Are you looking to reduce waste and improve your project management? Productivity is for some a way to increase output while using fewer resources. Others see productivity as improved inventory management. Whatever way you define it productivity is crucial to any project.
Lean project management is a great way to increase productivity in your company.
You have probably tried many methods to increase productivity as a project manager.
But have you ever tried lean management?
Let’s begin by discussing lean management, its forms and its applications.
What is lean project management?
Toyota Production System (TPS) has created Lean, a philosophy of management. TPS improves manufacturing and logistics, and streamlines interactions with suppliers and customers. Lean is based on the principle of “just-in time production”.
According to The Toyota Way, Dr. Jeffrey Liker published the 14 principles of lean management that TPS developed. The book examines the challenges Toyota faced in streamlining their car manufacturing production line. These were:
These problems were known as the seven mudas or wastes to remove. Toyota applied TPS to car manufacturing to address them.
How did Toyota create lean?
Toyota identified the mudas, and developed processes to deliver them. The principles of lean manufacturing were then applied by the company. Since then, lean management is a tool that uses the Toyota principles.
John Krafcik introduced the concept of lean in his 1988 article, Triumph of the Lean Production System. This article was written for a master’s degree at MIT Sloan School of Management. Krafcik’s research was continued by the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP), at MIT. The Machine That Changed the World, a best-selling international book, was the result of the research. Jim Womack, Daniel Jones and Daniel Roos co-authored the book.
Lean management principles have been adopted by IT, construction, education, as well as other industries.
. Lean management has many benefits:
Lean Enterprise Institute states that “the core idea of lean management” is to maximize customer value and minimize waste. Lean simply means creating more value for customers using fewer resources. Lean organizations understand customer value and focus their key processes to continually increase it. The ultimate goal of a lean organization is to provide perfect customer value through a flawless value creation process that produces zero waste.
To reduce waste and increase value during each phase of a project.
There are three types of lean project management: Kanban (PDCA), Kanban (DMEDI), and Deming Cycle (PDCA).
What are the different types of lean project management?
W. Edwards was inspired by the Kaizen tools of lean management and created the Deming philosophy. This philosophy identifies four phases that lead to consistent results. These phases are:
As you may have noticed, the acronym PDCA is formed by the first letters of each phrase.
The Five Whys is one example of Deming Cycle tools.
The Deming Cycle is particularly useful for recurring projects. Start by organizing brainstorming sessions for impact analysis during the Plan phase. To assess your previous process, focus on the Five Whys. Ask yourself: “Were there any bottlenecks in previous projects?”
Let your team work together to identify solutions for problems that arise during a project’s lifecycle. Track the effectiveness and quality of the solutions implemented in the Check phase. The final Act phase will include improvements to the project. The Deming Cycle is a method that improves the project each time it repeats itself.
PDCA can also be used in the construction industry, outside of manufacturing. This method of lean management can be used in all industries that follow a production cycle.
Lean Six Sigma (or 6s) is a statistical concept that eliminates 3.4 de