The 14 Lean Management principles are critical to any company that wants to drive long-term performance. The principles help businesses drive short-term performance and build strong lean best practices into the organisation for long term growth. If you want your business to be successful, you need to focus on these principles!
While these concepts are built upon a Lean background, Lean was built and has evolved by borrowing, re-framing and repurposing existing business management ideas.
These concepts are not just for Lean people, but for every leader at all levels of the business. They are reflection points to access the health of your processes, your people, your suppliers, your strategy and your purpose.
These articles reflect on the key ideas and concepts from the 14 Management Principles from “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker. Lean is not about squeezing more from less. It’s about removing everything that stops us from delivering greater value to our customers.
- Problem Solving | People & Partners | The Right Process | Long Term Philosophy
Long Term Philosophy
Businesses are always at risk of sacrificing their long term goals to achieve short term results. This is particularly evident with the quarterly reporting cycles where the decisions taken may help the end of quarter results but may slow down progress.
The Right Process
People flourish when the processes are designed well and a big part of the Lean approach is this Process Thinking. If we build the right standardised processes which create value for the business, we can then spend more time developing our people. Without this approach, organisations firefight and both processes and people development fall away.
People & Partners
Lean encourages us to invest in our people. To spend time training, coaching, developing and growing tallet from within the organisation. And when it comes to partners, the Lean Principles ask us to build meaningful relationships with our suppliers rather than short cost-focused partner relationships.
The crown and also the future of the organisation is the tip of the triangle – building that culture of continuous improvement and always looking to solve the root cause of any issues the crop up across the business. With a strong philosophy, robust processes, investment in our people and partners, this final stage is all about exceeding today’s performance tomorrow.
Principle 1: Base your management decisions on a long term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
Principle 2: Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
Principle 3: Use “Pull” system to avoid overproduction.
Principle 4: Level out the workload (heijunka). (“Work like a tortoise, not the hare”).
Principle 5: Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right at the first time.
Principle 6: Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous improvements and employee empowerment.
Principle 7: Use Visual Control so no problems are hidden.
Principle 8: Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that servers your people and process.
Principle 9: Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live philosophy and teach it to others.
Principle 10: Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
Principle 11: Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
Principle 12: Go to Gemba and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (Genchi Genbutsu).
Principle 13: Make decision slowly by consensus (use cross-functional teams), thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.
Principle 14: Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvements (Kaizen).