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…

Continuous improvement: Kaizen
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Continuous Improvement: Kaizen

Improvement is not a one-time event. There is no shortage of techniques, tools and software that present themselves as the solution to all of your problems, but real-world business environments are never that simple. Lasting change happens in increments, over time, each new improvement building on the one before. Today we’ll look at how applying the Japanese concept of Kaizen brings continuous improvement to your business practices, increases productivity and improves team morale. What is Kaizen? In Japanese, Kaizen is…

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 benefits
Process Improvement, Team Performance

The Top 10 Benefits of Kanban

Kanban is a method applied across all fields of work to help teams drive down costs and become more efficient by visualising and improving workflows. Kanban gives you the flexibility to build sustainable competitive advantage and empower your team to accomplish more tasks, faster. In this article we’ll take a look at 10 benefits of Kanban for your business. 1. Better visibility Visualisation is an important Kanban practice, and the most recognisable feature of the methodology is the Kanban board….

Understanding Your Data: Kanban Analytics
Process Improvement, Team Performance

Understanding Your Data: Kanban Analytics

Kanban processes improve by continuously making incremental changes. Effective changes are built upon intelligible and unambiguous data. A picture is worth a thousand words – how many data points does a chart convey? In this article we’ll take a look at how you can use Kanban analytics to understand your data, spot issues and make your process more efficient. Cumulative flow diagram The cumulative flow diagram tracks the total amount of tasks in progress. Each coloured band shows a different…

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…

Кanban team productivity
Team Performance

Evaluate Team Productivity: Throughput Histogram

Project managers are ultimately assessed by how fast and how much their team delivers. In the Kanban Method, throughput is the key measure of team productivity. No matter how many tasks are being worked on, throughput only measures what has been completed. While kanban throughput is commonly displayed as a bar chart, you can gain much better insights into your process by using a throughput histogram. Histograms display the frequency distribution of your data. Learning to read these charts enables…

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…