What is Lean?

It is the opinion of many that lean is, identifying waste, reducing waste, and adding value to the end user who is the most important link.

Some companies have signes posted in their premises, the customer pays your wages and that is so true.

Let me give you some of the lean tiools widely used such as, value stream mapping, Kaizen events and 5s

Value stream mapping

A value stream map is every activity that takes place in order to deliver your product or service to the end user and that could be something you manufacture, it could be a policy document, it could be a cleaning service you provide or any service provided to a customer. The best people to produce a value stream map are those who directly provide the service. When the map is produced then time each stage and also identify what  waste can be removed.

Kaizen Events

They are sometimes called splash events, which are small improvement made in the value stream map. These can be made daily, weekly, Monthly etc, but the key to making small improvements is to get all of those who are involved in the process to put forward ideas for improving parts of the process and give recognisition to the person who produced the idea. Many hands make light work and no one person has all of the answers.


The five terms in Japanese are:
Seiri: Separate needed from unneeded items—tools, parts materials, paperwork—and discard the unneeded.
Seiton: Neatly arrange what is left—a place for everything and everything in its place.
Seiso: Clean and wash.
Seiketsu: Cleanliness resulting from regular performance of the first three Ss.
Shitsuke: Discipline, to perform the first four Ss.
The Five Ss often are translated into English as Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. Some lean practitioners add a sixth S for Safety
Keeping the workplace neat and tidy with everything in its place will reduce waste and add value to the end user.




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