Process Improvement

Process improvement is an indefinite, continuous cycle in agile projects to develop, improve, and mature processes.

Related methods and techniques to Process Improvement

  • Kaizen

    1. Kaizen

    Kaizen is a continuous improvement practice that encourages many small and ongoing changes or improvements that, when combined, lead to big improvements in the long run.

    Kaizen word is made of two Japanese word – Kai (change) + Zen (for better).

    Agile teams practicing Kaizen are constantly on the lookout for improvement opportunities, such as eliminating waste and improving processes.

  • Kata

    2. Kata

    Kanban Kata is a continuous improvement strategy in which a structured set of routine actions is practiced and naturalized, such as repeatedly going through a predefined set of questions until improvement and refinement is achieved.

    A series of Kata questions could be:

    • What would be the target state that we want to achieve?
    • What is the current state?
    • What are the obstacles or blocks that are blocking the way?
    • What is the next step to remove the obstacle?
    • When will we learn lessons from the actions taken?
  • 5 Why’s Technique

    3. 5 Why’s Technique

    The Five Whys is a technique for identifying the root cause of a problem by asking a series of "why" questions. Teams can find the root cause of a problem by five times going through tailored "why" questions, each related to the answer to the previous "why" question.

  • Fishbone Diagram

    4. Fishbone Diagram

    Fish bone diagram (aka. Ishikawa and cause-and-effect) is a structured brainstorming technique to identify potential underlying factors or causes of a problem and them into useful categories.
    The problem is represented at the head or mouth of the fish and the bones represent different categories of causes, each with a list of possible contributory causes. Team can use the "5 Whys Technique" or keep asking "why" questions to find deeper causes and organize them into relevant categories.

    Typically used categories of a fishbone diagram include materials, measurements, people, time, energy, machinery/infrastructure, and environment.

  • 80-20 Rule and Pareto Diagram

    5. 80-20 Rule and Pareto Diagram

    The 80-20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle) states that 80% of the problems in the system come from 20% of the causes. Alternatively, by eliminating 20% of the system's deficiencies, 80% of the system's problems can be solved. The rule is based on calculating the frequency of incidents that cause most of the problems.
    Pareto charts are often used to present the data and make decisions about corrective actions based on the 80-20 rule.
    Pareto charts represent the type or category of causes ordered by frequency of occurrence.

  • Lean 5S technique for Improvement

    6. Lean 5S technique for Improvement

    Lean uses the 5S technique for just-in-time production. The Five S's (5S) of Lean  create a well-organized, clean, efficient and effective workplace. The 5S includes:

    1. Sort (Seiri): Remove unnecessary materials from the workplace.
    2. Set in order (Seiton): Arrange all items in the correct order to ensure smooth operation.
    3. Shine (Seiso): Inspect the workplace regularly and keep it clean.
    4. Standardize (Seiketsu): Follow standard processes and practices in the workplace.
    5. Sustain (Shitsuke): Maintain order, discipline and good working conditions.