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Lean Concepts/ Project Management Techniques David M. Kasprzak My Flexible Pencil

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Presentation on theme: "Lean Concepts/ Project Management Techniques David M. Kasprzak My Flexible Pencil"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lean Concepts/ Project Management Techniques David M. Kasprzak My Flexible Pencil Twitter: @FlexiblePencil

2 0 Career spent in planning, monitoring & control of major programs, primarily for USG & DoD 0 DEA – $90M Worldwide IT infrastructure Deployment budget development & justification 0 CSC – Pricing for Major proposals ($100M+) 0 BAE, RTN, ESA – Program Planning & Control, SDLC - Hardware Engineering & Manufacturing Production 0 2009 – Introduced to Lean via 8-week training class by Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership 0 2010 – Started My Flexible Pencil blog

3 0 We are inundated with data and measurements Cash Flows Balance Sheets Critical Path Analysis Estimate at Completion Conversion Costs Full Time Equivalents Return on Investment Net Present Value Failure Mode Effect Analysis Use Cases Key Performance IndicatorsEarned Value Management Statistical Process Control Aged Receivables Inventory Turns Unique Daily Visitors Page Hits Mean Time Between Failures 0 That which can not be measured cannot be managed 0 While this is true Quantification is not enough to understand how people work, how organizations work, and how people within organizations work. 0 Data and analytics are indicators that point to where problems lie, they are not determinants of where problems begin 0 True understanding of how a workplace performs necessitates a qualitative understanding of behavior

4 0 Lean is not 0 A manufacturing process 0 A quality system 0 A cost reduction methodology 0 An efficiency protocol 0 Lean is a philosophy of work 0 Shingo Model for Operational Excellence based on principles of: 0 Easier 0 Better 0 Faster 0 Cheaper 0 In that order & that order Only!

5 0 Muda is most often discussed as the driving force behind Lean 0 Necessary waste 0 Just plain waste 0 Muda, however, is the result of 2 forces 0 Mura 0 Unevenness 0 Muri 0 Overburdening 0 The key to eliminating these negative forces, and replacing them with more positive habits, is understanding the entire system 0 Process 0 People

6 0 What is Value? 0 Any activity that changes the product/service in a way that is desired by the customers 0 Wastes: 0 Motion 0 Waiting 0 Defects 0 Inventory 0 Transportation 0 Overprocessing 0 Overproduction 0 Human Creativity

7 0 Shop floor: Parts and products move 0 The space within which parts move is physical and easy to see 0 The parts are tangible 0 Minimizing the materials, space and processes necessary to assemble parts and turn them into products reduces waste 0 Project teams: Information and data move 0 The space may be physical but is primarily virtual 0 Very little that is physical or tangible moves 0 Minimizing the materials, space and processes necessary to assemble and share bits of information and turn them into work products reduces waste

8 0 Some aspects of the shop floor apply directly to the project office: 0 Having team members sit in single location, rather than distributed 0 Aligning chairs, desks, printers, etc. to minimize unnecessary foot steps 0 Neat, clean, orderly work environment 0 This focus on the physical & tangible, however, is missing the point 0 Since information is what is moving, we need to think about how to move the information more efficiently, and not just the people who are processing it 0 An examination of common behaviors within white-collar, project environments, will reveal habits that prevent or inhibit the flow of information, leading to unevenness, overburden, and inefficiency

9 0 A Project Manager has a series of meetings with sub-teams once each week. She always has slides prepared for each meeting, takes diligent notes, and expects her team leaders to have slides done, too, so that they can communicate status and identify new actions that arise from the individual contributors on each of the sub-teams. Monthly, the PM summarizes these issues in a presentation for her management. 0 Wheres the value? 0 Overprocessing occurs when additional work is performed beyond that which is necessary to produce the products specified by the customer. Any situation where there are extra steps added to a process that dont add any additional value generates Overprocessing waste.

10 0 A project manager has the opportunity to start several tasks early, however, he is forced to wait for his counterparts team to complete several preceding activities. Due to the waterfall development schedule, he is caught in a push system where he must wait for information to be passed to him, when the counterpart is able to provide it. The inability to pull information from his supplier when required means he must put his team on standby until the necessary inputs arrive. 0 Wheres the value? 0 If a manufacturing cell is dependent upon the machine shop to complete fabrication of parts, and those parts are late, the cell is sitting, idle, waiting for the input it needs to do its work. 0 In the project environment, the exact same thing often occurs when the predecessor activity does not finish, and the dependent activity is delayed. This leaves the resources assigned to the dependent activity stuck in the mud.

11 0 A project manager habitually pulls in tasks, completing them in less time than planned, and ahead of the project schedule. At times, this requires driving his team to work some overtime. Deliverables are often stored, either physically or electronically, until customers - both internal and external – can make use of them. 0 Wheres the value? 0 It is often seen as a good thing to work ahead and deliver early. Unfortunately, doing so could create a situation where the inputs to downstream processes are stockpiled, or completed before other tasks. This can have negative consequences for cash flow, resource availability or, in the worst case, the work products resulting from those early tasks are out of synch with later developments, requiring them to be re-worked.

