Sunday, July 05, 2009

Introduction To Lean

Recently I was watching the web cast on Lean Concepts for IT Professionals by Durnall and Parkinson. They have provided a very good introduction about lean covering its history and principles. It is an hour video and worth watching. While watching the video, I made some notes and here are some of them :

1. Mass manufacturing addresses the challenge of volume, where as the Lean addresses the challenge of variation

2. When volume doubles, economies of scale reduce cost by 15 - 20% per unit but costs go up 15% to 35% every time variety doubles.

3. Jidoka is all about automation. Humans are flexible but not good at repetitive tasks, however Machines are good at repetitive tasks but are not flexible. Jidoka talks about using both Humans and Machines to create a good system

4. In Ford the machines in the assembly lines are stopped around 8 – 10 times a day but in Toyota, they stop the machines nearly 27000 times a day. This is mainly because, each time any employee of the company finds a fault with the product, they stop and do root cause analysis before allowing the machines to run. The quality gets built in by the time the product is rolled out.

5. There are 8 different kinds of wastes that can happen in a system
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Unnecessary Transportation
  • Over-processing
  • Excess Inventory
  • Unnecessary Movement
  • Defects
  • Unused employee creativity
6. Toyota CFO expects the entire financial year report on an A3 size format, so that only needed information has been added rather than waste

7. There are two kinds of Kaizen, Point and Flow

8. There are two sets of people, the bike thinker and the frog thinker. Basically, a bike can be disassembled easily, individual components can be optimized and put back. However a frog, once disassembled cannot be optimized in isolation without affecting the other parts. Software development needs Frog thinking.

No comments: