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Elyssa Pallai

VP Marketing

Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with Playbook's amazing clients.

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Make a Lean and Agile New Year's Resolution to Complete Projects Faster, Be More Profitable

Elyssa Pallai- 12/29/13 12:59 AM

Project management has evolved, but organizations have remained ‘stuck’ in the old way of doing things, using traditional software tools. It's time for a change.

Don Reinertsen, and other new product development systems thinkers, have spent years studying how to make projects go faster, reviewing and testing various methodologies such as lean, agile, six sigma, theory of constraints and a number of other approaches during thousands of projects with thousands of organizations. The good news is that there is a method that works.

A New Approach to Project Management

This approach has many characteristics in common with Lean, Agile, Theory of Constraints, Six Sigma, and also incorporates information theory, economics based decisions, queuing theory, and distributed management, as well as others.

The point is, we now have proven techniques and software tools to make projects run faster. So why aren’t we adopting these new principles and tools?

We as humans resist change. Change is hard. Changes seems risky. Luckily these new principles are not rocket science, many of them are common sense.

For example, one concept is making information visible. Only when the entire team can easily see what learning took place today across the team can early learning take place. Early learning is just one way of increasing project velocity.

Playbook Practically Implements Next Generation Principles for Hardware New Product Development

(This part of the post is a shameless plug for PLAYBOOK! If you aren’t keen on shameless plugs, then change the channel .)

Playbook is the only software tool in the market that embeds Flow and Next Generation Lean thinking, principles and new techniques into the software tool itself, making change a little bit easier. For example, Playbook makes work visible to the whole team, across the enterprise. Each person can see what everyone is working on for the day. The system can show priority tasks across the enterprise for each resource.

How is Project Management Using PLAYBOOK and FLOW is Different?

One example that differentiates PLAYBOOK is that it is the only project management tool on the market that supports a pull vs. push task system. So what does this mean?

Instead of just having a long list of tasks that a person needs to complete, and due dates on each one which are impossible to meet, team members pull the highest priority task from their backlog when they have availability (room for it in their day).

The pull approach has the following benefits:

- Work completion rates are maximized;
- Each team member has clear, daily priorities;
- Each team member can see their what each other is working on for the day;
- Resource overload (queues) are visible and can be minimized;
- Multi-tasking is reduced;
- and finally, Team morale is greatly improved.

Next generation lean is a proven way of doing things, a way that old project management tools don’t support.

Request a demo from PLAYBOOK today and learn about the software tool that has next generation lean principles baked in -- making your organizations evolution easier.