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