PR AC TICES
have been working miracles in manufacturing for decades,
Organizations that apply lean principles to their program management
practices are able to identify and weed out processes and activities that intro-
duce wasteful spending. In a world of big-budget programs, such improve-
ments can yield huge bottom-line benefits.
“Applying lean principles to program management drives greater efficiencies
and value to the customer and the organization,” says Kambiz Moghaddam,
Ed.D., program lean execution leader for Boeing Defense, Space & Security,
Long Beach, California, USA. “It’s about identifying opportunities and execu-
tion, which results in improving the quality, productivity and efficiency.”
The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs, released
in 2012 by PMI, the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), outlined key challenges
programs face and offered up approximately 300 best practices in 40 catego-
ries that effective teams and organizations use to overcome these issues.
“Application of lean enablers is designed to reduce and/or eliminate waste,”
says Josef Oehmen, PhD, the study’s leader and a research scientist at the MIT
Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
“The program manager can use the challenges and enablers to develop the
program plan, and help identify and mitigate risks.”
Since its launch, the lean enablers study has been lauded in program
management communities. It also won the prestigious Shingo Research and
Professional Publication Award from the not-for-profit group Shingo Prize for
Operational Excellence at Utah State University.
Understanding how lean enablers work together allows project and program leaders to increase their impact and push their organizations to operate
as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“Application of lean enablers
is designed to reduce and/or
eliminate waste. The program
manager can use the challenges
and enablers to develop the
program plan, and help identify
and mitigate risks.”
—Josef Oehmen, PhD, MIT Sociotechnical Systems
Research Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA