Just-In-Time (JIT): time and cost efficiency in project management

Just-In-Time (JIT): time and cost efficiency in project management

Just-In-Time in project management is all about making the best use of resources, i.e. everyone does as much work as and when the project progress requires. This increases productivity and supports successful project delivery. In this article, we'll look at what Just-In-Time (JIT) is, how it evolved and how it can benefit projects.

The Just-In-Time method allows teams to perform only those tasks that are needed at the moment, based on the project requirements.

What does Just-In-Time mean in English?

Just-In-Time ( JIT) stands for just in time. It allows teams to perform only those tasks that are required at the moment, based on the project requirements. This helps minimise wasted work, time and costs and allows teams to respond as quickly as possible to customer needs and changing market conditions.

Just-In-Time means just in time.

How was the Just-In-Time method born?

The "Just-in-Time" (JIT) system was first developed and implemented by Toyota Motor Corporation for efficient production and supply. The principles of the JIT system focus on optimising production and minimising waste.

Toyota's JIT system is also known as the "Toyota Production System" (TPS) or the "Toyota Way" and is widely recognised in the industry as a productive and cost-effective manufacturing model.

Main features and principles of the Just-In-Time system

1. Minimising stocks

In the JIT system, the aim is to minimise inventories, including raw materials, parts and finished products. Only as many materials and parts as are needed for production are supplied.

2. Just-In-Time delivery

Only the materials and parts you need are supplied, and exactly when and how much is needed for your production process. This is to minimise excess stock and storage costs.

3. Undisturbed processes

The JIT model ensures that production is continuous and steady. The aim is to minimise delays and breaks in production.

4. Jidoka (automation and error detection)

Toyota's JIT system has introduced the concept of "jidoka", which focuses on automation and error detection. Automated tools and machines help production and detect errors as they occur, allowing for rapid correction.

5. Heijunka (production equalisation)

Based on Just-In-Time principles, production is planned and organised to balance and reduce load fluctuations. As a result, production becomes balanced and easier to plan ahead.

6. Kanban system

 As part of the JIT system, Kanban is used as a visual control tool to track and control tasks and materials. Kanban tries to simplify and visualise logistics, production and development by operating on the quantities of inventory and tasks in the phases.

The advantages and disadvantages of Kanban have been described here >>

7. Attracting the workforce

The Just-In-Time method involves the workforce in problem solving and sharing ideas. Workers are encouraged to come up with suggestions to improve processes and production.

Over the years, Toyota's JIT system has served as an example to many companies and industries of how to use resources efficiently, continuously improve quality and minimise waste. And the great thing about JIT is that it can be applied in many areas other than manufacturing, such as project management and services.

The application of JIT, or Just-In-Time principles, in project management can help optimise project resources, reduce unnecessary costs and increase project efficiency.

The benefits of Just-In-Time: how does JIT increase project efficiency?

Applying Just-in-Time principles to project management can help optimise project resources, reduce unnecessary costs and increase project efficiency. But let's see how!

1. Productive scheduling of tasks

One of the principles of Just-In-Time is to do something only when it is really needed. That is, we schedule tasks only when they are needed, not in advance. This minimises unnecessary activities and resources throughout the project.

2. Excellent resource management

For a project to be effective, it is very important that human and material resources and tools are only used when they are really needed.

3. Saving time

JIT helps minimise the time a project spends on unnecessary tasks or waiting. By optimising the project management timeline and timing tasks accurately, the overall duration of the project can be reduced.

4. Communication and meetings

 By applying Just-In-Time principles, meetings and all unnecessary communication can be minimised. In projects, a lot of time and energy can be saved by holding meetings or sharing information only when it is really needed and when it really contributes to the progress of the project or to decision-making.

5. Necessary planning

It's not worth planning every detail in advance when starting a project. It is more efficient to focus on the activities that are needed to take the next step. This gives flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances.

6. Cost minimisation

By using the JIT method, project costs can be minimised. For example, the purchase of materials and equipment, or the cost of human resources.

7. Quality control

An important element of the Just-In-Time method is quality control. During the project, it is important to check the work immediately so that errors can be detected and corrected in time before they become a major problem. This can improve the quality of the final project product.

8. Flexible project management

 JIT allows for more flexible project management by opening the way to reorganise or modify tasks and resources more quickly as the project progresses. It can help you adapt to changing circumstances.

9. Continuous improvement

Once the JIT principles have been applied, it is important to evaluate the project management process and identify areas where further improvements are needed. Repeated analysis and continuous improvement will help to improve the effectiveness of project management.

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