I have read some stuff about production philosophies (such as just-in-time production, lean production, etc). It seems to me that different philosophies have different merits, and are applicable to different problems or contexts.

I am wondering if there is some kind of philosophy that emphasises the importance of "building good foundations". My thought is: If you have shaky foundations for your project/production process, then this will create problems later on (problems you may not anticipate at first). Is there some kind of philosophy that emphasises this, with proponents, and books written about it?

EDIT: By "building good foundations" I mean, in analogy with a factory, that you make sure you have good quality production machinery, that your factory is neatly organized, that you have relationships with versatile suppliers, and so forth. Then, when you for example need to make a change in your product, or increase production, you have the right foundations to do this. On the other hand, if your factory has machinery that only work because you keep repairing them, or the factory floor is unorganized, then making a change like that would cause unexpected problems (e.g. the repairs you've been making to the machine no longer work with an increase in production, so now you have to find a new machine, which hampers your attempt to increase production).

  • Hi user56834, can you define «good foundations»? – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Oct 7 '19 at 10:45
  • @TiagoMartinsPeres, changed my question. – user56834 Oct 7 '19 at 12:02
  • It appears Kaizen is what you are looking for. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Oct 7 '19 at 12:29
  • @TiagoMartinsPeres, the emphasis of Kaizen is really quite different from what I'm pointing to. – user56834 Oct 7 '19 at 13:00
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it seems to basically be a shopping Question - it's just shopping for a philosophy instead of a product. – Sarov Oct 7 '19 at 16:41

I'd focus on building the leanest, minimal viable foundations.

There is no point trying to plan for every scenario and relationship possible before a project starts. Not only is it inefficient and likely a tase of time, but projects should, and will deviate during its course. However what is important is to build the necessary controls to account for those things that do arise during a Scrum.

For example, in software development, organisations will often use Scrum. In Scrum you do not pre-plan every aspect of a project and it's deliverables. Instead you ensure you have the capability and resources to handle whatever deliverables are paramount.


If I can rephrase your question, it seems like you are asking if any project management approach focuses on refining the means by which you create a product or complete a project instead of just focusing on the product itself. If practiced well, all of them should, but there should always be a balance. You'll never have the perfect team, the perfect process, or the perfect machinery. But if you neglect those things, you will certainly pay for it in throughput and effectiveness. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single approach that doesn't specifically allocate time for this work.

Now, there are plenty of places that don't practice their selected approach well. Plenty of project managers treat people like interchangable resources, which undermines this effort. Plenty of people in all forms of project management fall into the trap of being "too busy" to improve. This, however, is all incorrect practice of their methodology.

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