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Should I replace the lean process in my company with a more effective solution?

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I found this course very informative and easy to understand. I am just getting started in working with supply chains/manufacturing and enjoyed this free course.
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KEYWORD: agile manufacturing

In this article, we focus on the question of whether it is necessary for businesses to consider replacing the ‘lean process’ with ‘agile management, which by doing so, whether they would be able to find a  more effective solution, which business institutions, ranging from manufacturers to service providers have been confronted with. While answering this question,  we argue each method is complementary to another and come to a conclusion that the question of making a choice does not arise. The article substantiates the reasons for arriving at such a conclusion.

Lean Management has been in vogue for over 70 years and has created a niche for itself by providing value to Organisations. With its roots in the Toyota Production System, (TPS), lean management has spread its wings from manufacturing to service operations by identifying and eliminating activities, which are found to be redundant for the customers. By providing a platform for the systematic analysis of processes and value streams, it has been possible to reduce waste, boost performance via a combination of techniques that has its focus on cost control, product quality, employee engagement and all eventually resulting in utmost satisfaction to the end-user. Its sustained value can be seen in its mindset on providing ‘continuous improvement’, while at the same time, offering flexible working processes in which everyone in the team contributes by ways ideas and suggestions. The Organisations become better by getting themselves freed from non-value generating tasks to ones that are robust and bring value to the customers. We can, therefore, safely dispel the thinking whether we need to find replace it with another method. Nonetheless, business being dynamic in nature, there is always a quest for looking at other methods to determine what suits best particular business needs businesses and it is in this context, an analysis is made up of agile manufacturing hereunder.  

Nonetheless, business being dynamic in nature, there is always a quest for looking at other methods to determine what suits best particular business needs businesses and it is in this context, an analysis is made up of agile processes hereunder.  

Agile is much more of a recent origin, more directed in software development,  in that it came into being since the 1990s, which got further accelerated with the release of the ‘Agile Manifesto’ in 2001. Since then, it has expanded into other areas of business as for instance, banking, telecommunication, etc. It has further found its applications in heavy industries as mining, oil and gas, etc.

Agile does occupy a premium space in the business practices, for the reason that it is much more flexible for adoption. By being iterative in nature, it provides the scope for a nascent opportunity to develop prototypes of a new product, thus serving the needs of the customers in a fast phased manner. It allows the teams to capture feedback via quick cycles, which can lead to refining the product over a period of time, until it attains the requisite maturation. In view of its flexibility and suppleness, Agile has expanded its scope from product development into a lot more activities across the board. 

From the foregoing, it emerges that there is ample justification for dispelling the misconception that lean and agile management are mutually exclusive. Each one has its place. It is not as if one scores over another.

The takeaway of this article then is that both lean and agile systems are successfully operating in a range of environments as they share an identical set of fundamental objectives, which is to deliver a value proposition to the customers. However, what may be of move relevance is to discover ways and means within both the systems to learn and improve and connect strategy to goals, which would give your business a meaningful purpose.

Other Keywords:

BUSINESS, AGILE, LEAN, PROCESS, CUSTOMER, PRODUCT, METHOD, REPLACE, MANUFACTURE, ARTICLE

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