What Is Lean?

What Is Lean?

Lean is a powerful continuous improvement methodology, philosophy and competitive strategy - all-in-one and applicable to any industry.

It is both a customer and person-centered approach involving continuous learning and problem solving to maximise the delivery of value to the customer.

The best approach is dependent on the changing needs of the customer, the people and the organisation involved in the Lean journey - rewarding collaboration and team progress.

For leaders, a Lean journey takes passion, purpose and patience to lead from the front but also to serve the process owners who are providing what the customer needs.

Lean practitioners play a unique role in any application of Lean - most times as both coaches and students. They are catalysts, bridge builders and mentors in the principles and values of Lean - Continuous Improvement and Respect For People.

At LEAN dot Melbourne, we understand that Lean can be both a science as well as an ever-evolving transformation activity.

Learn more about the evolution of Lean.

What Is The Lean Management Improvement Cycle?

Developing a successful Lean culture requires the creation and fostering of enablers such as safety, standards, leadership, empowerment and collaboration.

Lean organisations ensure that beliefs, behaviours, learning, and application of skills to achieve a shared purpose can be practised daily through the creation of value and elimination of waste.

Successful Lean leaders build their organisations on a foundation of Respect For People as well as their team's capabilities through the activities they undertake to serve their Customers.

The 5 Steps of the Lean Management Improvement Cycle provides a means to continually improve all aspects of any organisation that is on a Lean journey:

  1. Correctly specify value for the customer.
  2. Identify all actions to bring a product from concept to launch, order to delivery, raw material into the hands of the customer and for its useful life.
  3. Remove any actions which do not create value and make those actions which do create value proceed in continuous flow as pulled by the customer.
  4. Analyse the results and start the evaluation process over again.
  5. Continue this cycle for the life of the product or product family as a normal part, indeed the core activity, of "management"‎. 

Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T., Lean Thinking - Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, p.276, Simon and Schuster, 2nd ed. 2003