The Lean Concept in lean-ISD

From my 1999 book: lean-ISD (pages 3-4)

The lean-ISD Concept

One way to re-engineer the ISD function is along the lines of lean-ISD. The concept of lean comes from the early 1990s MIT study of U.S. and Japanese automobile manufacturers. This study is documented in the book The Machine That Changed the World by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos.

Lean production (a term coined by MIT research team member John Krafcik) describes an efficient approach that combines the best of both craft production and mass production. Lean production employs teams of multiskilled workers at all levels of the organization and uses highly flexible, increasingly automated tools to produce volumes of varied products. Lean production requires teamwork, structured yet flexible processes, communications, and continuous improvement.

The application of lean to the world of ISD can create a set of common, effective, and efficient processes. The processes span T&D project planning and management, analysis, design, development, pilot-test deployment, and evaluation. The PACT Processes for T&D share many of the characteristics of lean production, as you’ll see in this book.

These lean-ISD processes allow for
• Dividing ISD project efforts across multiple T&D organizations, locations, and personnel while ensuring that all of the T&D pieces fit together for a seamless learning experience
• Planning and managing predictable projects with predictable schedules and resource consumption (peoples’ time and out-of-pocket costs)
• Developing both shareable and unique T&D components
• Reusing (with little or no modification) many existing T&D products for various target audiences across the organization
• Involving upstream suppliers and downstream customers in a beneficial collaboration

In 2002 lean-ISD was the recipient of an ISPI Award of Excellence – for Instructional Communications.

In 2007 I made lean-ISD available as a FREE PDF, as well as a Kindle and paperback.

Please go here for that.

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