At all times, the market has pursued ways to achieve an improvement in the efficiency of those essential business processes so that, among other things, profitability increases, which is an indicator that shows how the organization can have continuity over time and really just to see if they are doing things right.
Lean Project Management seeks to offer quality services quickly and meeting customer expectations.
This methodology mixed in with agile methodologies is offering a new way of managing and controlling the performance and productivity of companies.
The competitiveness of the market is turning companies into finding ways to manage daily work that allows them to remain among the elite companies. The reality is that efficiency is no longer sought; most companies are efficient or at least efficient based on a set of standards with some room to improve.
What matters now is to add to that efficiency a few quick executable tasks that fully meet customer expectations. Do you think it’s possible? We assure you that yes, many methodologies have emerged in recent years to respond to this need.
Why you should utilize lean project management
The Lean project management eliminates anything that does not add value to the final product, thus focusing only on what is necessary for the present moment. In this way, it dispenses with useless meetings, secondary tasks that do not contribute anything to the result, useless documentation, and methods that do not lead to effective work.
As with agile methodologies in Lean Project Management, teamwork takes precedence and this team also functions as a single entity. Each member of the team contributes to the best of their skills so that the group’s work is optimized. In this methodology, each team has a project manager who provides them with the means and resources they need to ensure the effectiveness of their work.
Furthermore, in Lean culture, learning is highly encouraged. There is always room for improvement and you can always become a better version of yourself. For this reason, decisions are only made when an answer with the appropriate quality can be given. The result of applying this form of management is a company that is much more competitive and ready for the current market.
Lean project management has the final objective of adding value to the customer through the services and/or products offered most efficiently. It is based on principles related to the minimization of waste, that is, reducing downtime, duplication of tasks or simply avoiding unnecessary tasks. What is sought is to improve continuously and for this, they use learning as an instrument to make processes more efficient.
If we resort to the Pareto Law, we must know that 20% of the characteristics of a product will possibly represent 80% of the benefits demanded by the client. If we work according to the logic of monitoring, measurement, and learning continuously, it is possible to quickly detect faults and save costs by intervening at the precise moment before the impact generated is worse. This methodology is enhanced by applying it in well-structured work modes, such as periodic work meetings that help identify and communicate any type of deviation, to reduce interruptions, standardize responses through a customer service channel, etc.
The origin of this methodology was its application in industries, like Toyota, aimed at production processes, such as production or supply chains, but currently, the Lean methodology can be applied in consulting, customer service, etc. Basically, any type of project that has processes, human and material resources, are willing to optimize and apply this methodology.
For the philosophy that applies the Lean methodology to achieve the expected success, it must be internally subject to every level that the organization has, starting with management. Lean intends for the organization to work globally, promoting autonomy, but promoting the contributions of each element. The Lean methodology also pays special attention to the motivation of employees, in their training and adequate understanding of the role they have in the assigned project, always considering personal expectations.
What are the principles of the Lean methodology?
- Provide added value to the client
- Higher quality by eliminating waste, that is, achieving efficiency in the value chain
- Linking of collaborators
- Constant learning, which translates into continuous improvement
Thanks to the challenge of working with rapid cycles of testing, learning, and error, this methodology allows acquiring and accumulating knowledge at a rapid rate by workers, which can also be shared throughout the organization.
Lean methodology application phases example
We will show the phases of the development of the Lean application in an organization:
Diagnosis: through an audit carried out on the project, which will analyze the processes put in place and establish the added value offer for the client.
Detection of improvement areas: taking into account the waste that has been detected, it will be necessary to establish the necessary improvement lines.
Establishment of objectives: the areas that have been subjected to optimization must be detailed using specific objectives.
Indicators: these areas of improvement will have linked performance indicators and will be followed up with the necessary periodicity.
Application of the Lean methodology: in the areas of improvement the established changes will be carried out, these will be carried out for a suitable time so that the application of this methodology can be successfully concluded.
Results: In the end, it is necessary to compare the results that have been obtained with what was had at the beginning, checking the indicators associated with the processes to assess whether the desired efficacy has been achieved.
To know to what extent the processes must be optimized, it is essential to understand the needs that the client requests, what they require and what they appreciate the most. This must be done periodically so that the improvement appreciated by users is continuous and to respond to the changes that occur in the needs according to the times.
On the other hand, it is necessary to evaluate the level of production that the organization has. This is a factor of extreme importance to avoid work overloads and the negative effects that this generates.
The global evaluation of the elements linked to the projects is essential when applying the principles of the Lean methodology in the organization to achieve improvements in efficiency, that is, achieve the desired profitability.
The use of Lean, Agile, Prince, or Project Management will depend on the culture of the organization. There are many that still use traditional project management methodologies. These companies are usually bigger and have a Project Management Office. Lean concentrates on the customer and Agile gets stuff done fast.
Lean has been seen as a combination of many methodologies that work with the organization with a strong concentration of eliminating waste. The elimination of waste could be the many tools used in traditional project management. It makes sense not to work on things that do not benefit the customer.
What is your preference? What has worked best for you? How many resources were available to you? Answers to this will help figure out which method or combination you will use.