What is a product-process matrix?

Definition Of A Product Process Matrix

A product-process matrix (PPM) is an example of a visual tool that helps product teams better understand the linkages between the processes in their product development process and the finished product. Product managers can use the PPM to help product teams and others learn more about a project’s product-process lifecycle, which is helpful. They may also use the PPM to present a fuller picture of the lifecycle to stakeholders.

Product leaders and management teams can use the PPM to identify and prioritize their organization’s critical assets, focusing on aspects that provide them a competitive advantage over their competitors. They can use PPM to make more informed and deliberate decisions about product planning, investments, and improvement opportunities, among other things.

Robert H. Hayes and Steven C. Wheelwright were the first to address the product-process matrix in their groundbreaking Harvard Business Review articles “Link Manufacturing Process and Product Life Cycles” and “The Dynamics of Process-Product Life Cycles” in 1979. They investigated common challenges that arose in industrial manufacturing processes and identified ways to estimate product progress and analyze the procedures involved in getting items to market most efficiently and effectively.

The matrix has two dimensions, showing the relationship between the type of product produced and the manufacturing process. Product structure/product life cycle is the first, while process structure/process life cycle is the second. Together, the two dimensions can aid you, and your company in determining the type of manufacturing technique required for a specific product.

The Stages Of The Product-Process Matrix

In the product-process matrix, the manufacturing process is divided into four stages:

●      The term “job shop” refers to a place where people work (Jumbled Flow)

●      A batch is a colloquial term for a group of people who collaborate to complete a project (Disconnected Line Flow)

●      An Assembly Line Flow Chart (Connected Line Flow)

●      Continual Information Flow (Continuous)

It can be challenging to create a product-process matrix. To establish the most efficient procedures, leadership and management are frequently required to work closely with teams. If a critical step in the manufacturing process is ignored or devalued, it might lead to production disruptions later.

Exemplifications of the Product-Process Matrix

Now we will take a closer look at each of the stages in detail:

●      Job Shop: The term “job shop” refers to where people work. According to the process model, organizations that fall into the Job Shop/Jumbled Flow process tend to manufacture various things in small numbers, often in a reactive manner. The products of a workshop are frequently one-of-a-kind. For example, a company may specialize in creating bespoke things to stringent requirements (for example, replacing a component for an outdated machine that is no longer manufactured but critical to a company’s operation).

●      Batch production: Printing and food-production companies are examples of batch companies that use batch processes to produce higher-volume items than those in the Job Shop stage. Finding the best production strategy allows batch firms to manufacture products in a cost-effective and ecologically responsible manner on a continual and recurring basis. The manufacturing process in Job Shop/Jumbled Line organizations is smoother, while it remains relatively insulated from the client.

●      Assembly Line Flow Chart: Automobile manufacturers, for example, use an assembly-line style of production to generate high-demand commodities. A combination of manual employees and automated technologies is used to process the data. Because the production process is standardized, several operations follow the same path. On the other hand, continuous manufacturing may be prohibitively expensive; thus, there must be sufficient demand to justify the expenditures.

●      Continual Information Flow: Continuous-flow manufacturing operations necessitate the deployment of specialized machinery. This product-process stage includes companies that manufacture many goods and have a high level of regularity in their operations. Corporations that engage in Continuous Flow manufacturing produce essential commodities that are constantly in demand on the market, such as paper or food goods.

Start your
trial now!


Try it for free