Lean Methodology

When you hear LEAN, what do you think of?
- Healthy, Fast, Low-Fat etc. right?

LEAN is a thought process, a culture and a methodology. It was pioneered by people like Henry Ford, Toyoda, Deming and currently popularized by Toyota and Japanese Manufacturing techniques. Remember that Lean is best applied to "manufacturing" or "transactional" service type of process. Many Principles would easily apply to all kinds of work (Knowledge Industry, Product Development etc.).

Here are some key thoughts and principles:
Relentlessly eliminate WASTE
You may have a question…how do I identify waste?
Here is your guide, look for waste of the following type:

  • Transportation: Handoffs
  • Inventory: Unfinished work (example is analyzed requirements)
  • Motion: Do you have to move/search quite a bit to locate people/tools/resources?
  • People: Do you capitalize on the vast potential of your people?
  • Wait Time: Clock is ticking on the Project
  • Over-production: Producing stuff that wasn't needed or asked for
  • Over-processing: Building unnecessary excess quality or processes into your product
  • Defects: Defects cause rework so they are wasteful

These forms of waste are known in Lean as TIMWOOD + P

Agile already helps you address many of these forms of waste. For example, collocation tackles motion, collective ownership tackles transportation, Sprints tackle inventory, Generalizing Specialist mentality tackles people waste, early testing and UAT tackles defects.

*UNDER CONSTRUCTION* I plan to add more content soon [3/5/08]

Kaizen or Kaikaku

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