What is Lean?

What is Lean?

Lean can be known as:

  • A philosophy
  • A method
  • A management philosophy
  • Tools and techniques

Lean is a broad approach for improving daily processes and it can be described with help of the following ideas:

  • Focused attention for enhancing customer value
  • Continuous improvement of processes (daily)
  • Decreasing the amount of variation in processes to produce/deliver predictability
  • Getting rid of wastes from processes
  • Delivering just-in-time
  • Delivering correctly
  • Long-term relationships with all interested parties, including employees, managers, owners, suppliers, distributors, the community, the society and the environment;

Lean is a way of working where everyone in the organisation has a focus on:

1. Creating value-streams in processes for the customer

2. Eliminating wastes

3. Getting it right first time

So: a maximum added value with minimal effort and with the best quality, for the customer.


You can look at Lean as a collection of tools or techniques where you use these to solve problems in processes. 


You can also look at Lean as a philosophy where the culture of an organisation has a focus on Continuous Improvement.