I instill in my team my fundamentals of product development:
Consistency All people performing similar functions should use similar processes and methodology to achieve their goals. A person designing a suspension must go through the same generic steps as someone designing a fuel tank. The details behind the steps will be unique, but the overall process will be the same.
Data Based Decisions "Data will set you free". Decisions should be data based. However, this does not mean that 100% of data must be available. Anybody can make a decision with all the facts. People are employed because they are the experts. They need to be able to act on parts of the data. The 80/20 rule should be used as much as possible.
Panic Early It does no good to hold your problems close to your chest until it is too late to resolve them. All problems come to the surface eventually. Getting them there early instead of late will allow for better resolutions.
Discipline Proper engineering disciplines must be followed. Engineers must understand and know how to use FMEA's, DVP's, etc. Core engineering disciplines are not optional. Do what you say, say what you do, and document it.
Deliverables Know what you are meant to deliver and when. Then deliver it.
Planning Comprehensive workplans, long and short term, are a must. They tie together all the elements that will make or break a program. They also provide the proof that progress is being made. You must always know the effect of failing to meet timing of particular tasks. What is the downstream ripple? Who will be affected?
I expect people to be proactive. Don't wait to be told to do something. Engineers shouldn't need constant nudging to keep moving.
Take Risks. Anybody can achieve with 100% of the info. Real performers achieve with 20%.
Speak Up. I want to know what you think.
Speak Confidently. If you sound confident, your point will be taken.
Be ready for change. It is a fact of life. Use it as an opportunity, not a difficulty.
Design for Manufacturing and Assembly Engineers don't make money, manufacturing does. Get manufacturing involved early in the design. A great design is one that meets all the customer needs and can be manufactured simply and reliably with known manufacturing techniques. Designs should minimize the number of parts and part numbers.