Lean Methodology: What Does it Mean to Be Lean?

February 9, 2022

by Cj Pettus

Lean methodology can have a positive impact on organizations in almost any industry. 

Lean methodology is key to problem solving. In any organization—in any industry—there are problems that hurt team efficiency and customer satisfaction. Without the proper tools, employees cannot address the issues and problems can fester. Employees can be stuck working in frustrating and inefficient systems, while customers receive services and products below the highest quality. With Lean methodology, however, organizations can grow and improve.

More Than a Set of Tools

There are various tools that are part of the Lean methodology, including Value Stream Mapping and A3 Thinking, but the strategy is much more. As Lean Manufacturing instructor Yavuz Bozer says, “Lean is more than just a collection of tools—it’s about being innovative, being a better problem solver.” When an organization initiates a Lean transformation, all team members’ voices are strengthened. The people who are doing the work gain the power to evaluate processes, take note of inefficiencies, and design more productive options. Who better to improve something that’s broken than the person closest to it?

Lean Healthcare instructor Dr. Jack Billi says, “Lean thinking is an empowerment strategy for problem solving.” And this proves true when employees gain the tools to fix issues they encounter every day. Ultimately, when the employees are empowered problem solvers, everyone benefits.

A Widely Used Way of Thinking

Although Lean methodology first grew popular in manufacturing after Toyota introduced the concept, it is now widely used. Lean thinking continues to be important and very common in manufacturing, but it has grown in popularity elsewhere too. From organizations in office settings to healthcare systems, teams working in all sorts of specialties depend on Lean thinking to produce the best possible outcomes for their customers. Regardless of the product or processes, Lean methodology offers a solution for nearly any organization.

When you are ready to begin implementing Lean methodology in your organization, consider a professional education course from Nexus. We offer a number of Lean courses, including Lean Manufacturing, Lean Product Development, Lean Deployment, Lean Healthcare, and more. After you and your teammates complete a course, you too will hold the key to problem solving.

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