24 June 2024

Agile, Lean and waste


  • A primary goal of Lean is to optimize the whole with speed and sustainability.
    • This can be summarized as “fast-flexible-flow,” which is the fundamental phrase used in Womack & Jones.


  • What is waste ?
    • Waste comes in three main forms :
      • Mura
        • waste due to variation
      • Muri
        • waste due to overburdening or stressing the people, equipment or system
      • Muda
        • also known as the “seven forms of waste”
          • Transportation,
          • Inventory,
          • Motion,
          • Waiting,
          • Over-production,
          • Over-processing,
          • Defects
        • Taxes are not one of the seven wastes.
          • Taxes are regulatory obligation and could not be considered as waste.

Muda (7 wastes)

  • Muda (7 wastes) most commonly associated with Lean :
    • Transportation :
      • is there unnecessary (non-value added) movement of parts, materials, or information between processes?
    • Waiting :
      • are people or parts, systems or facilities idle – waiting for a work cycle to be completed?
    • Overproduction :
      • are you producing sooner, faster or in greater quantities than the customer is demanding?
    • Defects :
      • does the process result in anything that the customer would deem unacceptable?
    • Inventory :
      • do you have any raw materials, work-in-progress (WIP) or finished goods that are not having value added to them?
    • Movement :
      • how much do you move materials, people, equipment and goods within a processing step?
    • Extra Processing :
      • how much extra work is performed beyond the standard required by the customer?
    • Sometimes you will also hear “the disengagement of people » identified as a form of muda.


  • Muda comes in two flavors called Type-1 muda and Type-2 muda.
    • What’s the difference ?
    • In both cases it fails to meet all three criteria for value-added as defined by your customer.
      • Type I muda
        • Non-value added, but necessary for the system to function.
        • Minimize this until you can eliminate it.
      • Type II muda
        • Non-value added and unnecessary.
        • Eliminate this first!

Extra motion

  • If excessive or unnecessary emails and document get forwarded multiple times sometimes with large attachments due to multiple distribution groups, it constitutes waste of type motion.
  • Do not confuse with “Extra Transportation” which refers to unnecessary motion or movement of raw materials or goods such, as work-in-process (WIP) being transported from one operation to another.


  • Jidoka is a Japanese term used for autonomation means “intelligent automation” or “humanized automation.”
    • In practice, it means that an automated process is sufficiently “aware” of itself so that it will detect when the desired quality is produced, detect process malfunctions, detect product defects, stop itself and alert the operator.
    • A future goal of autonomation is self-correction.


  • In lean agile the Testing is done to improve the process and quality.
    • The Testing activity should discover the causes of errors and eliminate them.
    • Root-cause analysis is part of the Testing’s portfolio of work.
    • In lean we work with a principle-build quality so that the process should ensure we develop quality products, Testing alone cannot ensure that we deliver good quality products to the user.

Product Champion

  • The term “product champion” to describe someone who makes the decisions about which products to create or enhance.
    • Product companies may use the term “program manager” or “product manager.”
    • IT organizations may call this role the “sponsor.”
    • Practical experience from the field suggests that the product champion role comprises a team of product managers, business stakeholders, business analysts, and client-facing personnel who are committed to providing the required service levels of feedback and validation so that the development organization can move quickly.

More informations at PMI-ACP exam

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