Lean Six Sigma Manufacturing

What is Lean? - Definitions

Reading this section you will explore many definition on What is Lean. I will reveal my favorite but you can choose the definition you like the most...

Let's start with an image ...

What is Lean

This image summarize that Lean Production is not about the COST REDUCTION. 

Lean Production is to increase Quality, Speed and Results with the consequence of cost reduction

So the first step is to not believe in Lean Projects where the main scope

is the cost reduction.

Another real important point is to understand that Lean Principles can be applied to every field of industry and life. To give you an example I propose you this 6 minutes video.


It should be clear now that Lean is a mindset rather than a set of tool. Because of this I do not like to speak of Lean Production, Lean Manufacturing or Lean Enterprise ... 

I like to speak about Lean Thinking!

Here the first 2 major points to remember:

1) Lean is not a cost reduction project

2) You can apply Lean Concepts to any reality ... no excuse.


The most authoritative Lean Definition ... from the present

There are many Lean Centre and Lean Institutes that are constantly studying Lean Definitions. I would like to reveal you which is in my opinion the best ...

The winner is ... Lean Enterprise Institute

From their web site you can really find a lot of material to understand Lean Concepts and now I will report and comment their definition on what is lean.

" The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources."

My comment:

I fully agree and it is in line with the image I propose at the beginning. Focus on the customer and the waste will be reduced as consequence. Waste Reduction lead to Cost Reduction

The most authoritative Lean Definition ... from the past

The history of the Lean Production start in Japan with the Toyota (even if a continuous exchange with the USA was done). It is common to say that the founder of the Lean Management was Taiichi Ohno. From his book I would like to quote his definition (even if he did not the word Lean at that time).

" The Basic Idea of the Toyota System is to completely eliminate wastes. The two pillars to reach the waste elimination are the "just in time" and the "jidoka" (Autonomation).