Lean Wednesday Tip: Product Development Costs

“During the design and planning phase of your product is the best time to identify and deal with problems. Being able to understand the many ways your product can fail before costly investments are made in equipment or customer will keep costs down and client satisfaction high.”

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Lean Wednesday Tip: Optimize productivity with Visual Tasks (Kanban)

“By using visual task boards (Kanban) that portray clear time-frames and expectations coupled with the prioritization of tasks including preventative plans for mitigating the unexpected is a great way to optimize productivity. It is important that work-in-progress is kept low to reduce over-production. You can also encourage employees to collaborate on tasks as well.”

When to Automate a Process

Many Managers and leaders ask this question, “When do I know its time to automate a Process?” The simplest answer is that automation of a process is critical when the well-being of your employees is being impaired, too much time is spent on manual input and putting out fires; and less time is dedicated to strategic planning and achieving strategic goals.

Leaders must constantly measure process performance as this includes, process cycle time, lead times, and process costs coupled with benchmark comparisons to truly understand how they fare with their competitors. For example, say you wanted to automate your Accounts Payable function. You would first create a process map to identify inefficiencies in the process, test and implement new controls, track and analyze Key Measures of Performance (cost per invoice, process cost, process cycle time, days to resolve a problem, et cetera) and compare data to your competitors. If you realize that the cost per invoice and process cycle time is significantly higher than your competitors it is wise to consider automation software.

However, before integrating software to automate the process you must compare the total costs and see if new and tested controls or alternative low cost methods can reduce costs and cycle time without the integration.

A process in dire need of automation can be detected by increase in poor quality, delivery and productivity. A process can not run smoothly if any of these process efficiency characteristics (quality, delivery and productivity) is not meeting business and customer requirements.

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Aligning product success metrics with customer priorities and strategic goals

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a great week. This week’s Notable Tip is focused on the development of valuable and critical product KPI metrics. If you are not measuring and monitoring the most important metrics of your product’s performance progress then you are missing valuable insights that can help you optimize your product. Below I end this post with a short message on how to ensure product success with well-developed measures of performance.

As always, “Success is continuous improvement.”

“Properly designed measures of performance are aligned with strategic goals of a company as well as with its customers’ priorities. They should be to the point, clearly written, focused and measure what is of value to the customer (product/service attributes).”

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Quality Improvements

Happy Friday! I hope you had a fabulous week!

Today, I was thinking about quality. As you have learned, Quality is what the customer says it is, not what you think it is. When does quality begin and how do you ensure your efforts bear fruit in a quality improvement engagement?

“Quality begins with education as it enhances your ability to see the big picture and supports deeper understanding of the activities that must take place in order for any quality improvement engagement to be successful.”

 

I hope you enjoyed this short tip and as always, “Success is continuous Improvement.”

 

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