Lean Management - Meaning, History, Startup, and Principles

"Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it. H. James Harrington

You must have been listening to the ever-growing demand and concept of lean management in the business world. But ponder over it if you know it's literal meaning or not? When talking about lean management, people often come up with different definitions. You need to be familiar with its literal meaning to execute and reap benefits out of it. 

The concept of lean management revolves around the manufacturing processes making them more firm and efficient. It won't be wrong to refer to it as a universal management tool to optimize the workflow while delivering valuable services and products to your esteemed customers/clients.

There is no surprise that lean management has been widespread across the industries, enriching core values and positively impacting companies' overall performance. Plus, you can implement the concept of lean manufacturing or management in the business processes, marketing or software development cycle for your organization. 

The whole idea of lean management lies in three approaches, including - 

  1. Eliminate the waste (everything that does not bring any more value to the business operations and products) 
  2. Ensure value from the perspective of customers or clients 
  3. Streamline the consistent process bringing a change in the product manufacturing methodology 
All in all, lean management is a constant process that keeps on improving with time, people, and purposes. All an organization needs are to work on the operational factors, improve them by any means and implement the required changes whenever possible. Rather than holding on to the total access of operational workflow while keeping the spotlight, lean management boosts the shared leadership and responsibility to fasten up the impact of positive strategies used. 

The two major pillars of lean management are - 
  1. Consistent improvements 
  2. Respecting people involved in the process 
Organizations are using lean management in multiple ways in their work processes. Regardless of industry, workflow, and organizational structure, lean management is turning out to be a hotshot in the world of businesses seeking success. This concept started back in the 40s when the Toyota Production System was established. 

The History of Lean Management
Toyota introduced the concept of lean management in the late 1940s, emphasising reducing the number of processes while encouraging the need for bringing value to the end product. 

This helped a brand like Toyota to build a stronger manufacturing market and achieve significant improvements in efficiency, cost-effectiveness, productivity and overall manufacturing cycle time. All thanks to the lean manufacturing concept's notable effects that have been spread across multiple industries while effectively enriches the cycle of production. What makes it even more progressive is the basic principles and software development. 

The approach of lean software development
Those who desire to learn the basics and get the gist of software development in association with lean management should read the book "Learn Software Development: An Agile Toolkit" by Tom Poppendieck and Mary. This book illustrates the importance of applying lean methodology principles in coordination with the software development process. What makes lean software development more progressive is its 7 principles. By the time the manufacturing businesses and industry started using lean software development processes, it could see remarkable developments difference in real. 

The lean management startup
Eric Ries, a serial entrepreneur and engineer, developed an approach drafted on the lean principles to succeed in startups. For this, many people tend to learn a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Course encompassing the basics of lean management's advanced learning. Such courses can help to brush up knowledge, intensity the process, and tenfold the results effectively.

From the business point of view, the lean management process shortens the work cycle and discovers the business concept in a new direction. Generally, the marketing professionals, officers appointed at the government-powered agencies, etc., practice lean management methodology to reap the benefits. 

Basic principles of lean management
Identity the value - What does a company strive to achieve? Of course, to offer valuable services or products whereas working on maintaining the quality of their product range. For this, the company requires to work on understanding the needs and expectations of the ideal customers. Here, the value lies in the issue that you have been trying to solve for your customers. To be more precise, anything that does not add value to the customer's experience is considered a waste. Therefore, you need to identify the required value and improve the processes.

Develop a consistent workflow - Once you have mastered the art of value stream mapping, then comes strengthening and streamlining the workflow among all the teams. This may take some time to bring everything on the desirable track but remain consistent. 

Value the stream mapping - It's all about mapping the needs of the company and workflow requirements. It should include everything from the actions to the people involved in the process. This will help you improve and identify the different parts of the process to bring value. Applying the lean principles to the value stream mapping processes can help you understand the appropriate value proportion for all the sections. 

Develop a pull system
Ensuring a stable workflow guarantees that the teammates involved in the process can work much more efficiently and effortlessly. One can develop a pull system to secure a stable workflow and make it work to the best of your ability. 

It comes with a line of benefits for individuals and organizations. And it includes- 
The ever-growing popularity of lean principles is the direct result of its efficiency and process clearly. It comes with perks like - 
  1. Improving the efficiency
  2. Focus 
  3. Better use of the resources available
  4. Smart processing 
The bottom line is that
Lean management makes everything look sorted and effective. It is a manufacturing process methodology that improves productivity, adds to the workflow functioning and ensures value for the customers. An organization can implement the principles of lean management in marketing, software development and production. All you need is to learn about the insights of lean management to the best.

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