I have been reading and writing about Lean quite a bit recently. It is one if those topics where the more you know and the more you read, the more you realise you don’t know.  There are so many interweaving and interrelated topics where you can’t fully understand one topic without also understanding two more.

Some people might give up, thinking life isn’t long enough to work through all this.

I, however, prefer to think that this simply shows the all-encompassing nature of Lean, a philosophy and way of life rather than a set of tools and techniques.

In fact, if you immerse yourself in the basic principles , the rest becomes fairly straightforward and the detail is less important. Just focus on :

  • Making it flow
  • Eliminating waste
  • Respecting your people.

Then, whether you apply Kaizen, Kanban, Jidoka, Heijunka or any other specific tool, this focus on the principles will keep you straight.

Navigating the labyrinth of topics and tools will make you a better Lean practitioner but a simple focus on ‘becoming Lean’ will get you most of the way to being a Lean organisation.