Lean management

The term lean management refers to the entirety of principles of thought, methods, and procedures to efficiently shape the entire value creation chain for industrial goods.

The lean management methods were developed in the middle of the 20th century by Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota, allowing it to create stable process organizations, which are the basis of the quality level achieved by its products. The methods were first described in the books by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones (“The Machine That Changed The World”, “Lean Thinking”), using the example of Toyota, as well as other companies. Womack and Jones also coined the term “lean thinking”. Lean management is now applied successfully around the world in almost all sectors and is no longer restricted to manufacturing processes (lean production), but also involves other business areas, such as maintenance (lean maintenance) or business processes (lean administration), for instance in the creation of services or as supportive processes, such as in order processing. Many renowned companies have set up lean projects and production systems, which use the Toyota Production System as a role model. Increased interest in lean management has also been observed in Germany for several years, with the topic also being the subject of research.

Glossary Technical terms at a glance