What is Lean Project Management? Benefits and Principles

Lean Project Management

What is Lean Project Management?

Lean project management refers to applying lean manufacturing principles to the practice of project management. Lean project management aims to maximize value and minimize waste. Toyota developed lean manufacturing principles in the 1950s. They were then applied in 1970 to address the energy crisis. In the late 1980s, “lean” was first used. Project Management Institute summarizes it as “To be lean is to provide what you need, when you need it, with minimal materials, equipment, labor, or space.”

Three types of waste are identified by lean manufacturing: muri, muda, and mura (collectively known as the 3M).

  • Muda is an activity that uses resources but does not add value.
  • Muri is an acronym for the excessive use of equipment and employees
  • Mura’s operational “unevenness” reduces efficiency and productivity over the long-term

Lean project management aims to reduce the 3M within the project process.

What are the Benefits of Lean Project Management

Lean project management is a method that allows organizations to expect:

  • Reduced lead times
  • Storage and inventory costs are lower
  • Lower overall costs
  • Productivity and efficiency improvements
  • Greater quality
  • Higher customer satisfaction

Also read: Top 10 Project Planning Software

5 Key Principles of Lean Project Management

first published in 1996, the book Lean Thinking, by James P. Womack & Daniel T Jones was. It outlines five principles that can be applied to project management using the lean concept.

  1. Specify the value: What’s the customer’s perception of the project?
  2. The value stream map: This shows the entire process of creating the product or project. Once the process has been mapped, it is possible to analyze for waste such as unneeded steps that tax resources, or compromise quality.
  3. Create value by eliminating waste: Creating an improvement plan will help eliminate waste from the value stream. This plan is a “future status” for the project’s progress.
  4. Value flow is at the customer’s request: It is best to move the project along or create the product as requested by the customer. This is a great way to save money and reduce inventory.
  5. Embrace Continuous improvement is the key to perfection: Regularly evaluate your project process in order to reduce waste and maximize productivity.

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