Cusumano, along with Richard Selby, previously analyzed Bill Gates' competitive strategy in Microsoft Secrets
(1995), but he also took an earlier look at Toyota in The Japanese Automobile Industry
(1985). That book looked at the technological and managerial practices of both Toyota and Nissan. Now Cusumano returns to Toyota to tout its multiproject management process. He is a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, and this book is the culmination of a six-year study by MIT's International Motor Vehicle Program. With coauthor Nobeoka, who is an associate professor at Kobe University in Japan, Cusumano examines a new method for developing new products that relies on separate teams to analyze and incorporate various elements of existing products. This process results in lower development costs yet still yields unique products that appeal to new customers. The authors also demonstrate that this technique can be applied to products in other industries. David Rouse
"Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of The MIT Center for Innovation in Product Development
In this worthy successor to "The Machine That Changed the World," Cusumano and Nobeoka persuasively document how leading companies have achieved significant advantages by shifting emphasis from development of individual products to delivery of coordinated product streams. Readers will especially welcome the authors' efforts to evaluate practices for deploying core functional components, technical knowledge, and multi-project management capabilities across sets of development projects. "Thinking Beyond Lean" should be read by production, marketing, and financial managers -- in fact, anyone concerned with product development.