I have been doing quite a bit of work with Lean approaches and techniques recently.

I like Lean … not because of the tools and techniques (which are excellent on the whole) … but because it is based on clear and firm principles. To practise Lean it is much more important to be guided by the principles than to remember the tools and techniques.

For those of you who might have forgotten, I summarise these principles as:

  • Make the work flow
  • Eliminate waste
  • Respect the People (and especially front line workers.

If a management team ensures that they keep these principles firmly in their minds and allow them to shape all their actions, decisions and behaviours, they will find themselves managing a Lean operation with a positive and productive organisational  culture.