Now let’s take a look at a non-manufacturing setup. Let’s say a software development team has 4 developers and 2 quality analysts. All developers are able to transition their coded features for testing at the same time. With this, the capacity of the developers is higher than the capacity of the quality analysts (Mura), since some features will have to wait before they get tested (Muda). This leads to work in progress items accumulating within the process (Muda). This can also urge the developers to pace their work (Mura) so that the next step isn’t overburdened. Trying not to be a bottleneck and to ensure features get out on time, the quality analysts then pursue overtime to work on all their pending tasks (Muri).
You see, all these three are most likely in play when you examine your processes for inefficiencies. It is by examining your process as a whole and taking into account the 3M model will you be able to conduct an effective diagnostic of your operations.
Fighting the 3Ms
After you’ve identified the Muda, Mura, and Muri in your processes, it’s time to tackle them head-on. There are a variety of Lean tools that you can explore to manage the presence of 3Ms in your processes.
It is recommended that an understanding of the entire process flow be achieved first before introducing any resolution. For this, conducting Value Stream Mapping is ideal. Having a Value Stream Map will help you identify where in the process do these wastes occur and why they occur.
Knowing what problems you need to tackle, and depending on the need, you can then proceed with applying lean tools such as 5S, Just-In-Time (JIT), Kanban and Heijunka.
5S will help you ensure a methodical and systematic approach to organizing the workplace is established – lessening the possibilities for wastes to occur. Adapting the JIT principle through the use of Kanban and Heijunka will help you ensure a steady pace of work which lessens waiting, overburdening, and inventory in your processes to name a few.
We at Kanban Zone encourage you to take a closer look at your processes and scan them for the presence of Muda, Mura, and Muri. You can explore a variety of lean tools that can help you to expose and manage them – helping you create efficient processes for your business.