The industry is so brutal they are called "veterans" while other fields call them "experts."
Document individual steps of your workflow as nodes in a workflow graph. Then profile the individual nodes of that graph (such as amount of time to export/import a new asset.)
Use this to create a classical PERT chart; find ways to optimize the critical path.
Prevent downstream nodes from having to reject work to an earlier process.
Use of kanban boards, sprints, and work hour restrictions also on non-production staff. Business Admin (developer's wife) was assigned tasks via production meetings and did business tasks via sprints.
Types of Waste
Motion: Unnecessary movement of materials or information.
Task Switching: Loss of efficiency from changing work contexts.
Defects: Incoming work item is broken and has to be rejected.
Heroics: Crunch time, additional contrators, "unreasonable acts."
Waiting: When a downstream node cannot work because they have no necessary inputs.
Unfinished Projects: A work unit that has been shelved for an extended period of time.
Manual Process: A work unit which has to be created by hand.
Extra Processes: Work nodes that do not actually have to be done.
Extra Features: A feature which is not actually necessary for a successful deliverable.
Motion: Self-service systems so people can solve their own issues.
Task Switching: Batch all types of work; all meetings in one block, all emails in one block, then art assets, etc.
Defects: Don't submit broken assets.
Heroics: Good project management. If all else fails: stop production entirely and figure it out.
Waiting: Use small batches of work at a time.
Unfinished Projects: Small, accomplishable deliverables.
Manual Process: Automate all or part of the process.
Extra Processes: "Can we not?"
Extra Feaures: Cut it.
Use of a Kanban Board
- All new tasks go in to Inbox and are not scheduled until a production meeting.
- Each worker given a hard limit on estimated work hours. They were not allowed more than 16 work hours per meeting and production meetings ocurred every two days. Assigning more than 16 hours was seen as "asking them to crunch" which was to be avoided.
- All tasks pass through testing step to ensure defects are not shipping downstream.