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HIGHLIGHT is our game-changing Lean Innovation method for product development.

Traditional project management “tries hard” to bring accountability to innovation projects. But how often are design decisions made early, with significant assumptions, just so that the project team can demonstrate to stakeholders that the project is “predictably” meeting milestones?

For 20 years we have helped the world’s largest life-science companies to develop new products and processes faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk.
We shift the focus of decision-making to a collaborative articulation of key unknowns (Knowledge Gaps), trust in development teams to manage learning well (in time-bounded learning cycles), and facilitation of informed decision making events, which acknowledge and plan risk mitigation for any remaining unknowns or assumptions.

When you are innovating, we help you to make the best decisions, reduce risk and succeed. Faster.



There is no greater waste of resources than a product that customers do not want. Or features that they do not need. A rigorous focus on the needs of the customer, coupled with the key decisions to meet those needs, will ensure your people spend their time on the most valuable work and less time wasted.


Risk is accrued through making decisions which have built in assumptions and outstanding knowledge gaps. Our approach targets hidden assumptions and facilitates teams to burn down risk through early learning, and postponing decisions until you have learned enough to make them.


The predictability of a product development outcome is inversely proportional to the level of risk. More risk means less predicatbility. By lowering the level of assumption and knowledge gaps you lower risk, which increases predictability and enables more confident business and marketing decisions.


Taking more time to eliminate hidden assumptions and burn down risk will pay dividends in the long run through avoidance of costly rework loops when issues are surfaced later in the product development process. Lean, collaborative teams who focus on their key decisions are always faster.


Avellana are experts in the implementation of virtual visual management for dispersed, remote or even collocated teams. Visual Management creates effective and agile teams that ‘know what is going on’ at all times.

We advocate using state-of-the-art cloud based visual, Lean tools to make it easier for product development teams to visualise their work, understand what needs urgent attention and see the most important thing to do next.

Most importantly, visually enabled teams have the ability to see how to help each other in a truly collaborative, adaptive environment.

Visual gives project managers and product leads the ability to communicate priority, see the issues and react in real time.

We have successfully implemented virtual visual management in large R&D environments and have seen first hand the impact it can have on the quality of communication and the performance of the teams.


Avellana are big fans of Lean Teams, and so are our clients.

Lean Teams use visual management to see their work. They talk to each other frequently, every day if possible, and always look to help each other out. They are self-organising and are trusted by their leaders to make the right choices.

Lean teams always know the most important thing for them to learn, individually and collectively, and have the competence to communicate effectively. They have the ability to resolve problems and are continuously innovating to solve their problems and their customers’ problems.

We blend the right elements of Lean and Agile methods to create an architected way of working that meets the needs of project teams, project managers and leadership.


Why Med Tech Product Development should avoid becoming “Agile”

In recent years, there has been a surge in interest, and generally quite a buzz, around the concept of Agile, more specifically in the use of Agile Scrum, as a project management method in new product development. All industries seem to be succumbing to the allure and...
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New Product Development- The Predictability Paradox

Predictability, and the pursuit thereof, is a common theme we encounter when working with large company clients and their Product Development teams. The concept is understandable, as big business must have some mechanism of predicting future performance and...
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Lean Academic Innovation- Spend your time better by finding your hidden hypotheses.

You did a great job forming your original hypothesis.   It was reasonable, testable, and you secured the funding and approval you needed to embark on a journey of innovation, maybe seed commercial success, maybe take a leap forward in human knowledge.   So why does it...
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