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Lean Principles and Application


“Lean”, as a concept, gained wide popularity in the early 1990s partly as a result of a study undertaken by MIT to understand why Japanese companies were so much more successful than their Western counterparts in competing in the auto motive sector. Since then there has been a proliferation of lean initiatives often focussing on the adoption of tools and techniques intrinsic to the Toyota Production System and occasionally seeking to apply “lean thinking” to processes and sectors outside of the medium variety / low order size manufacturing environment typical of the auto motive sector. The driving force behind these initiatives has been to reduce the cost base through the removal of waste.

The latest thinking, however, is that it is insufficient to apply Lean to isolated parts of the organisation; a better approach is to take a supply chain view, including suppliers and customers to develop a lean enterprise. Moreover, these enterprises should be seeking to create capability to identify new and emerging customer values and ways to deliver this effectively. This often requires changes to the way that people think about their workplace responsibilities and needs effective lean management.

This module examines the principles, techniques, and key tools of Lean and considers how they might apply in a variety of processes and sectors. The strategic importance of creating “lean enterprise” is explored as well as the management and leadership challenges associated with achieving and sustaining this.


On completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss a framework for “Lean Thinking” and the benefits a Lean approach can afford.
  • Identify, select and apply relevant tools and techniques to support a Lean enterprise.
  • Critically evaluate how “Lean Thinking” might apply in different sectors, processes and levels within the enterprise.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of organsiational culture and management on lean transformation.
  • Determine an appropriate approach to implementing sustainable Lean enterprise


  • The Evolution of Lean
  • Framework for Lean Thinking
  • Creating a Lean Enterprise
  • Illustrations of “Lean” in different sectors
  • Application case studies
  • Lean implementation
  • Sustaining Lean Enterprise
  • Lean Leadership & Coaching
  • Tools and techniques


5 days


Course work and assignment.




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