Lean methodology is based on balancing the elimination of waste with increasing productivity. It proposes achieving this by continuously improving all facets of the process, respecting the employees, and creating value for the customer with every process change.
Lean is an umbrella term for various waste-reducing techniques, one of which is Kanban.
Though originated on the manufacturing scene, Lean is being successfully adopted in non-industrial, knowledge-based systems as well, to bring measurable and satisfying results. The goals of the Lean methodology are:
- Limiting waste
- Putting people first, not processes
- Delivering fast and often
- Applying the customer’s point of view when designing a product
- Introducing improvements across the board, not in select teams only
- Always taking improvement opportunities.
Continuous improvement, or Kaizen, is one of the most characteristic aspects of Lean. Through the engagement of each employee in observing the process, finding flaws, waste, and analyzing them along with other data generated by the process, informed changes can be applied across the board.
Instead of agreeing on a once and forever set process, Lean methodology asks us to be always on the lookout for improvement opportunities.