Innovation & LEAN / Agile Thinking

Watching this wonderful video of a 1950 Formula 1 pit-stop and then a more current Formula 1 pit-stop made me think about the role of innovation and technology in LEAN and Agile thinking, and vise versa. In industry much of the experience of the integration of LEAN process and LEAN thinking is the search for basic inefficiency; streamlining, de-cluttering and that often looks at the beginning of the process like finding, correcting and streamlining the most obvious of things.  Even that takes time, it’s generating a new of level team development, collaboration and personal responsibility, at every role. It’s often only after those initial steps have been taken that continuous improvement, agile development and the application of new technologies or processes really come into play. The basic improvements are made and then it become more about creativity and innovation to keep improvements coming and keeping the tasks simple and streamlined. Can you see the many, many changes from the first pit stop to the next.

The two pit stops, then and now, are on an completely different plane. For Indy cars and their teams, winning is often built on many subtle innovations that bring tenths of a second improvements, not minutes or hours. As you thought about the changes you saw in the video did you think about the role of software? Today software and the ability to measure 1000s of inputs help crews make even smallest of changes to their process or race management, such as choosing when to pit. Today, in most competitive industries, technology and it’s innovative application enables companies to compete more effectively, produce ever better and more profitable products and even sell more effectively. Ok, back to the races..