Book Reviews


Prepublication Reviews (Alphabetical Order)

“This book provides a banquet table of techniques for advancing the effectiveness and efficiency of product development management. We’ve already used some of the small batch methods, with strong results, in software development. Now we are starting to expand them into firmware and hardware development. Don’s book makes it easy to sort out and think through the specific steps needed to improve product development economics.”

—Paul C Aspinwall, IPD Process Architect, IBM

“This book challenges an awful lot of fashionable ideas on improving product development processes. It provides a vast number of very solid principles that could make a big difference for almost any product development organization, from beginners to the most advanced. It offers a fundamentally different way of thinking about product development processes. Don’t read it if you are content with business as usual!”

—Andrew Flint, Microsoft Hardware

“Biotechnology process development is a relatively new field, and key issues such as variability, biological system complexity, balance between process robustness and time-to-market still remain challenging. Don’s new book offers insightful new concepts that can be of paramount practical importance to the biotechnology professional.”

—Konstantin Konstantinov,VP Technology Development, Genzyme Corp.

“The tools in this book go further than anything I’ve seen in my 15 years trying to improve product development. They will change the way you think about the problem. Instead of spending time and energy trying to remove variability you will learn to use it to your advantage. You’ll get both a deep theoretical understanding and the practical tools needed to make real changes.”

—Mikael Lundgren, Citerus AB

“This book describes practical concepts that can be immediately implemented to improve a firm’s new product development process. It challenges traditional product development orthodoxy and proposes a networked approach built on principles of queue and batch size management, and WIP constraints. We have already successfully implemented several of his techniques as part of our lean product development journey.”

—Edward L. Maier, VP/GM Engineering and Operations, Harris Corporation, RF Communications Division

“Reinertsen continues to stay ahead of the game on how Lean applies in New Product and Process Development. The book is highly readable and easily searchable, being organized into clear “bite-sized chunks” which each cover an important concept in a way that readers can grasp, and apply to their project management challenges.”

—Bernard North, Chief Engineer, Kennametal Inc.

“I highly recommend this book. There are other excellent books that explain the strategic value of flow, but this book is unique in providing the details that are necessary to fully understand, develop, rapidly execute improvements in product development flow. It consolidates years of experience into simple and effective methods that really work. I’ve found it a valuable guide and reference for our continued effort to improve product development flow.”

— Anthony Orzechowski, Director,R&D Quality Engineering, Abbott Diagnostics

“Whereas most books on lean product development are mere translations of lean manufacturing practices, this book avoids both dogma and jargon. Instead, it provides practical, economically-grounded thinking tools that can improve decision making in the modern design world. There’s more immediately useful information packed into this one volume than in dozens of other lean books put together; my copy is almost completely highlighted. The discussion on ‘Cost of Delay’ alone is worth the price. This is a ‘MUST READ’ if you are serious about implementing lean product development!”

—Jay Packlick, Agile Development Coach, Sabre Airline Solutions

“The principles described in this book are relevant to every product developer and, perhaps most importantly, to every product development executive. Rather than giving dogmatic rules, Reinertsen provides insightful and pragmatic principles that can be tailored to the economic factors unique to each enterprise. These principles will improve your everyday decision-making. This book is a worthy follow-on to Managing the Design Factory, and belongs on every product manager’s bookshelf.”

—Glenn Paulley, Director of Engineering, Sybase iAnywhere

“At Accuer, our business depends on helping successful product developers become even better. We need to provide real results, quickly, in lots of different areas. Because we need to stay at the leading edge, I’ve studied and read almost every book on lean product development; this one is better than the rest of them combined! Why? It’s a unique combination of practical methods and clear explanations of the science that makes them work. If you’ve enjoyed Don’s previous books as much as I have, you’re guaranteed to like this one.”

—David Paulson, President, Accuer, Inc.

“If you are implementing lean or iterative product development, this will be the most often referenced volume on your bookshelf. (Mine has quickly become more dog-eared than Managing the Design Factory.) Unlike some other popular books, this work doesn’t stop with the high-level theory, it provides explicit, real-life examples showing how to achieve it. It has guided my efforts to instill a lean philosophy in our NPD group, and the methods have already provided significant improvements to our decision making and ultimately our throughput.”

—Timothy J. Spang, Executive Director, Radiology NPD, MEDRAD, Inc.

“This book is a remarkable achievement. A leading thinker on the management of product development, Reinertsen challenges conventional assumptions in practice today and shows how a fresh and rigorous approach can result in dramatic improvements. This book is all substance and no fluff. It is one of the most useful books on product development.”

—Stefan Thomke, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author “Experimentation Matters”

“This is by far the best book I have read about the product development flow. It articulates many of the principles that we intuitively applied at Nokia throughout the exponential growth period of the 90’s. It combines practical ideas for beginners and deep insights for the most experienced manager.”

— Ahti Väisänen, former VP of R&D and head of 3G at Nokia (Mobile Phones)

“I really like the pragmatic principles approach and general framework laid out in this book. From the economic analysis focusing on total lifecycle costs to the concrete list of usual suspects for long queues and large batches, the book’s tone is logical and practical. I recommend it to anyone looking for expert guidance that demystifies lean product development.”

—John Wylie, VP Product Management, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC)


On-Line Reviews (by Date)


Eric Ries,


Book Review (7/13/2009): The Principles of Product Development Flow