The Top 9 Agile Techniques Explained

The lean manufacturing formula has been so popular due to the fact that it has several organizations identify the wastes that eat their customer value and reduces their profit. The lean approach has been designed to rest on the simple principles which indicate that value is defined through the eyes of your customer and that value should be channeled to the customer through processes which are always revised and improved upon.

Agile Techniques

Hardware developers and the service partners have been utilizing lean tools and techniques that can be adequately used to eliminate waste in every form and in the process, support the continuous improvement of the organization.

This is a billboard approach that is designed at the beginning to keep the right level of inventory on hand. The initial idea was to fully maximize the flow of goods and work. Kanban is achieved by ensuring that work is visualized, work in progress known as the WIP is limited and the flow isn’t interrupted. To learn the Kanban 101 at team-level, enroll for the IBQMI® Approved Kanban Professional. If you want to apply Kanban to any environment at an advanced coach level, you should enroll for the Certified Kanban Coach®.

Value Stream Mapping
VSM, as it is popularly called, is used for documenting and questioning the steps of the processes involved in taking a requested product to its customer. As a leader, you should look at all the steps and determine how much value is added at each step. A step that doesn’t add value can be eliminated and if possible, replaced by a more effective one.

This is known as an improvement approach that also has 5 phases; define, measure, analyze, improve, control. These 5 phases are designed to help ensure that the improvements recorded are data-driven, measurable and also repeatable to a large extent. The DMAIC improves problem-solving technique by providing the necessary structure that will handle the task.

This approach has been structured to always improve and solve problems. The A3 approach was first used at Toyota, however, it has been used by almost all Lean manufacturing practitioners around the globe.
The A3 report is usually one page and it documents the result obtained from the PSDA cycle. The report contains 8 items which include; Problem Definition, Problem Clarification, Goal (Desired State), Results of Root Cause Analysis, Countermeasure Definition, Countermeasure Implementation Plan, Results in Confirmation, Update to the Standard Work

This approach is similar to the DMAIC as it is also improvement oriented. The approach stands for Plan, Do, Study, idea for improvement is pushed through the cycle with each step being documented carefully. When the cycle is complete, it starts over with new ideas for improvement.

This is an approach that is used in workplaces and it usually has 5 simple phases. The steps are seiri (sort), seiton (set), seiso (shine), seiketsu (standardize), and shitsuke (sustain). The 5S approach has been known to improve the efficiency of workplaces and eliminate waste in the process.

The 5 Whys
This is an effective lean tool that will help you find the root cause of your problems. The approach involves you asking why as many times as possible as that will take you to the underlying cause of your problems.

Total Productive Maintenance
This is one of the most popular lean management tools. The TPM is a holistic approach that focuses solely on the proactive rather than reactive maintenance aimed at minimizing the use of equipment. With TPM, a strong emphasis has been placed on empowering he operators as they help maintain their equipment. The TPM approach is focused on shared responsibility amongst the equipment and the front line workers.

Standard Work
The standard work was designed by lean manufacturers to measure the exact current process for each task and this will then be replicated by the employees. This approach cannot be effective unless it is complete, accessible, and current.

These lean tools, whether used partially or fully, can help reduce the cost of your operations, speed up your marketing processes and reduce the number of defects in your system. It achieves this by solving any problem that pops up along the way. Continuous improvement should also be prioritized.

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