches and designing innovative test methods. Great article, Bob!

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Peter Palmer
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I believe that learning, especially the learning needed to change your way of thinking, needs different approaches and that it takes time. You need to enter the learning loop well prepared, know your True North and break it down into problems to solve and small experiments to learn, preferably li...
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