Lean Business Case

Lean case is the pathway that works with Lean business plan. Every Business needs some essential things for the success and growth of business so the lean plan contains these essentials such as Strategy, marketing tactics, offering tactics, financial tactics, forecasts of sales, metrics, schedule, costs, expenses, milestones, assumptions and cash. It is not documented and already decided plan, it is a streamlined plan which is being updated with time for forwarding business. So, it could be presented to the lenders and the investors for the establishment of business any further.

Principles of Lean Business Case

It can take time for the management practices to update anything like technologies, environment and development that are continuously evolving. Think about this for a while that the senior people of the organization do not want any changes in the rules and plans of the business then that kind of their behavior is harmful for the success of the business. So, that’s why the old business personalities will not be able run their businesses effectively anymore.

Let’s discuss main principles of the Lean Case;

  1. Strategic:

Add new strategies in your business on the demands of market and environment. This obviously will be useful and supporting for the success of your business.

  1. Hypotheses:

You should make hypotheses, do experiment according to the market demand and repeat them until you do not get the desire results. Sometimes you will experience that the results will remain same because some facts do not change.

  1. Little Bets:

By using cheap lean experiment and quick strategies, make small gambles to decrease the cost of loss and to increase the rate of success. It is the best way to get success that you have a lot of ideas.

  1. Focus on outcomes:

Always focusing on the upcoming goals or outcomes, and not restricting the outputs and plan should be directional. Use different and new methodologies which are evolving for your business model.

— Slimane Zouggari

Blind men and the elephant

Blind men and the Elephant is the story of six blind men who are trying to describe picture by touching. They found a picture and these sightless people did not know about it so they were doing effort to recognise and comprehend the picture. Someone is telling after touching its ears that it is fan, second one tells his tail, a rope. Same like this the other four persons describe this object with the help of their own perception.

Moral

By this story we get a simple theory about things or situations and anything else that we cannot understand just by observing. We can get the idea by questioning and discussion.

Transposition to Software Development:

They should have guessed the tail as a tail, if the blind people knew about the picture that it is an elephant. Same like this, you can find different stories in the field of business and software development. If they are developing or producing something and they do not know about that what they are producing and what is its purpose even the owner of the product does not know about the real purpose of the product as well then it will become useless and time wasting. Anyone do not want to go in such situation so they should avoid it. The team must be raising the questions and they should be arguing about the product. By this they can get the main purpose of making the product clearly and so that they will be able to produce the required product efficiently.

No doubt, people have a tendency that they can represent their experiences as this is the whole truth but which is not; they do not like to listen or consider the experiences of other people. They should consider the experiences of other people and the experiences they have in software development to get the project done in the best way.

— Slimane Zouggari

Conway’s law

There is a need of project management software when a company is working on many projects at a time, they need to understand the business goals much better. If they are working on it and they think that there is no mistake in it but they get surprised the results are not same as the expected ones.

What is their mistake? Well, they ignored and neglected the importance of the Conway’s law. This is not considered as some scientific law but it is an effective plan for the organizations and its effects can be seen in the companies that are working in software development.

Now organizations have a need of this law in order to achieve the business goals set by them. People structure needs to be implemented so that all they teams must be aligned in an order to get the architecture of the software they need.

How it works

All you need to do is to map out the whole organization and then decide that does it meets the phases of the development process or not. If the organizational structure and development process are matched then what will be next when you are going to introduce Agile/Lean that is a different process flow?

As we know that all the departments are preoccupied with their local and internal efficiency. The concern of agile is about the overall efficiency of the process.

There is an important role of Conway’s Law in the construction of all the systems of the organization. This is due to the fact that the construction of all the products can eventually redirect that how the teams are communicating with each other and how the communication structure goes.

When the technical department is having all the technical abilities and their work is focused on the UI of one group, other group is doing process management, other one is looking on the infrastructure, another is checking the database, one of the groups is looking on the implementation of the business logic on the server; now communication structure must be defined so that all these groups can work with each other through communication.

So, Conway’s Law means structuring the working teams up for the betterment of the company.

— Slimane Zouggari

Takt time

Takt is basically a German word for the person in the orchestra whose work is to adjust and control to tempo on the music. So when we use Takt time then it means that we are talking about the rate time or beat time. We can say that when it is the time duration that is given to a product to complete so that we can meet the customer’s demands.

Let us take an example here, if a company is having a takt time of 10 minutes for the completion of the product then they will set the time to 10 minutes to produce the product in the machine. In this way the machine will produce the desired product every 10 minutes. If the takt time is one hour then we will set the time to one hour so that we should not exceed the deadline.

It is not actually the time in which a product is produced but it is the time that how we can meet the demand of the customer in the provided time.

