One of the best methodologies used to help dispose of waste in any project management process is Lean Management. If you’ve been wondering what are the lean techniques that every project manager should know about, keep reading! We will discuss them in this Brain Sensei blog.
Lean management techniques are utilized in a variety of processes. Lean training courses usually double-down on techniques in these processes. Lean processes can be used in any project situation that uses systematic processes. Lean methods and Six Sigma methods work exceptionally well together and are essential for every project management professional. In this Brain Sensei blog, we will explore the ins and outs of Lean project management, look at some Lean methodology examples, and tell you in detail how this method can help you as a professional.
Technique #1 Kaizen
Kaizen helps to improve processes in many different ways. Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning continuous improvement. Kaizen relates to the concept of improving or making things better over time.
Technique #2 Poka-Yoke
The next Lean technique is called Poka-Yoke. Poka-Yoke is a technique that focuses on the prevention of mistakes in the process. It uses unique devices to help streamline the process and prevent mistakes. Poka-Yoke can be applied to all aspects of customer service, manufacturing, and a variety of other business functions. It helps to use visuals that clearly identify mistakes. Besides Mistake Proofing, Poka-Yoke is also known by an older term, Baka-Yoke, or fool-proofing. Whatever name you use to refer to this Lean Technique, it’s definitely an important one to understand and utilize when project managing.
Technique #3 5S
5S is the Lean Technique that is most centered around organization. This process is used to try to reduce waste and motion on a small scale. It is a more organized way to ensure all materials are specifically placed in known and optimal locations. 5S is a method used to orchestrate and organize an effective workplace.
Sorting helps all unnecessary materials to be eliminated from the direct workplace. Set-in-order allows all necessary items to be placed in the best possible location. Shine indicates that the workplace is kept clean and organized. Standardization indicates that all phases in a workstation are organized on the best possible day. Sustain enforces workers in the area to use the stations set for them in each of the for S stages that come previously.
Technique #4 KANBAN
Kanban is the fourth Lean technique we’ll be talking about. Kaban helps to schedule the works-in-processes while focusing on continuous improvement and aids in establishing a stock point that will send a notice when items are removed by a systematic process. Kanban means signboard in the Japanese language. Kanban uses visuals to show the movement of parts between process stages. Toyota originally developed Kanban to help come up with a process to keep up with high levels of demand.
Technique #5: Just In Time
The next technique is a strategy that helps to enhance a business’s return on investment. ROI is supported by decreasing inventory that is in the process as well as associated carrying costs. The process uses different Kanban process points to be as effective as possible. Just-in-time is a manufacturing system that produces the needed units in exact amounts at the perfect time.
Technique #6 Jidoka
Jidoka is used to stop issues that may arise on the production line, as well as to create pressure to find solutions that will last. Jidoka ensures the stop of a production line in the event that the workspace clashes with a problem. These issues can create a crisis in the atmosphere which supports permanent solutions to ensure the problem does not happen again. Jidoka means automatic completion with a human touch, which stops function when a problem occurs. Jidoka is a great way to make the most of these techniques to avoid wasted time and materials.
Technique #7 Takt-time
Takt-time’s purpose is to even out the amount of production and stop buildups and excess demand in inventory. This is the typical time needed between inputs and outputs at a certain process associated with customer expectations. It is the time allocated at which the desired output must be completed in order to make the customer happy. The Takt-time formula is Time = Valuable Time / Required Output.
Technique #8 Heijunka
The last lean technique is Heijunka. Heijunka levels the volume and product mix of production. In this system, products are not made in agreement with the customer’s expectations. Heijunka levels orders out so a consistent output is achieved each day. This is a method to stop waste which is a result of fluctuating customer expectations.
These techniques help create systems that only add value to systems. If a process fails to contribute to customer value, it is discarded using Lean techniques. Incorporating Lean methodology techniques into your work is a great way to add value for the customer and stop wasting costs or materials, which directly improves your ROI.
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