October 9th, 2019 • Project Management
Lean project management aims at maximizing business efficiency by the concept of incremental improvements across different stages of the project. This helps in achieving customer satisfaction more efficiently and reducing extra effort by the team to achieve the same results. Lean project management can sometimes be simply referred to as ‘Lean’.
Lean project management is heavily focused towards customer satisfaction. In this regard, the concept of ‘values in Lean’ comes in, and is understood as, everything the customer is willing to pay for in order to achieve satisfaction.
Identifying and eliminating Lean wastes goes a long way in running a successful business. Wastes are all those activities/entities which can be removed from the workflow stream without impacting its productivity negatively. There are seven types of wastes which have been identified in this regard:
Once the causes of these wastes are understood clearly, the company can focus on optimizing their processes by eliminating wastes from these processes. Here’s how these seven types of Lean wastes impact efficiency:
Cost of Delay (CoD) represents the monetary or economic cost incurred by the firm when delays occur. Depending on the size of the firm, the Cost of Delay can fluctuate. Naturally, the bigger the firm, the higher the CoD. In this regard, it is important for business owners to be able to calculate and keep an eye on the CoD.
In terms of product or software development, the Cost of Delay might be incurred if the product launch or the launch of any key feature is delayed. The amount of monetary loss due to this delay will be the CoD.
The root cause of CoD is usually poor management and lack of process optimization. To better optimize the processes, the project managers need to:
There are many steps and processes which are involved from the product inception, manufacturing and delivery to end customer. The complete visualization, analysis, and design of these processes are done in Value Stream Mapping or VSM. Value Stream Mapping not only gives a bird’s eye view but also provides a detailed insight towards understanding the flow of work in the business. Various work streams and flow information can be depicted by different symbols in VSM. One of the main benefits of value stream mapping is the identification and elimination of wastes. In addition to providing insight towards the process line, value stream mapping as also emerged as contributing resources towards better teamwork and collaboration. The main benefits of value stream mapping can be summarized as follows:
One of the main differentiators between the successful and unsuccessful implementation of Lean manufacturing is the real-time identification of problems. Problems must be identified then and there during the manufacturing process.
Many US manufacturers have tried to implement Lean manufacturing and complained about achieving little success. The main issue in their case is the lack of actual implementation of values in Lean through technology. The famous car manufacturer, Toyota, has been reported to reap huge benefits by the integration of Lean with technology. At the heart of the improvements in Toyota was the fact that the managers were able to identify problems in the manufacturing line in real-time and thus able to sort them out quickly and effectively.
Lean integration with technology revolves around an electronic floor system, a system that essentially gathers and presents real-time process flow information and presents it to various stakeholders on board which includes the project managers along with the floor operators. An electronic floor management system should be able to bring the following to the table:
Lean project manufacturing is based on identifying waste and highlighting values. Try it today in your systems to see how it will work for you.