Lean Project Methodology at a glance

Lean management is a business approach that implements techniques and methods that ensure continuous value delivery to customers. Lean management has its origin from the study of the automobile industry in the 1990s. The results have attracted lots of attention and studies from notable individuals such as W Edward Demings, Joseph Juran and Philip Cosby. They have posited a number of theories and methodologies, which have been reviewed, tested and implemented. Among these popular methodologies are the Deming Cycle, Kanban system, and the six Sigma methodology.

Tools and methods at a glance

Deming cycle
PDCA also is known as the Deming cycle was created by an American engineer and statistician W Edward Demings. He was a management consultant who aided Japan to rebuild its manufacturing industry. He propounded the continues feedback loop of the PDCA cycle used for the continues improvement of the production process. PDCA stands for Plan Do Check and Act.

Plan: This stage involves determining the problem to be solved, and the best solutions to these problems.
Do: This involves the implementation of the solutions obtained from the planning stage.
Check: This involves audits from the results of the do stage and inconsistencies are noted.
Act: This last stage fully implements the developed system from the entire model.

Six sigma
Six Sigma methodology is instrumental at the detecting of defects and reducing their variability in the production process. It was developed by Bill Smith of Motorola in the 1990s and fully implemented by the general electric company. It was reported that it saved general electric 12 billion dollars and 50% of Fortune 500 companies who implemented this principle, 400 billion dollars. The results achieved by Six Sigma methodology is largely based on the following principles:

• Waste must be eliminated and this involves riding the system of defects.
• The successful implementation of Six Sigma techniques depends on all levels of management in the Corporation.
• To fully enjoy the benefits six sigma has to offer, continuous evaluation of the production process is required
• The process involved in production must be defined, measured, analyzed improved and controlled
• There are three major strategies involved in the implementation of Six Sigma methodology. They are, DMAIC, DMADV, and DFSS.

DMAIC
This is a methodology that refers to the improvement of a process already in existence. Its acronym DMAIC, stands for define, measure, analyze, improve and control.

Define: define the problem the product solves, areas for improvement and custom fit.
Measure: Obtain data involving the production process for analysis to the final scope for improvement
Analyze: Analyse data to determine the cause and possible solutions to defect in the production process
Improve; implementation and testing of preconceived solutions to defects.
Control; control flow and improved production process.

The DFSS, this stands for the design of Six sigma and DMADV stands for, define, measure, analyze, design and verify. These two methodologies are implemented when there is a need for a complete redesign of a process. This is implemented with a sigma level of less than six.

Define: Define the problem to be solved by the process or product.
Measure: measure the important criteria for the production process.
Analyze: analyze several pathways for best results in production.
Design the process for the product
Verify; verify that the product meets design goals.

The Kanban system.
Kanban is a Japanese term meaning something like a Billboard. It was part of the Toyota just in time production system. It refers to cards that graphically represent the flow of components and finished products through a production system. However it's is now applied to a number of industries such as IT, architecture, and management. This visual idea is directly related to agile project management.

What’s next?
To learn the Kanban 101 at team-level, enroll in the IBQMI® Approved Kanban Professional.
If you want to apply Kanban to any environment at an advanced coach level, you should enroll in the Certified Kanban Coach®.

The IBQMI® Certified Scrumban Practitoner® mission: the relationship between purpose and performance! Enroll in Certified Scrumban Practitoner®

To master even big projects, enroll in the Certified Lean Project Manager®

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