The Chase is a business novel, which is based on a real case study. Its intended audience included the general public, management and administrators, students and teachers in business and engineering schools, and consultant practitioner. This book is unique because it targets the product development aspect of the product productions process. Almost every book written in similar topics concentrate on the manufacturing end of the process. That happens because manufacturing is tangible and visible, while engineering is intangible and invisible. However, the fact remains that 85 percent of the money in any product producing and service industry is committed in the first 5 percent of the process, which is the engineering. The Chase follows Greg, a chief engineer at Michigan Motor Corporation (MMC) through the difficult task of improving the company’s product development process. Greg approaches the problem by defining product, process of creation of the product, process intent and selections of the vehicle (tools) to create the product. The title refers to the continuous task of balancing between Cost, Quality and Time. The improvement of these three characteristics of the product in the design area is an uncanny task. Due to the nature of design and engineering most of the processes needed for product development are intangible. The first thing Greg has to do is to make the system and the processes visible. Greg is guided through the next three challenging years by Damon, a professor and change implementer in the industry. The key concepts that Damon helps Greg to understand are:
- System Design Principles
- Organizational Learning Principle
- Process Models
- Methods, Algorithms, Tools
- Team Technology Each concept includes a full complement of useful ideas.
System design principles for instance are:
- Little’s Law of Response
- Capacity Constraint Theory
- Leverage Principle
- Whole and Parts Principle
- Value Adding Principles Personal and organization politics are critical — but sometimes overlooked — factors in implementing change in any organization. The novel’s chief character, Greg is guided through handling these aspects of improvement smoothly as well. In short, The Chase presents not only what to do to improve product development, but also how to do it successfully.