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