Hey y’all, hope we didn’t let you wait for long! ;)
(If you didn’t get the context, make sure to check out the last post, brb)
Now moving ahead, we have the “LEAN METHODOLOGY” to talk about.
When done correctly, Lean can create huge improvements in efficiency, cycle time, productivity, material costs, and scrap, leading to lower costs and improved competitiveness. And remember, lean isn’t restricted to manufacturing. It can improve how a team works together, inventory management, and even client interaction.
PART- II: A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF “LEAN METHODOLOGY” AND ITS 5 DIFFERENT PRINCIPLES.
What is “Lean Methodology”?
Lean focuses on value validation. That is, determining if there is a market for your idea.
The Lean Methodology perceives the elimination of any form of waste as problem-solving, which adds value during the development of the product. Therefore, the chances of a business succeeding are greater, without having to concentrate on the creation of the “perfect” product.
The goal is to understand the lean methodology and its approach to eliminating waste — the non-value-added components in any process.
As Eric Ries says, “Lean Start-up is about minimizing waste, so you will have two or three founders working in the development of a product. They will work to prove an idea. With luck, this will lead to investments, which will allow them to try other ideas. Through this validated learning, the team grows through the process as the product and the business progress.”
There are many great examples based on Lean Methodology. Here’s one of them, “TOYOTA”
The automobile giant was perhaps the first major company to adopt this lean ideology in its manufacturing processes, initially calling the method the Toyota Production System (TPS). One of the world’s great manufacturing success stories is TPS — the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including its interaction with suppliers and customers.
TPS is known more generically as “lean manufacturing.” It was created by Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda and Toyota chief engineer Taiichi Ohno. The primary goal of TPS is to eliminate waste, called “muda.” The “seven wastes” is a tool to further categorize “muda.”
They work with two primary processes that allow their goals to be reached,
The first is a process called “Jidoka”, which translates roughly to “mechanization with the help of humans.” And the second part is known as the “Just In Time” or JIT model. This ensures that the next step of a process is only started once the previous phase is completed.
So, what are the “5 principles of Lean methodology”?
Womack and Jones defined the five principles of Lean methodology in their book “The Machine That Changed the World”.
The five principles are considered a recipe for improving workplace efficiency and include:
- “Define Value”-
Value is what the customer is willing to pay for. It is paramount to discover the actual or latent needs of the customer. Sometimes customers may not know what they want or are unable to articulate it. This is especially common when it comes to novel products or technologies.
There are many techniques such as interviews, surveys, demographic information, and web analytics that can help you decipher and discover what customers find valuable. By using these qualitative and quantitative techniques you can uncover what customers want, how they want the product or service to be delivered, and the price that they afford.
So, what value does Toyota provide?
The space in the background within the logo exhibits the “infinite values” that Toyota conveys to its customers: superb quality, value beyond expectation, the joy of driving, innovation, safety, the environment, and social responsibility.
2. “Map the Value Stream”-
The goal is to use the customer’s value as a reference point and identify all the activities that contribute to these values. Activities that do not add value to the end customer are considered waste.
By reducing and eliminating unnecessary processes or steps, you can ensure that customers are getting exactly what they want while at the same time reducing the cost of producing that product or service.
Toyota maps the value stream by The Toyota Production System (TPS) concept.
First, human engineers meticulously build each new line component by hand to exact standards.
Eventually, the value added by the line’s human operators disappears, meaning any operator can use the line to produce the same result. Only then is the Jidoka mechanism incorporated into actual production lines. Through the repetition of this process, machinery becomes simpler and less expensive, while maintenance becomes less time-consuming and less costly, enabling the creation of simple, slim, flexible lines that are adaptable to fluctuations in production volume.
3. “Create flow”-
After removing the wastes from the value stream, the following action is to ensure that the flow of the remaining steps runs smoothly without interruptions or delays.
Some strategies for ensuring that value-adding activities flow smoothly include: breaking down steps, reconfiguring the production steps, leveling out the workload, creating cross-functional departments, and training employees to be multi-skilled and adaptive.
Over the past few years, Toyota has also developed the Toyota Flow System (TFS).
The TFS model aims to sustain the flow of value to the customer, who is the center of the TFS universe. The TFS can be described as a system of patterns, practices, and techniques to enable organizations and institutions to achieve desired outcomes in a complex world.
The TFS is a system of understanding and not a one-size-fits-all framework.
4. “Establish Pull”-
A pull-based system allows for Just-in-time delivery and manufacturing where products are created at the time that they are needed and in just the quantities needed.
Pull-based systems are always created from the needs of the end customers.
By following the value stream and working backward through the production system, you can ensure that the products produced will be able to satisfy the needs of customers.
Toyota uses “Just-in-Time” for improving productivity. And have stated,
”Making only “what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed.”
5. “Pursue Perfection”-
The last principle of pursuing “perfection” is the most important among them all.
But is it actually about being “perfect” of all?
Probably, the answer is NO.
“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.”
By focusing on perfection, you stay in a continuous process of improvement. You should strive toward perfection while delivering products based on the customer’s needs.
Keep yourself in the constant loop of learning and always find ways to get better each and every day.
Via the philosophies of “Daily Improvements” and “Good Thinking, Good Products”, TPS has evolved into a world-renowned production system. Even today, all Toyota production divisions are making improvements to TPS day and night to ensure its continued evolution.
As lean techniques begin to be applied up and down the value stream, something very odd starts to happen. It dawns on those involved that there is no end to the process of reducing effort, time, space, cost, and mistakes while offering a product that is ever more nearly what the customer actually wants.
Why should that be?
Because the four initial steps interact with one another in a virtuous circle. A more precise definition of value always challenges the steps in the value stream to reveal waste, and getting value to flow faster always exposes hidden “muda”. Then, the harder customers pull, the more the impediments to flow are revealed, permitting them to be removed.
Therefore, the Lean Methodology discovers inefficiencies in the organization and delivers better value to customers. The principles encourage creating better flow in work processes and developing a continuous improvement culture.
By practicing all 5 principles, an organization can remain competitive, increase the value delivered to the customers, decrease the cost of doing business, and increase its profitability.
Different environments call for different approaches and methodologies, and with something as complex as a business transformation, sticking to a one-size-fits-all methodology is vicious. Instead, we need to be able to mix and match the techniques that best suit our situation, while ensuring that key aspects of a transformation are considered.
“Excellence one at a time. See them in your mind’s eye: Marketing, Operations, Manufacturing, IT, Engineering, Design, and on and on in a tidy row of crisp, well-run silos.”
Now you get the point of failing, right? It’s all about learning.
Keep experimenting, be conscious of your decisions, listen to your customers, and have an ultimate experience throughout the journey of creating your product.
Before being a successful UI/UX Design agency, we failed enough times to realize the importance of these methodologies in building start-ups. But again, every time we failed we got redirected to new directions, providing innovative ideas. And that’s the beauty of these methodologies, they spark a new level of empathy. It only leads to a deeper understanding.
And, that’s always a WIN.
And as Braden Kelley explains, “don’t fail fast — learn fast” to innovate faster you need to learn from the things that you have done that went well, and from the ones that didn’t.
Therefore, it’s not about failing. It’s about how fast we learned from those mistakes and paved the way for success!
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