Different Levels of Takt time

There are not many levels of takt time, the levels mean that how much you have to manage in how time. The means if you have multiple projects to work on then you will have to manage all of them simultaneously then you have to make different levels of takt time in order to manage them, then you can have a minute by minute report. You can clear all the distractions and disruptions coming all your way in the project.

It is the best tool you can use to manage your projects and it works effectively that you can create mantras for every minute you are working. Moreover, if any of the process is unable to get to work in takt time then you will have to level the demand, ask the engineering resources to take a look on the issue, and can check additional resources in order to get along with the takt time.

— Slimane Zouggari

STATIK

STATIK is an acronym for System Thinking Approach to Implementing Kanban. If you are considering implementing Kanban in your organization, you are required to familiarize yourself with the workability of the system prior to its execution in the organization. STATIK is a method of learning the workability and functionality of the system as a whole rather than analyzing its components individually.

Prior to the implementation of STATIK, you are required to introduce the facets of Kanban in your organization. The arrangement of the steps are independent of a sequence but, these steps unlock the next step to exhibit in a collaborative manner.

How Does it Work?

The application of STATIK is limited to one service; however, if you are considering adding more services, you are required to take Kanban practices to equate the demand and flow across the manifold services, which are improved over the course of time. However, you can go through the given steps to learn the workability of STATIK in an organization:

Analyzing the capability

In this step, the historical data regarding the service delivery is studied, and it is studied in accordance with lead time and quality. It is also studied in conformation to the regulatory standards or requirements that occurs during the process. In addition, it also takes the functional and non-functional quality of the data into its consideration.

Modeling the workflow

In this step, it is believed that the workflow modeling should be carried out individually for each type of a work item. It is highly significant to consider to the individualistic value of workflow, and it should not be intertwined with its counterparts like Gemba Walk techniques or Value Stream Mapping. Working in a professional setting requires Kanban to develop and model a workflow that is geared towards the STATIK approach for its accomplishment in an organization.

Designing the kanban system and negotiating its implementation in the organization:

A Kanban system compromises of four essential elements, which are the Kanban system, its corresponding Kanban, the design of the ticket, the design of the board, and adjustment to existing meetings. It also includes introducing new facets to adjust the Kanban Cadences, the feedback loops, to complete the design of the system.

In addition, for completing the design of the Kanban system, there is a requirement for implementing a workflow model which caters to various types of work, classes of service, and the state of work required for discovering latest information.

The inclusion of STATIK method motivates the collaborative workshops to indulge in the formation of the Kanban boards and systems in the organization, which correspondingly results in its design prepared for implementation in the organization.

— Slimane Zouggari

Obeya

Obeya (or Oobeya) is a Japanese word that means ‘big room’, ‘large room’ or ‘war room’. It is form of project management used by many companies to increase productivity. It is also an integral part of Toyota Production Systems, Volvo Group.

It is a lean manufacturing tool, in which a company sets aside a dedicated room where employees or workers can come together to discuss, deliberate and brainstorm on important issues or problems affecting them with a view to solving it. An obeya is a room where employees meet to share and manage information and make efficient decisions to move the company forward.

Obeyas are mainly created to solve a particular problem or work on a specific project. It is when they are used to solve a singular project or undertake a project that they are most effective. An obeya is mainly open to every relevant employee in an organisation.

TOYOTA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH OBEYA
One of the major companies that has always utilised the Obeya has been Toyota. They made it popular and used it extensively especially in the development of their products, to improve and streamline communication. Toyota is known as one of the first companies to use the Obeya that’s why it’s always associated with them. It is been utilised as an integral project-management tool.

Back in 1993, during the making and launch of it’s first Prius, Toyota put the Obeya into full practice. They carefully gathered all the essential management information for the project in one room called the Obeya. By doing this, every other information or tool that was not part of the project in any way were discarded. The team members focused exclusively on the product with the aim of bringing out the best. Obeya is one of the important elements in Toyota Production Systems.

HOW DOES IT WORK
Since every company possesses it’s own mode of operation and discipline, it’s safe to say that no two companies will employ the same Obeya. Nevertheless, no matter the type of Obeya used by an organisation, there are always similarities to look out for. Some of them are:

The presence of Computers, graphs, charts and drawings in the room to monitor the progress of the project.

Desks and tables for project members.

Any other useful resources or information needed by the team.

In the Obeya, team members can make use of the PDCA because of it’s numerous benefits. It involves :

Planning : Defining a particular problem and developing potential solutions to it.

Doing: This is the stage for implementing the proposed solution.

Checking: Evaluating the results to see whether the proposed solution is actually working or not.

Action: Here, members either return to the planning stage if the results aren’t satisfactory, or improve the solution if the results are expected.

BENEFITS OF OBEYA
EASY COMMUNICATION : One of the major importance of an obeya is to clamp down on the barriers that prevents employees from collaborating together. And also sharing information to make efficient decisions.

