Lean? Agile? Or just plain common sense?

Hi there,

this is a new article I would like to publish on the Confluence portal. Currently there are more activities for brigning the improvements into the company. Not just ours, but in general - on the market. We could hear Lean, Lean company, improvements by doing Kaizen and or using Agile techniques. But, what does it mean? Can all of these bring us something new? Aren' they the same? How should I know all of these new techniques?

Of course you can study a lot of materials and can be an expert in the given area. But very briefly, as shown on the picture, Lean and Agile can work together :-). Yes, of course this can be shock, because we can hear something else. But Lean is way how to improve processes and remove all the waste from our companies and work environment/processes. Agile is a technique for the software development with different point of view then traditional waterfall.

For Agile intro and understanding it is easy to read the Manifesto, where you can find all needed (available online at Agile Manifesto dot org). Lean is a technique for the continuous improvement, identifiying waste and improve processes to find out value added in the processes - more precisely to clean that up from the non value added. Agile is working with the product owner needs, so from the different angle - it is the same....isn't it?

But we have to distinguish between processes, improvements and the software development. I think it is the same as the visit of our tailor - as a product owner I can define how my dress should look like, where should be pockets, zippers or what ever else. Then tailor gets measurements, prepare the first "alfa" version of the dress, after that me as a product owner says if is it the same I wanted. If yes "development" goes smoothly to the "beta" and iteratively to the final version of my dress. I have a control during the whole period and also I can control if the budget is still the same or I will go over it (because I wanted the golden buttons). On the other side tailer should look for his own processes to do just what customer wants (VOC) and optimize processes which delivers value added products to the customer. He must eliminate waste in his processes - have just what is needed in the stock or use JIT techniques, use optimized process of the dress creation, unified machines, sequence of activities etc. Both of them must control budget spendings, planning and scope (of course processes are sometimes measured better).

I have mentioned Kaizen also, which is usually part of the Lean techniques, but can be used whereever it is neede. It is based on the idea of small improvements. In Japan they use Kaizen also for small improvements in the day to day life of the teams working in the factories. For example they can be very small improvements such as changes of the towels type, using different light or individual improvements in the working place (position of the screwdriver or what ever else). Small things which can generate huge benefits and can be also usable by others. As we have heard from one of the psychologist, the idea can be also used in this field. Image one guy who love chips and he wants to decrease his weight. What he can do in the Kaizen way? He can stop eating this chips by small steps - one chip from the bag can be thrown away (e.g. each day)....one day in the future he will not eat the chips, by small steps you can reach the mountain high.....

This is just a quick and brief description of things I have catched.......


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