Definition

lean management

Lean management is an approach to running an organization that supports the concept of continuous improvement, a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

Lean management seeks to eliminate any waste of time, effort or money by identifying each step in a business process and then revising or cutting out steps that do not create value. The philosophy has its roots in manufacturing. 

Guiding principles for lean management include:

  1. Defining value from the standpoint of the end customer.
  2. Identifying each step in a business process and eliminating those steps that do not create value.
  3. Making the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence.
  4. Repeating the first three steps on a continuous basis until all waste has been eliminated.

See also: lean manufacturing, lean programming, lean startup, value stream mapping

 

Contributor(s): Emily McLaughlin
This was last updated in December 2013
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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