Lean Management Definition

Lean Management


This time, let us start with

a definition of Lean Management taken fromLean Lexicon: A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers

Lean management is a series of practices that:

  • Develops people to understand and own their problems
  • Aligns resources to achieve the purpose of the organization

Lean management engages everyone in:

  • Designing processes to continuously solve problems
  • Improve performance
  • Achieve purpose while consuming the fewest possible resources.

Do you like it?

I like it!

In the next chapters,

I will reveal you some secrets I used

in years to achieve this style of management.



How to set a Lean Management System

One of the videos I love the most is

the following named:

The 5 Steps to Lean Management


It is MUST SEE VIDEO! 172.250 view so far.

Basically, the steps are:

  • Step 1) Control your territory

  • Step 2) Give Meaning to Actions

  • Step 3) Motivating and Driving your TEAM

  • Step 4) Delegating Simple Problem Solving

  • Step 5) Managing the Progress Plan

This video is truly a step by step

guide to implement a Lean Management System.

Is it easy!


I suggest you to identify the bottleneck of

one of the major value streams and start from there.

Here the pages you have to read to understand the bottlenecks:

  1. What is Takt Time
  2. Value Stream Mapping
  3. Yamazumi Chart
  4. Bottleneck (Read the first and the others - by Allaboutlean)

Lean Management Principles

Once you have understood the tools,

you have to be familiar with the Lean Management Principles

that have to stay behind your actions.

I always refer to:

The house of Toyota


The 14 Principles of Toyota (The Toyota Way)

Here you can see 2 video that explains

this pillars of the Lean Management.


to help you to have the principles always in front of you

we created a Lean Management PDF you can download.

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How to convince Leadership to start with Lean

  • Warning

  • Warning

  • Warning


It is proven that the most significant

problem in Lean Management is the

lack of engagement of the Leadership.

Here there are the results of a survey we launched.

"What is your problem in Lean?"

The 2 Top Items cover around the 20% of the problems.



They are related to the Lean Management.

If you will read the following rows,

you will discover what I used to

convince Leadership in starting with Lean Management.

Step 1)

Leadership loves "results"

Nothing new with this.


if you want to promote Lean you have

to bring results,

real and tangible results.



the first entry point is to see and show some

Lean Manufacturing Video of the results obtained

by other companies.

Here there is Harley Davidson.

or ABB.


if you are able to show some videos,

they will tell:

Leader Leader, My Business is different.

Ok, but you cannot apply in our reality!

Our business is different.

At this point you have

to say:

Let's try on one products (or one problem).


if you remember the video of the 5 steps of Lean Management,

select something that is your perimeter.

Step 2)

Data, Data, Data

You have to set a metric of your problem.

For example you have too much inventory of XYZ


you are not able to meet the customer demand.

Regardless the problem you have to set the metric.

See what Deming told:


Pay attention now!

There is a big risk that the data overcome reality!

This is a real risk!

We draw this funny strip to tell the story:


So please!

Do not forget the Gemba!

Another very interesting article on this is:

When KPI's turns to poison.


Step 3)

The challenge starts!

Now you have,

  • The leadership buy-in (waiting for results)
  • A problem to solve (in your perimeter)
  • A reliable metric to track


see the video on the 5 steps of Lean Management as

the roadmap of your challenge.

  • Bring people to the boards.
  • Have the buy-in of the shopfloor.
  • Listen to them.
  • The problems cannot be solved in the offices!
  • Be a Leader not a Boss.

On the board put the metric of the problem,

track it daily (or weekly).

Share with the team and say that the Leadership

will come to visit you shortly.


if you do what is described in the video,

I am sure,

You will have results.


once you have results,

this is the first seed of the Lean Journey.

It is like a small tree that has to grow.

Step 4)

What is next? The continuous improvement.

The goal is to have 100% of the people that think:

"How can I do better?"

You and your team have to live with

the idea that there is always a better way to do things

and improve processes!


Lean Management is about people ...

not about tools.

Here there is the story of a friend of mine that

now sells worldwide by Lean Production

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