How Agile Eliminates Waste (Part 2 of 5)


We have been talking about how Agile eliminates waste and adds value to the project process.  Remember the 7W’s (wasters) of lean manufacturing practices: defects, over-production, wait, transportation, movement, inappropriate processing, and excessive stored inventory.

In the previous segment, “How Agile Eliminates Waste (Part 1 of 5)”, we learned how collocated Team Environments eliminates wait time, transportation and movement.  This week, I would like to share with you how Iteration Cycles work to eliminate inappropriate processing, over-production, and inventory.

Iteration Cycles

Agile methodology is organized in such a way that it delivers project functionality in workable iterative cycles; usually in two or three week cycles.

Well-planned iterative delivery of functionality allows us to present fully functional features earlier.   Consequently, stakeholders are then able to provide earlier feedback on completed work.    The early feedback cycle allows us to identify changes early in the process, which eliminates inappropriate processing and over production of features.

Each iteration, also referred to as a production cycle, is organized to deliver one or more fully functional features. This allows stakeholders to realize the return on investment (ROI) for the functionality delivered without waiting for the entire project to be completed.  This is powerful!  This gives more value to the deliverable (inventory) and allows the team to provide JIT inventory processing.

Generating early feedback is the first step toward eliminating rework and unnecessary processing, which, in the long run, also saves time and money.

Each piece of functionality is delivered with an iteration cycle planned and scheduled, based on the reprioritization of the Product Backlog.   Stay tuned for next week’s waste eliminator, the Product Backlog.

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