Improving your manufacturing processes takes ongoing effort.

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more companies doing “lean manufacturing.”

They want to run efficient and effective operations. They want to eliminate waste everywhere they can.

There are different ways to get rid of waste.  And the Lean Production website offers many different tools for your “lean” toolbox. They have some handy, downloadable guides there.

One interesting topic they discuss is the “Agile” methodology.

What Makes The Agile Methodology So Interesting?

This methodology originally comes from the world of software development.

It’s a concept that has spread to many different industries. And it can be applied to lean manufacturing.

Agile manufacturing is all about breaking large projects down into smaller parts. Each smaller part adds value on its own and can be completed in a short cycle.

Agile has 5 coordinated planning levels. These work together to deliver maximum value on an ongoing basis.

The 5 Levels of Planning That Will Help You Deliver Value

The five Agile planning levels below are shown in order from largest to smallest scope.


From a top-level view, you need to determine the ultimate objective for the business. This is bigger than any individual project you work on. This is the vision that will keep you on track. You can hold any action up and examine it. Then ask, “Does this action help move us toward the vision?”


The roadmap is a collection of key deliverables. Each deliverable is one that helps you move toward the vision. The deliverables are explained as stories that are told from the customer’s perspective.


The release is a collection of the most important stories from the roadmap. These are deliverables that can be completed in a relatively short time. You need to rank these in priority order. That way, if you get behind schedule, the most important stories will still get completed.


The iteration is a two-week work cycle where a defined part of the release is completed. At the beginning of an iteration, the team gets together for planning. At the end of the iteration the team reviews what has been delivered.


Each day your team gets together for a quick, high-energy stand-up meeting. In the meeting, you discuss three things: 1) What was completed yesterday? 2) What will be completed today? And 3) What roadblocks might be in our way?

The goal is to help team members to coordinate and remain accountable.

Can Agile Manufacturing Help You To Accomplish More?

Perhaps you are intrigued by the idea of Agile manufacturing. If so, you can visit the Lean Production website for more information.

There are many ways to make an operation leaner. And Agile is just one of them.

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If you’re looking for a manufacturing partner, request a quote from us. Our team of experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.