Donald Reinertsen

For 30 years Don Reinertsen has been a thought leader in the field of product development. In 1983, while a consultant at McKinsey & Co., he wrote the landmark article in Electronic Business magazine that first quantified the financial value of development speed. This article is believed by some observers to have triggered the movement to shorten development cycles in American industry. It is frequently cited as the McKinsey study that reported “six months delay can be worth 33 percent of life cycle profits.”

In 1985 he coined the term Fuzzy Front End to describe the earliest stage of product development. In 1991, he wrote the first article showing how queueing theory could be practically applied to product development.

His 1991 book, Developing Products in Half the Time, co-authored with Preston Smith, has become a product development classic. It has been translated into seven languages. His 1997 book, Managing the Design Factory, was the first book to describe how the principles of Just-in-Time manufacturing could be applied to product development. In the 12 years since this book appeared this approach has become known as Lean Product Development.

For 15 years Don taught executive courses at California Institute of Technology, and currently teaches public seminars throughout the world. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell, and an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School.

His current company, Reinertsen & Associates, has helped leading companies throughout the world improve their product development processes for over 20 years.