[Toyota engineers’] overarching goal is to generate a constant flow of new products, so instead of assigning a team to focus on developing one in particular, work is concentrated at the subsystem level. The idea is that subsystems can be mixed and matched to create a whole host of possible new products, fostering creative possibilities.
This approach has definite advantages when a new product reaches the testing stage. If a subsystem proves unworkable, a proven subsystem is always available, which eliminates the need to double back. All knowledge is captured and reused in future projects.
Even acknowledging that something won’t work is good because it identifies a path for engineers to avoid in the future.
Toyota Development System virtually eliminates risk and promotes a myriad of creative possibilities for new products.
This can also be applied to software development, as part of the agile process.