EFFICIENCY: By bringing together all the necessary information, and vital resources needed for a project together in one place, the project’s team can help save time and valuable resources.

FOCUS: Project leaders can easily focus on the issues at hand as long as the key team members are in the same room for discussion.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS: An obeya creates an atmosphere where employees can easily work together across disciplines to achieve a common goal.

— Slimane Zouggari

One Piece Flow

ONE PIECE FLOW
One piece flow is also known as single flow or continuous flow. Simply put, one-piece flow entails that various parts or products are moved from step to step through operations with a zero work-in-process (WIP) in between either a small batch at a time or one piece at a time. This is a kind of system that works very well in combination with a cellular layout. In this type of layout, all the necessary equipment needed is located within a cell and in the sequence in which it is used. The goal of every lean manufacturing is to achieve one piece flow in every operation possible. This is because achieving one piece flow involves the elimination of waste.

THE DIFFERENCE WITH BATCH PRODUCTION
Many of the wastes that are common with batch production like transportation and waiting are reduced greatly when using one piece flow.

Defects are not detected easily with batch production while the reverse is the case for one piece flow.

One Piece Flow is faster than batch production and this speed allows to wait longer and schedule the order properly.

APPLICATION IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
One Piece Flow is also important in software development because it ensures that the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is duly followed. By taking each process step by step the software is tested at intervals to know if it’s going according to plan. If it doesn’t it can be worked upon further by the programmers.

BENEFITS OF ONE PIECE FLOW
REDUCTION OF INVENTORY
Applying one piece flow basically means that each operation will only be required to produce what is needed by the next operation. No more no less. By doing this, inventory will not be allowed to pile up.

DOES NOT REQUIRE MUCH SPACE
As a result of the reduced inventory levels, less manpower will be required to manage it. Much space will not also be needed to carry this out. In addition, single piece flow usually results in cells which squeeze machines together and make it easy for a single operator to oversee, coordinate and organise many pieces of equipment with a reduced amount of effort.

PRODUCTS WITH FEW DEFECTS AND INCREASED QUALITY
There is always a reduced opportunity to manufacture products with defects because the batch size will be only one and there will not be loads of inventory to sort out. Therefore, if a product has defects, it can be easily picked out and looked upon thereby improving quality.

A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL
Since there is less inventory, every equipment and tool can be placed properly to avoid accidents. One of the causes of accidents in work places today is as a result of equipment not put in the proper place or overcrowded workstation.

IMPROVES OVERALL EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE
Employees are able to receive immediate response on their work since any production problem will be easily identified and resolved immediately. Team members will know for sure how well they are doing and how they can improve if need be.

SCALABILITY
Equipment can be designed smaller and with lower cost with one piece flow.

DISADVANTAGES OF ONE PIECE FLOW
One of the major criticisms of One Piece Flow is it’s inability to work when the transfer time begins to approach the work time.

Another problem is it’s inability to work with certain processes. An example of such process is shot blasting.

One Piece Flow is not also productive when a cell has to address a wide product variety with various routes, setup times and work times.

— Slimane Zouggari

Nagara

Nagara is a lean term that means balancing the cost of every action such as production and more value from clients. Ideally, you have to observe the balance of the production and it depends on the need and the availability of time. It is the process of creating flow for the elimination of waste in the production. For a lean organization, you must understand the value of the customers and focus on the thing that will continue the increasing factor. Your ultimate goal is to create the best services in the best time that do not sacrifice anything; in short, you are aiming to have zero waste.

Nagara is a Japanese terminology that has English equivalency of a term “while doing something”. It simply means that you do many things at a time with the aim not to waste anything at all.

When to use Nagara

Nagara is very effective to use when you want to do two work at the same time. Such as operating a machinery and assembling a thing at the same time. They say that using Nagara will provide efficiency and productivity to all the work that you do. It is true that you use it to do two or more work at the same time; however, it requires to have the talent and professionalism in doing while doing something.

Concrete example

You can see the concept in a daily application such as you can do works at a time. Example, when you are cleaning the dishes and cooking at the same time. When you are walking and at the same time, you are assembling a thing. That is the concept Nagara that you do every even you are not aware that you are doing it at all.

Variants

Sometimes Nagara that is a lean word means doing while doing something is not all the time applicable. Let say that you cannot attend two or more things at a time when your presence in need in one of the task assigned. Such as, you cannot do something while you are in a conference. In that case you, there is a distraction with your attention and you can end up wasting so much time and learning from nothing.

Criticisms

While others say that Nagara is a productive way to do a job, some firm does not really agree with the concept. They say that it is dangerous at times; because it divides, the attention of the operator in operating a machinery is not advisable to do another thing while in action. They say that it takes sometimes to master the design and do one two things at a time.

