Lean manufacturing wastes - Muri
Project Management, Team Performance

Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Muri

Reducing waste allows you to achieve more with your team, streamlining your processes and maximising your profits. In our previous articles, we looked at two forms of Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Muda (waste) and Mura (unevenness), when they are likely to appear, and what steps to take to reduce them. As part of their continuous improvement initiative, businesses generally first work on wiping out the 7 Mudas (Defects, Overprocessing, Waiting, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Overproduction) and keeping Mura down. This is a…

Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Mura
Process Improvement, Project Management

Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Mura

In our previous article, Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Muda, we began to explore the concept of waste and how to reduce it. Wastes in your process add extra costs, either to your customers or to your business. Reducing waste is the most essential step towards developing a smoother and more efficient process. The 7 Mudas (Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing and Defects) are often highly visible in your process and easy to single out. Many businesses reduce Muda, see some…

Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Muda
Process Improvement, Project Management

Lean Manufacturing Wastes: Muda

Larger profit margins can be boiled down to two actions – increasing output and improving efficiency. Frequently, businesses choose to increase their capacity to drive output, hiring staff and investing in new tools. They can also look for ways to work more efficiently with their existing resources. Reducing waste is essential in order to make processes more efficient. Costs from wastes are ultimately passed on either to your customers or your business. Putting prices up can mask waste costs to…

Kanban roadmap
Project Management

The Big Picture: Kanban Roadmap

Project managers are constantly balancing short-term responsiveness and long-term strategic planning. Striving for maximum agility by neglecting any plans and processes can result in miscommunication and uneasy customers. At the other extreme, trying to plan every detail too early in the process is equally dangerous. The power of Kanban is that it deals with risk quickly. Kanban lets you make sure that the most important items are accomplished first and the team is not distracted by low-priority items. Frustration with…

Kanban low dept
Process Improvement, Project Management

Borrowed Time: Kanban Flow Debt

Excessive debt slows progress and can become a huge burden. However, debt is not always bad and can be necessary to meet project goals. Nevertheless, debt must eventually be repaid. Flow debt in Kanban project management works according to the same principle. In this article, you will learn how Kanban flow debt is defined, how to measure it and how to prevent your flow debt levels from increasing in an uncontrollable manner. What is flow debt? Flow debt is when…

Types of frequency distribution
Process Improvement, Project Management

Types of Frequency Distribution

Project estimation is not a straightforward process – it’s a scientific and statistical exercise that deals with numerous interconnected variables. The value of these variables can have significant impact on your final estimate. Knowing the frequency distribution of these values enables you to make data-driven decisions. The type of frequency distribution is especially important when making predictions with the Monte Carlo simulation. In this article, we’ll explain the frequency distribution shapes that you will encounter most frequently. Normal Distribution The…

Quantifying the Uncertainty: Monte Carlo Simulation
Process Improvement, Project Management

Quantifying the Uncertainty: Monte Carlo Simulation

When making forecasts or performing risk analysis, it is impossible to escape from variability and uncertainty. Even with large amounts of past performance data at our fingertips, the future is unpredictable and unforeseen events can change the course of a project. Monte Carlo simulation does not try to eliminate risk – instead, it uses thousands or millions of permutations of random variables to calculate all possible outcomes. The probability distribution it generates is remarkably accurate, making it one of the…

Reading the Signs: Kanban Cycle Time Scatterplot Patterns
Process Improvement, Project Management

Reading the Signs: Kanban Cycle Time Scatterplot Patterns

To make your processes more efficient, first you need to identify where you are falling behind. The Kanban method uses visual methods to analyse your performance and find areas to improve. Cycle time is a key metric for quantifying how your team delivers value. Kanban cycle time scatterplot displays the cycle time for all tasks completed within a certain timeframe. Each task is represented by a dot on the chart. The height of the dot shows its cycle time. Learning…

Effective Forecasting: Estimation in Kanban
Process Improvement, Project Management

Effective Forecasting: Estimation in Kanban

When it comes to project management, the big question is always “How long will this take?”. From single work items to entire projects, making accurate delivery forecasts maintains a high level of customer trust and satisfaction. In the Agile community, there are many different opinions about how often estimation should be performed and how detailed an estimate should be. Some teams prefer not to estimate at all – time spent making estimates is time that could have been spent creating…

Stay on Track: Service Level Agreements
Project Management

Stay on Track: Service Level Agreements

Service level agreements (SLAs) precisely define the responsibilities of a service provider to their customers. They can range from formal binding contracts to informal agreements. Depending on the service or industry involved, SLAs can cover service quality, availability/uptime, helpdesk hours, emergency responses, delivery times and more. Comparing service levels over time to the agreement is a good way to track performance. Service level agreements are an efficient mechanism to keep misunderstandings, inconsistencies and disappointments at a minimum. Service Level Agreements…