Continuous Learning and Product Development

Continuous Learning and Product Development
Continuous learning is a popular catch phrase in product development, but what is continuous learning and how can continuous learning be integrated into the product development process?

Continuous learning is the ongoing process of acquiring knowledge and skills, bringing new perspectives and creative insights into standard designs and routine processes.

To make continuous learning integral to the product development process, a continuous learning mindset needs to be integrated into the routine of product development.  To foster the mindset of continuous learning, learning opportunities need to be actively incorporated into the product development process.

Opportunities to incorporate continuous learning into the product development process include:

  • Schedule learning sessions throughout the product development process, such as:
    • Peer-to-peer learning – teammates sharing their expertise with another.
    • Presentations from vendors about their expertise.
    • Cross-functional team overviews explaining what they do and their requirements.
  • Access to training and development programs such as online courses, workshops, webinars, podcasts, blogs, books, and even conversations with peers.
  • Conducting debriefs at the end of projects / reviews / testing to capture “lessons learned” and submit the lessons learned to an internal project/company blog.
  • Encouraging participation in industry events such as conferences and workshops to learn from other industry related individuals.
  • Providing access to learning resources such as books, articles, podcasts, and industry reports and encouraging teammates to share what they have learned.
  • Establishing mentoring relationships for team members so junior members can efficiently learn from senior members.
  • Scheduling discussions with teammates to discuss and set learning objectives.

Continuous learning enables teams to stay ahead of emerging trends and technologies by providing creative new insights for the design and development of better products to meet the evolving needs of users.  Creating a mindset of continuous learning requires actively incorporating continuous learning throughout the product development process.

About the Author

Ryan Donovan

Ryan is a product development consultant focusing on organization change for implementing PLM, PDM systems and CAD systems.



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