“Lean Working“, is an approach that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered around creating more value with less work.
Lean is an improvement approach to improve flow and eliminate waste that was developed by Toyota. It is focused on getting the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow, while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change.
Lean brings into many sectors, new concepts, tools and methods that have been used effectively to improve process flow. Tools that address workplace organization, standardization, visual control and elimination of non-value added steps are applied to improve flow, eliminate waste and exceed customer expectations.
- Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product/service family.
- Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product/service family, eliminating every step and every action and every practice that does not create value.
- Make the remaining value-creating steps occur in a tight and integrated sequence so the product/service will flow smoothly toward the customer.
- As flow is introduced, let customers pull (ask for) value from the next upstream activity. .
- As these steps lead to greater transparency, enable managers and teams to eliminate further waste, pursue perfection through continuous improvement.
Further Reading – “Lean Thinking “ by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones 1996