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Lean originated with both Henry Ford and his storied assembly line and, more famously, with Taiichi Ohno who codified the Lean Management Philosophy and Practices into the Toyota Production System.

Lean is popular for its methodical approach to streamlining both manufacturing and service processes by eliminating waste while continuing to deliver value to customers.

Although Lean is widely known for these benefits, it’s not just a set of tools. It stems from cultural roots which manifest in the business world as a particular approach to management: a Lean Culture.

A Lean Culture (also known as Lean Management) is the foundation of Lean process improvement. When a Lean Culture exists, improvement is exponentially more likely to be sustained and an environment for continuous improvement is created. It is a combination of defining customer value, aligning around a common purpose, striving for perfection while at the same time respecting and developing employees.

A Lean process:

  • Is faster
  • Is more efficient and economical
  • Delivers satisfactory quality

Lean is achieved by removing “Waste,” which is activity not required to complete a process.

After removing Waste, only the steps required to produce a product or service that is satisfactory to a Customer will remain.

What’s Next:

  • Ahmed

    I am some how confused between the lean and six sigma are they that different?
    and also how is the project of six sigma looks like (the content and method)?

    • GoLeanSixSigma

      Hey Ahmed- Great question! Here are the definitions for Lean and Six Sigma:

      – Lean: https://goleansixsigma.com/lean/
      – Six Sigma: https://goleansixsigma.com/six-sigma/

      Also, here is an overview of Lean Six Sigma with inforgraphics: https://goleansixsigma.com/what-is-lean-six-sigma/

      We hope you find this helpful. Please let us know if you have any more questions!

    • Daniel Elwell

      In a nutshell, lean is about reducing waste, six sigma is about improving quality and consistency. You can have highly controlled processes that still have unneeded steps, which you might get if you embrace six sigma without lean. Similarly you can have minimal waste in a process that delivers inconsistent results – which you might get if you have lean without six sigma. Best results come when you use both – and there’s really no reason not to….

      • GoLeanSixSigma

        Great response, Daniel! Agreed!