Lean Principles for Project Control
In any enterprise, maintaining excess inventory is strongly discouraged. Excess inventory consumes space, cost, and valuable attention that could be better directed elsewhere. Excess inventory represents latent value that is not actualized and thus does not contribute to organizational goals while it remains in inventory status. If excess inventory is seen as undesirable, why then are we willing to accept or tolerate excess steps in project execution? The basic principle of lean is to identify and eliminate waste from work processes. Non-value-adding elements in a project create additional risks for it to fall out of control. To achieve and sustain project control, every aspect of waste in a project must be eliminated. Unlike in a production environment, waste in a project structure can be subtle and seemingly innocuous. A project team must be vigilant and continually seek opportunities to apply lean principles throughout a project value stream.