What is Lean?

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What is Lean & Lean Management

What is Lean Management?

In 1990, James Womack and Daniel Jones wrote their book “The Machine That Changed the World” in 1990, following a study of the Toyota Company. Toyota, as well as other Japanese automakers, were growing in strength by applying what Womack and Jones termed “lean production”.

These practices, methodologies and tools have not only been proven again and again by Toyota’s success but today the Lean ideas have extended far beyond the automotive sector and the manufacturing sector and are now found across every industry and service sector you can find. Over the last 10 years, Lean has been the foundation for the Lean Startup, Agile and Scrum approaches to innovation and software development.

What is Lean?

Today, Lean Thinking methodologies and tools are referred to in a range of terminologies such as Lean Management, Lean Enterprise, Lean Manufacturing, but at Leanscape, Lean Management best describes the holistic approach of the Lean.

Lean Management Principles vs Waste

Lean Management is an approach and a methodology designed to maximise customer value by making sure our processes and activities run smoothly, efficiently and without waste. Waste in Lean is called “Muda”. Muda is any “non-value-adding” activity which in some shape or form stops us from delivering the maximum value to our customers.

Lean is a process focused improvement methodology but focused on employee engagement and knowledge.

In the Lean Management approach, there are 7 types of wastes (an eighth has recently been added). These are:

8 Types of Lean Waste

The diagram on the left shows the typical “TIMWOODS” approach to remembering the different types of wastes.

What is Lean - TIMWOOD - 7 Wastes
  • > Transportation
  • > Inventory / Stock
  • > Motion
  • > Waiting
  • > Over Processing (doing too much)
  • > Over Production (producing too many)
  • > Defects
  • > Skills

For a detailed review of each waste visit 8 Types of Lean Waste.

As you can see when combined this leads to the acronym of “TIM WOOD” which is widely used across companies today and within Lean Six Sigma training.

The last waste – often with an S – is Skills – the correct use and allocation of people skills, talents and resources.

So far at LeanScape, we have not found a process without waste and in general, wasteful activities can make up around 50% to 90% of most processes. This is the reason Lean Management is so important for companies.

5 Lean Principles

The key to Lean Management methodology is a 5 step model to eliminate waste and align our processes on customer value creation.

5 Lean Principles

The 5 Lean Principles are a continuous cycle of improvement which link directly into the concept of Kaizen. The principles are:

Step 1 – Identify Value
Step 2 – Identify the Value Stream
Step 3 – Create Flow
Step 4 – Create Pull
Step 5 – Strive for Perfection

As you go through each step a wide range of Lean tools can be used to help you achieve the goal of delivering more value to the customer in a more efficient and cost-effective way. During the courses, you will learn the techniques and how to apply them at each stage.

Lean Management Courses:

Today, the majority of Lean focused courses combine the Six Sigma into what is called Lean Six Sigma courses. The reason for this is that Six Sigma provides a useful analytical element which can help particularly with the explosion of data we are experiencing.

Lean Academy

Enroll today

We are fully accredited to provide the complete accreditations of Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt Certification. We have worked to progress executives with no previous experience of Lean Management to leadership level in both one-to-one online teaching through to complete executive training programs for multi-national organisations.

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