Delay's Manufacturing Golden Days
Whenever goods are not in transport or being processed, they are waiting. In traditional processes, a large part of an individual product’s life is spent waiting to be worked on. Delay works against Lean's primary directive of "...shortest time to value...." Delay works closely with Inventory, for when a part is not being processed, its Inventory. When some organizations do a work flow analysis they discover that up to 95% of their cycle time is delay, their work in progress waiting for the next step in their workflow .
Delay in Software
Delay and inventory saw their opportunity in software…while in the real world an unmoving pallet of unfinished work stood out, the invisible nature of software provided the perfect cover for Delay and Inventory. Unfinished software and intermediate work products could sit hidden as bits on a disk, unseen and mostly untracked.
But the new and unique opportunity for delay was when he discovered that software is abstract intellectual property, and that by delaying key decisions and feedback, he could help his colleagues create massive inventories, and over production. His allies are Movement and Transport and all the dependencies created by the hand-offs between different steps in a process.
Just like Inventory, Delay relies on invisibility to work his nefarious deeds and can be easily exposed using Big Visible Information Radiators (BVIR) such as a Kanban board. Work Flow analysis is another effective tool for exposing Delay. Use of short time boxes helps mitigate Delay