Nagara is a Japanese lean term that means doing while doing. You can observe that it is effective when the times that you want to maximize the cause of production and productivity of the worker but do not want to develop waste. You can observe Nagara in operating a machinery and at the same time, you are doing another such as assembling a thing at the same period. Even that there are some that do not really buy the concept; many are using Nagara in their operation.

— Slimane Zouggari

Value Stream Mapping 

Short History

This kind of mapping has been used for several years. As a matter of fact, the information about this was published in the 1918 book entitled as Installing Efficiency Methods by Charles E. Knoeppel. Later on, the latter form of diagramming was used with the Toyota Production System as well as by the whole lean manufacturing movement. Moreover, it became useful in terms of lean methodology in various places. It was soon applied to Six Sigma methodologies in the agile industry.

What is it?

Value stream mapping is actually a type of flowchart process in order to analyze, illustrate as well as enhanced the steps that are needed to deliver a specific product or service. With this, you can review the flow of the step process, and essential information from its origin to delivery to the client. In addition to this, it also uses a system of symbols to describe different work activities and flow of information.

The purpose of the value stream mapping is to search and eliminate waste. With this diagramming method, you will be able to identify the items that add value or not for your customer’s happiness and satisfaction. Meanwhile, to make the most out of the process, you can begin by simply sketching through your hand, and later on move to the VSM agile software in order to attain better analysis, communication and collaboration.

How VSM works in various fields?

Manufacturing

With value stream mapping, you can able to trace the waste in the production process. This can be done by simply analyzing every step of the handling of the materials and flow of information. Actually, this is efficient in the lean methodology.

Logistics and supply chain

VSM is one of the essential requirements in order to find out the waste and delays that can be costly in the production process.

Healthcare

With it, steps in treating the patients will be improved in the best possible way.

Common pitfalls

  • It requires persistent training. In order to make the most out of the value stream mapping technique, you must acquire the essential skills when it comes to symbol and mapping strategies. To do this, you can get the support and assistance of an expert and reliable facilitator.
  • Symbology can affect the way of thinking. Since the VSM uses symbols, there are some instances that you can use these symbols in an inappropriate manner. With this, you must be very careful enough to avoid possible problems that may occur in some future time.

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

The good thing about this type of method is that it can find and eliminate waste in the production process. As a result, you can now have the chance to deliver the best product or service in the best possible quality. In relation to it, you can also make more innovative solutions on how to attain a higher plateau of success when it comes to your business or organization.

In addition to that, you can also receive great amount of savings when it comes to your projects.

— Slimane Zouggari

Kaizen Blitz

Kaizen Blitz is an improvement workshop that was crafted to produce an approach to discrete process issues in just a few days. It is a more effective way so that teams within an organization can carry out a structured and creative problem solving and process improvement in a workshop environment in just a very short period of time.

When to use it?

The Kaizen Blitz can be useful in the agile industry. It can greatly help to improve the business process and projects in just a few weeks. With it, you can get the chance to attain a high level of commitment from those who are involved. Even more important, you can also focus more on having a practical as well as implementable solutions to specific problems that you may encounter in some future time. Moreover, with the Kaizen Blitz, there will also be a high level of management commitment that will be implemented as soon as possible.

When not to use it?

Always remember that Kaizen Blitz is not a “silver bullet”. It also has its own limitations especially in terms of complex, extensive as well as cross-functional systems. In this case, there is a possibility that you will not be able to formulate a systematic, true as well as root cause within a week.

To mention a few, the following are some of the possible problems that you may encounter when the usefulness of Blitz is unlikely.

  • Lacking management support
  • Insufficient sustainability after the event
  • Interruption in implementation after the event
  • Superficial training due to lack of time which results in poor understanding of Lean principles
  • Lack of data to formulate an effective analysis of root causes
  • Insufficient buy-in for proposed changes which come from those who are not involved in the event

On the other hand, there is also a risk in the Kaizen Blitz. It highly needs more amount of time in order to learn the principles, design methodology as well as tradeoffs. As a matter of fact, the general process is not as easy as what others might think. With this, it should be done with extra carefulness.

Concrete Examples

A great example of Kaizen Blitz is in a manufacturing industry. In the workplace, the level of stress is increasing among the employees. It is due to the higher work space, long hours of work, lack of resources, doing work for absent teammates as well as the blame for quality faults.

In this case, problems that emphasized the stress can be majorly caused by the layout of the workplace as well as the insufficiency of tools and equipment. Well, the best solution to reduce the stress is the cooperation in creating the change process, the team’s organization as well as the great support from the management.

With the use of Kaizen Blitz, you can create an excellent design, analysis, as well as a re-arrangement of the specific product. It can be implemented in estimated 2 to 10 days. The good thing about the Kaizen Blitz is that it produces more affirmative results that can generate enthusiasm and satisfaction with the organization’s team.

— Slimane Zouggari