October Professional Development Meeting
Managing Projects in a LEAN Environment
October 12, 2010
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What You Missed

Managing Projects in a LEAN Environment

Our October meeting turned out to be a nice get together. Initial sign ups were a little light but we ended up with a total of 27 people in attendance. It must have been the speaker or the topic or the nice weather that sparked people’s interest, most likely a combination of everything. There were a few new faces in the crowd which is always good and even a few faces that we hadn’t seen in a while. I actually met a South Carolina Gamecock fan and we got along wonderfully. I’m a Clemson grad so some people might consider me a sworn enemy since we are big rival’s, especially during football season.

Our speaker, Pam Nintrup, created a nice interactive environment by engaging everyone during her presentation of Lean Project Management. Before going over preliminary information and definitions, we discussed who in the group utilize “Lean” in their company and found it ranged from quite heavily to very little or none at all. This aided the conversation since there was a wide range of experiences that people could share with one another. While 6 sigma addresses rejects, “Lean” addresses waste and its elimination. It is both a thought process of flow as well as a strategy. As with many practices that are aimed at making your company more competitive, there are important steps and criteria that must be included to make it successful: management support, employee commitment, a good leader, proper training and implementation and proper timing or speed to name a few.

One of my 3 POI’s “Points of Interest” that Pam asked us all to write down at the end of the presentation was Value Stream Mapping. I do not have a lot of experience with “Lean” so this caught my attention. Actually it is one of the 5 steps in the process of “Lean”, 1. Value ID, 2. Value Stream Mapping, 3. Flow analysis, 4. Customer Pull and 5. Perfect the process. A nice meal, a nice group of people and a good topic made the evening a success. I was shocked when I went outside and saw that it was raining. I heard some things that I thought could be thunder and rain but guessed that it was just some tables moving and the air conditioner running. As I drove home I was thinking maybe I won’t need to water my flowers for a little while. After going about 2 miles down I-75 the rain started to slacken and by the time I got home there was no sign of any rain; my yard was still just as dry and crunchy as it had been.