Lean methodology is based on balancing elimination of waste with increasing productivity. It proposes achieving this by continuously improving all faucets of the process, respecting the employees and creating value for the customer with every process change.
Lean is an umbrella term for various techniques centered around reducing waste, one of which is Kanban.
Though originated on the manufacturing scene, Lean can be adopted in non-industrial, knowledge-based systems and bring measurable and satisfying resutls.
The goals of 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 the opportunity to improve.
Continuous improvement, or Kaizen is a characteristic goal of Lean. Through engagement of each employee in observing the process, finding flaws, waste and analyzing those, 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 a lookout for improvement opportunities.