Toyota Lean Methods

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Description of how lean methods (Toyota) can be applied to IT Introduction: Lean methods are management philosophies that have been derived from the Toyota Production System which are being used successfully world over in the manufacturing sector. The lean methods primarily look at the elimination of waste (Muda) in the manufacturing process and also the waste created through unevenness in workloads (Mura) and that created through overburden (Muri). In IT the lean methods can be used to eliminate work that adds no value that is regarded as waste. Lean methodology can be used to ensure IT work is less repeatable which improves productivity. The Lean tools can be used in IT to reduce development times for software applications, improve the service…show more content…
The cost of maintaining these systems often exceed the benefits associated. Waiting: These are elements of waste that arise due to slow application response times which lead to reduced productivity and lost revenue. Non-Value Added Processing: It is often seen in IT that day in and day out there are hundreds of reports that are churned out and sent to a huge distribution list. It is seldom reviewed if the reports are really of any value to the recipients and is an unnecessary waste of resources. Transportation: These arise due to onsite visits to resolve issues with the software or hardware. These lead to higher operational expenses. Excess Inventory: This arises when they have excess resources for application development or underutilized hardware. These lead to increased costs and lost productivity. Excess Motion: This is due to fire-fighting day to day problems in the IT infrastructure and applications which most often are repeated issues which lead to lost productivity. Unused Employee Knowledge: This issue arises when employees spend time on mundane tasks which hinders the generation of innovative ideas. This leads to low job satisfaction and leakage of…show more content…
This is used to improve and control the level of production in manufacturing units through maintaining limits for the work in progress that ensures the systems are not overloaded. In the IT sector Kanban methods can be used for software development by managing the work thereby ensuring the team members are not overloaded with work. Kanban boards can be used which gives a visual representation of the various features of the product with the stage of development the feature of the software is in. This clearly tells the team members what to produce, when to produce and how much to produce. Flow – This is a concept of lean that relates to unevenness in workloads or Mura. This can be used in IT to eliminate the unevenness which normally might get missed if the focus is purely on Muda (waste). An example is the software development of a piece of code using a programing language. The language may be used as it is known to all the team members and is optimal which ensure there is zero Muda, however if the language lacks an API standard through which the clients access the code then it leads to a waste. This can be avoided by focus on Mura which will expose this hidden

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