12 0 A project manager keeps her team updated through regular emails, and shares information she receives as quickly as possible to keep the entire team aware of on-going developments as they happen. She also has shared workspaces set up through a combination of internal wikis and shared team folders to make sure everyone has access to information at any time. 0 Wheres the value? 0 This is no different than building up a bunch of widgets and then moving them around on trucks to random destinations, simply because we have a lot of trucks. One of the major advantages of IT is that vast amounts of data can be moved rapidly from place to place. Unfortunately, with no regard for who needs specific information exactly when, the information is carried to unnecessary destinations. Simply because its moving doesnt mean that its adding value.

13 0 A project manager diligently defines the activities and deliverables of his team, making sure that the technical expertise of the group is poured into their work. By defining the quality and specifications for their own work, they assure that everything they produce is done according to their own expertise. 0 Wheres the value? 0 If performance doesnt meet the customers desires, youve got defects. Defects result in rework and scrap. Since things always change while trying to execute a project, especially in development environments where the path to the goal is uncertain, acceptance criteria also change. If one party in the exchange unilaterally determines what will be delivered, defects are inevitable.

14 0 A project manager spends most of her day communicating with team members, sponsors and stakeholders throughout the organization. Meetings are scheduled throughout most of the day, and most team members are invited so that information can be shared to all members of the team at once. 0 Wheres the value? 0 Getting up from the desk and heading to a conference room to share communications is wasteful, especially if no one wants or needs the information. Most meetings are held due to poor communication practices. Instead of allowing information to flow freely to those who need it, it is batched and queued until it becomes necessary to call a meeting. A much better practice is to have regular, frequent and immediate interactions, vertically and horizontally, in order to share information, detect problems, identify solutions, and take action.

15 0 A project manager, afraid that something on his project might be missed, generated extra documentation in support of his deliverables. Experience has taught him that you can never do too much. He has also learned to keep his team busy by adding extra features into the products, even if they were not asked for. 0 Wheres the value? 0 Project teams that consistently overproduce are often in an environment of fear and will generate reams of documentation to shield themselves from the wrath of senior managers, customers, or each other. 0 In more hospitable environments, overproduction comes about when team members simply have too much decision-making freedom and end up trying to go above and beyond customer specs. This can be a tricky situation. Customers love to get more than they were expecting, however, there is a big difference between adding extra value to the customer and wasting a projects resources.

16 0 Wasted Human Creativity 0 Also referred to as wasted talent or potential, the 8th waste is controversial in that it is not a part of the original 7 wastes declared in the Toyota Production System. 0 Many argue that wasted human creativity is just the outcome of the other 7 – if people are busy producing waste, they arent engaging their own ability to innovate. 0 Others see wasted creativity as the 8th waste, as the root cause of all the others. 0 Wasted potential doesnt come from the inability to get over inefficient processes and engage the intellect, rather, inefficient processes occur when people are downtrodden and disrespected, and their intrinsic motivation to seek excellence is all but destroyed.

17 0 Overcoming this waste is as simple as the words of General George S. Patton: 0 Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. 0 People understand the need to deliver and keep customers satisfied….even delighted! 0 If they are not focusing on the customer, it is likely that something is distracting them. That distraction may very well be the overwhelming burden of process guidelines that force their thinking into narrow, acceptable boxes.

18 0 The rules that determine how people are supposed to go about managing their tasks, or the project as a whole, tend to thwart attempts at experimentation and the resulting process improvement. 0 Tight guidelines on project teams bottle up the potential that their team members are capable of. 0 Over-arching project management guidelines are enforced to the letter of the law by senior managers and internal auditors, to the point that they suffocate project teams and drive out their natural desire to test & learn.

19 0 The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg 0 Cue, Response & Reward are psychological fundamentals 0 Understanding how we respond to stimuli necessary for changing behavior 0 Developing good habits leads to greater productivity & creativity 0 Developing Better Habits: 0 The Lean Startup – Eric Ries 0 Constantly testing ideas as part of an experiment allows you to Pivot or Persevere 0 Drive – Dan Pink 0 Motivation is intrinisc. You can not motivate people, you can only de-motivate them 0 Imagine – Jason Lehrer 0 It is necessary to struggle in order to achieve mental breaks with current expectations 0 Wait – Frank Portnoy 0 Delaying a decision as long as possible leads to better outcomes

20 0 Learn to Identify & Eliminate Waste 0 Experiment constantly 0 Fail Fast to Learn quickly 0 Embrace Emotional Intelligence 0 Practice constantly 0 Reinforce discipline 0 Easier-Better-Faster Cheaper, in that order, always!

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