The thought process of Lean or Lean Management was thoroughly described in “The Machine that changed the World” by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel T. Jones in 1990.
The fundamental objective of Lean Management is to create flow, for both materials and information, in an organizations business, manufacturing or service processes, and to maximize value through the reduction or elimination of non-value added activities.
Organizations that re-think their end-to-end value chains and find ways to provide what their Customers value better, faster and with significantly fewer resources than their competitors can obviously develop an unassailable competitive advantage.
The continued success of Lean Management thinking, principles and methods over the last two decades, makes Lean, together with Six Sigma, one of the main building blocks of every Operational and Process Excellence initiative.
Operational Excellence - An Introduction to Lean Management (12:22)
In “Lean Thinking”, published in 2003, James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones introduced the five fundamental Lean Management Principles.
1. Define Value in the Eye of the Customer – Thoroughly understand what the Customer values. – Create products and processes that more than satisfy Customer’s needs. – Develop methods for identifying & measuring Customer Value. – Fulfilling Customer needs supersedes everything except safety.
2. Working in Value Stream – Identify the end-to-end value stream for each product or service. - Organize processes around value streams. - Challenge all of the business-value adding and non-value adding (wastes) steps currently necessary to create and deliver each product or service. - Add nothing than value.
3. Create Material, Information & Cash Flow – Eliminate obstacles to flow: over-production, inventory, over-processing, waiting, transportation, defects, and motion. - Make the product or service creation and delivery process flow through the remaining value-added steps.
4. Establish Demand-Driven Pull – Introduce pull between all process steps where continuous flow is possible. – Every step moves at the rate of the Customer needs: the takt time. – All flow comes at the direct pull of the Customer.
5. Pursuit Perfection – Deploy Lean as a long-term business strategy, not a tactical cost-reduction initiative. – Use a scientific method for problem solving and improvement. - Manage toward perfection, but don’t do everything at once. – Establish a culture of small rapid improvements and longer-term initiatives.
Operational Excellence Consulting offers customized hands-on training workshops, Kaizen event facilitation, and deployment support covering all Lean Management concepts, methods and tools, including Lean Thinking, Kaizen Event Management, 5S Visual Workplace Organization, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Lean Standard or Standardized Work, Mistake-Proofing & Poka-Yoke, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Pull & Kanban Systems, Theory of Constraints (TOC), and Quick or Rapid Changeover (SMED). To read more about some of our onsite workshops please visit Our Workshops.
An initial Operational Excellence & Lean Six Sigma Assessment will provide you with an unbiased in-depth understanding of your organization's current capabilities and opportunities, and thus provide a solid foundation for the development of a Lean or Lean Six Sigma deployment plan.
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