Agile APQP Overview in Product Development Innovation

by Jonathan Hunt,Michael Popenas published on April 03, 2021

Product development (PD) is the lifeblood of a company’s success and is the process for innovation. Today, product life cycles are shrinking due to an ever-increasing number of competitive and disruptive products coming to market quicker. To stay in business, PD needs to become more effective, more productive, and faster. Product Development systems can no longer take years or months to deliver something that hopefully the customer will still want. Planning, design and development, testing and release can no longer rely on the currently widely practiced sequential waterfall methods developed over one-hundred years ago. To continue to meet the fast changing and lower cost pressures to deliver products to market, companies need to change their new product introduction process. They need to become Agile. And for the automotive sector the Agile APQP process will reduce product development time, increase your organization’s design and development skills, and meet customer requirements. Agile APQP is changing the way PD is done to deliver traditional PPAP requirements and meet customer needs more quickly and effectively than traditional methods. It is the way to effectively innovate and capture market share and new customers.

The Agile approach has enabled tech companies (hardware and software), government agencies, aerospace and aircraft manufacturers, school systems, and petrochemical industries to successfully design, test, and release products and services more quickly and effectively than other traditional waterfall methods. Agile APQP refines the core elements of Agile product development and adapts it to meet the needs of the automotive sector. Omnex has developed Agile APQP to help its clients reduce their concept to delivery times by 50%.

Over the past four months, an Omnex team of experienced automotive new model launch and product development personnel have studied the issues facing their customers using current waterfall product development methods. What they found was a process that took too long, was rife with missed customer requirements and chronic late delivery. Studying similar industries and other commercial sectors, the team recognized the benefits of using Agile methods to reduce waste, highlight product development progress, and engage development teams to deliver faster, higher quality products at lower costs. The team then went about adapting the process for specific application in the automotive industry. The resulting Agile APQP process developed by the Omnex team addresses the phase gate issues with the APQP waterfall method while delivering well established PPAP requirements. Agile APQP will revolutionize how product development is conducted. It will positively impact the innovation cycle essential to a company’s existence and advance traditional automotive PD to a new level of productivity. Agile APQP will keep auto suppliers and OEMs competitive in today’s disruptive product introduction environment.

Agile APQP incorporates lean principles in the workflows, work products, program control methods, and roles and responsibilities in this new PD process. Integrated, cross functional teams working in a transparent product development environment, with short iterative development cycles that are delivery biased based on customer feedback and process improvement sums up what Agile APQP provides. Small teams, clear communication, and continual delivery of product requirements stack up to a final product that gets to market faster and hits its target.

Omnex will be offering a series of high energy courses on Agile APQP that will take your product development and leadership teams into a new era of innovation. These immersive courses will demonstrate the benefits of Agile APQP, teach the process, and provide insights on how to implement this game changing process in your organization. Adapted from other highly successful and innovative companies, Agile APQP is what today’s automotive industry needs to be competitive. Once again, Omnex is on the leading edge of business process improvement in supporting this most important industry and its customers.