Just in Time Risk

We are getting our bathroom renovated at the moment, and the completion date has been extended by a couple of days.

I guess it should have been expected, but what was interesting was that it seems the delay is not due to unexpected issues in the fit-out (as in water damage, etc) but rather the delay in the supplier getting the taps to the company doing the work.

Talking to the plumber, the problem lies in the suppliers not having stock sitting in local warehouses. Now this wouldn't have been a problem, but the time from agreeing to do the project, and it starting was very quick. As such, the time for the delivery of taps was longer than the time until they were needed. So if we weren't able to kick off this project so quickly, then they could have ordered those items in advance enough to get them here in time.

This got me thinking about Lean development practices and the “Just in Time” approach. If we consider that the aim is develop something “just in time” for when it is required, then it is possible that an opportunity may arise that, to take advantage of, would reduce the available time to develop and subsequently cause delays.

Of course the trade-off of doing “Just in Time” is that you aren't building a stock-pile with all the inherit costs and problems. It does however mean that the critical path analysis for taking advantage of a sudden opportunity does require you to know the “Just in Time” periods that could affect you.

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