BEGINNER’S GUIDE
FOR FUTURE LEAN EXPERTS

Welcome! This guide was crafted to take you on the first steps of your Lean journey. Here you will get familiar with the main concepts of the Lean methodology and understand how you can benefit from it.

By the end of this experience, you will know how to deliver more value to your customers, reduce the waste in your processes and continue to improve on a daily basis.

Enjoy the ride!

*If you already know what Lean is and are ready to implement it, check out our Lean Implementation Guide.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT IS LEAN?

Imagine if in your company every process (seriously, every process, even coffee making) ran smoothly. Envision a world where no one’s time and no supplies were wasted. Picture employees who were never overloaded nor with nothing to do. Visualize every customer benefiting from that.

Sounds great, right? That’s the Lean magic.

Lean is a methodology that helps organizations to thrive by increasing the quality of their products and services and by helping them to deliver more value to their customers while minimizing waste and continuously improving.

Lean management is based on 5 core principles:

  1. identifying value
  2. mapping your value stream
  3. creating flow
  4. establishing a pull system
  5. continuously improving

LEAN FLOW

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LEAN IS TRIED-AND-TRUE

In the 1940s, Taiichi Ohno was Toyota’s chief of production. Back then, he was trying to find a way to eliminate or at least reduce wasteful processes in the company and to cut out activities that didn’t add value to the customer. The Toyota Production System (TPS) was then created and it laid the foundations of what we today call Lean management.

TPS worked so well for Toyota that the system and the Lean way spread and became the main management methodology of major companies around the world like Amazon, Pixar, Capital One and Caterpillar. Check out the timeline:

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“Even though it was created long ago, the good news is that Lean is not a static methodology. It’s ever growing, evolving and adapting to many industries and segments. Nowadays, Lean is up-to-date with the market best practices, softwares and processes. Today, Lean is for everyone.”

READY TO JOIN THE BEST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD? LET’S DO THIS

1. IDENTIFYING VALUE

Lean is all about delivering more value using fewer resources. To do that, you must have a clear understanding of the value you deliver to both internal and external customers.  So that’s where we’ll start: identifying your value – and understanding how valuable it actually is.

VALUE: everything your customer is willing to pay for.

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2. MAPPING YOUR VALUE STREAM

Once you know what value you are delivering – and want to deliver more of – it’s necessary to have a deep understanding of what it takes for you to deliver it. Here you will learn more about mapping your value stream and eliminating all the waste in your processes.

VALUE STREAM MAPPING: a visualization of all the steps required to deliver a product or service. Used to illustrate, analyze and improve the process.

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3. CREATING FLOW

In Lean, it’s vital that processes flow in a continuous, fast and efficient way. No blockages, no bottlenecks. In this section, you will learn techniques, metrics and concepts that will help you achieve that flow state in every process of your organization.

FLOW: the state of a process in which the parts move from one step to the other in a steady, continuous stream, as quickly as possible, without compromising quality.

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4. ESTABLISHING A PULL SYSTEM

Waste is not accepted in Lean. That means that all work must have a clear purpose and must be done only if it is necessary. That’s why in Lean we establish pull systems. In this chapter, you will learn more about them and about the best tool to manage them: Kanban. 

PULL SYSTEM:a system in which work is done if and when there’s an actual demand for it.

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5. CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVING

Lean seeks perfection. That’s why Lean organizations and teams build and nurture a culture in which every team member is empowered an trained to see opportunities for improvement. In this chapter, you will learn how to master this.

KAIZEN: a philosophy, a mindset of continuous improvement. A culture with management systems that allows the organization to generate and review improvements in a cyclical way.

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START YOUR LEAN JOURNEY!

And learn how to deliver more with less.

Go to chapter 01: Value