Learn about the roots of lean in the Toyota Production System and the benefits lean has for businesses.
- Most folks have heard of Agile, but Lean is a little less well known in technology circles, but not in other realms. Lean started in the manufacturing world. - Lean was devised by a combination of innovators including W. Edwards Deming and Taiichi Ohno, developer of the Toyota Production System, or TPS. Lean revolutionized the Japanese industrial economy after World War Two, and made its way back into the US in the 1980's. - [Narrator] Lean is also inspired by statistical process control and its focus on continuous improvement in designed experimentation.
- [Narrator] And it inherits from Henry Ford's original work in Just In Time manufacturing. - So what is Lean? Well, I'm glad I asked. Lean is a systematic method to eliminate waste and maximize the flow of value through a system. Value is defined as something your customer will pay money for. Turns out we can spend a lot of effort on achieving goals that our customers don't care about and don't contribute to our organization's profitability. - [Narrator] Lean employs something called value stream mapping.
This practice generates a diagram that shows the exact places where value is created in your system and how it flows through your organization. Here's an example of a value stream map, showing flow, capacity and lead times of places where value is added. - [Narrator] The antithesis of value is waste. Waste is effort spent on anything other than the creation of value. Lean recognizes three major types of waste all given Japanese names. Muda, Muri and Mura.
- [Narrator] Muda is the major form of waste. Effort spent on non-value creating work. It comes in two types. Type one, which is technically waste but necessary for some reason, you know, like compliance. And type two, which is just plain wasteful. - [Narrator] Mura is waste from unevenness. Stopping and starting and context switch. - [Narrator] And finally Muri is waste from overburdening a person, process, or system. - [Narrator] The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox is a seminal business book about Lean and the theory of constraints.
It's written as a work of fiction demonstrating the implementation of Lean principles at an example company. - [Narrator] The theory of constraints identifies the constraints or bottlenecks that reduce throughput of a system. - [Narrator] By measuring and managing throughput, inventory or queue length and operating expenses and identifying and focusing on the lifting of constraints, you can greatly improve a system's overall delivery. This focus on optimizing the entire process or system's thinking is contrasted to local optimization performed by single functional areas which may actually inhibit the overall flow of the system.
- Related to this is pull as opposed to push philosophy of flow through a system. A station downstream should pull the items needed rather than have them pushed upon it. - Lean also places a high value upon continuous improvement. It has tools and strategies designed to allow teams to improve incrementally day after day from Kaizen to a host of quality tools. - And finally, respect for and empowering both the individual employee and the team is a critical part of Lean.
Work can only be improved by harnessing the knowledge of those performing it. - A simple example of this is Andon Cord. On Lean manufacturing lines, every single line employee is empowered to pull a cord or push a button that stops the entire production line when it's needed to resolve an issue. Many corporate processes out there seek to minimize the impact an individual employee can have, this is diametrically opposed to Lean theory. - Earnest, you know, all this Lean stuff just sounds like a bunch of stuff to do, but what does it really get me? - Well, in the manufacturing world the benefits were riveting.
- Oh, I see what you did there. Okay, go on. - The case study summary from Damon Products in 1999 lists the following benefits of implementing four of the lean principles. Pull scheduling, kanban, visual management and employee empowerment in its four factories. It reduced their cycle times by 97%, setup times by 50%, lead times from four to eight weeks to five to ten days, and their flow distance by 90%.
- Wow, that's impressive. On the larger scale, TPS and Lean are widely recognized to have revolutionized the Japanese industry in the late 20th century and revived the American auto industry. - But what does that have to do with DevOps? Well, the annual puppet lab state of DevOps report, a data analysis of DevOps related practices has consistently found strong statistical correlation between Lean practices and both high performing IT organizations as well as measured by throughput instability and better business outcomes including productivity, market share and profitability.
- [Narrator] The specific Lean principles they found proven to work are small deliverables and limiting work in progress, information radiators and visibility into flow, gathering, broadcasting and implementing customer feedback, and finally empowered development teams who are free to experiment and improve. - Next up, we'll discuss the application of Lean to both product management and software development and how those contribute to a DevOps implementation.
- What is agile?
- What is lean?
- Measuring success
- Learning and adapting
- Building a culture of metrics
- Continuous learning
- Advanced concepts