Agile principles may have been devised for software development, but the process of “doing it and helping others do it” also shows incredible promise as a manufacturing methodology.
At Kinetic Technologies, our own experience has shown us how the Agile approach makes our Design, Build, and Automation divisions more efficient, effective, and capable of meeting every customer’s needs.
Keep reading to learn how Kinetic Technologies implements Agile’s curious collaboration and continuous improvement on our shop floor—and how our customers benefit.
Innovating with Agile
At Kinetic Technologies, a combined Lean-Agile methodology drives us to achieve one-piece flow, finish what we start, and be responsive to customers’ needs, among other benefits.
While many manufacturers understand the higher-level principles of Agile, they tend to apply them infrequently and inconsistently to their own organizations. As it turns out, however, the principles that help move parts down the manufacturing line also benefit the organization as a whole—and, subsequently, the organization’s customers.
Here are a few examples:
Agile enables cross-departmental teamwork to achieve aligned goals
Without an Agile approach, teams quickly become siloed. Silos can even develop within individual teams!
Product development and custom automation teams can experience significant push and pull throughout the long intermediary phases of review, revision, and iteration. Breaking down siloed thinking and behaviors is possible with an Agile approach, which promotes constant collaboration and ongoing innovation. Agile’s iterative nature and lockstep development approach reduces the magnitude of change hitting our floor.
Agile makes space for change
Agile systems are adaptable by design, with ample room for change and evolution. With an Agile mindset driving us forward, we don’t worry about change for the sake of change. We have clear next steps, and continuous improvement is the goal, not a repercussion.
Since 2020, worldwide economic and supply chain challenges have plagued businesses of all kinds, with manufacturers under enormous pressure to overcome the unsurmountable. When inflation is unstable and labor costs unpredictable, agility and adaptability are imperative to a company’s survival.
At Kinetic Technologies, Agile reminds us to deliver ongoing, ever-improving value to our customers, from the newest buyer to the longest-term partner. Most importantly, Agile demands that we embrace the changes our customers genuinely crave—not just the products and processes we think they want.
We pursue a customer-centric approach by conducting ongoing planning and building “white space” into our planning cycles, reserving the capacity to handle changes as they arise.
With room to listen, learn, and respond, we’re fully equipped to engage with our customers and strategically prioritize their needs. Our Agile methodology allows us to fill an expedited order, to research a nonstandard request, and to address an unanticipated problem before it grows larger.
Let’s Get Your Next Project Started
The Agile Manifesto prioritizes individuals and interactions over processes and tools. When a manufacturer is hyper-focused on “chiseled-in-stone” documentation and rigid rules, products can get irredeemably stuck in engineering.
Embracing flexible processes empowers us to quickly provide something of value to our customers—even if it is a minimum viable product—rather than making them wait indefinitely as we hold for requirement after requirement.
Whether you’re ready to prototype a new product idea or need immediate production support, Kinetic Technologies is here to help. Contact us today.