How to create Lean Management in 5 Steps

When I think Lean Management I think to the senior leaders.

Is it correct?

I think it is correct.

It is proven that if the leadership is not committed to Lean Management,
the business will never be lead following the Lean Principles.

All this said,
reading this page you will find a complete guide on how to create a Lean Management.

Let’s start with a great video we created based on a must-read book.

The Toyota Way – 14 Principles of Lean Management.



you will find the 14 principles written.

#1 – “Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.”

#2 – “Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.”

#3 – “Use ‘pull’ systems to avoid overproduction.”

#4 – “Level out the workload (work like the tortoise, not the hare).”

#5 – “Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get the quality right the first time.”

#6 – “Standardized tasks and processes are the foundations for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.”

#7 – “Use visual controls, so no problems are hidden.”

#8 – “Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and process.”

#9 – “Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.”

#10 – “Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.”

#11 – “Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.”

#12 – “Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.”

#13 – “Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.”

#14 – “Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.”

I strongly suggest reading our page on what is lean to have a complete picture of the Lean principles


the principles and the Lean History is clear but how to do it?

Read the next section, and you will discover.

What is a Lean Manager?

In the following video, I tried to resume 7 points for great Lean Management.

Here the 7 characteristics of a Lean Manager:

1) Continually Self-Evaluate.

2) Don’t Just Know How to Solve Problems; Know How to Find Them!

3) Follow Through and ask people if the solution works

4) Get the Facts by questions and data

5) First Envision Success and focus on results

6) Must Empower Excellence

7) Leadership is a Service and Not a Destination

The 5 Principles of Lean.

The image that is worldwide known for 5 lean principles is the following:

5 Lean Principles

Here there is video the explain these points into details:

The 5 Main Steps of Lean Management.


I told several times in different posts.

Firstly, I love the following video.
Secondly, I love the following video.
Finally, I love the following video.

This video is the best Step by Step video on how to implement a Lean Management System.

See it now this overview, and then I will comment on some steps.

It lasts around 6 minutes, but it is PURE GOLD!

Have you seen the video?


I will give more details on the core initiatives to create and support the Lean Program.

How to control your territory.

Lean Management step 1

What does it mean?

Here the question you have to answer:

  • What does the company expect from my team and me?
  • Which indicators (KPI) I am accountable for?
  • What part of the shop floor is under my responsibility?
  • How many resources I can control? (Money and People)

Once you have these answers,
and I bet is not easy, you have to vigorously implement a 5S methodology!

Work on what counts!


Sometimes we forget that we work for a customer.

do yourself some questions.

What the customer is willing to pay?

What is the value to him?


let’s try to traduce this in actions.

Let me do an example.

My customer is willing to pay readiness to demand variation.
In other words, he wants to be delivered on time even if the week before he asked for 100 pieces and the current week he asks for 180. Finally, he wants 100% quality.


the action I would do would be to assess the maximum capacity of the line, quest for quality and building a supermarket.

Is it clear enough?


Let’s move to the third step to Lean Management.

People want to be involved and be successful.


Once you have the metrics that count you need to involve the team.

There are 2 ingredients you have to put in place:

  1. A board with the daily indicators
  2. Daily flash meeting

Is it clear?

A) Place a board and do the meeting!
B) Place a board and do the meeting!
C) Place a board and do the meeting!

If you are not able to do it, you will fail!

It is not easy for organizations, but you will improve by doing it.

Your team will be happy to be more accountable and understand their contribution.

Coming back to the example above:
On the board, I would put a daily tracker of defects found the day before (quantity and type).
Then, I would put the maximum capacity of the line and the daily size of the supermarket. 

In the beginning, you have to be present every day, but the real goal is to have the develop the team to be accountable for the indicators.

When is mature, the meeting has to be done even if you are not present!

Here is the Kicker,

when you set the board, try this game that I call:


Simply ask the people that attend the board to say at the loud voice:

My name is XXXX and in this team, I am accountable for YYYY

for example:

My name is Luke and in this team I bring daily the quality issue of the day before.

In this video, we found a real example.

How a Lean Enterprise run the daily meeting.

Develop people by delegating.


During the daily meeting, the problems have not to be solved straight away.
Depending on the complexity one resource or a team has to be accountable to solve the problem.

Here is when the KAIZEN appears!

If you do this process every day and involve people every day, you will have the continuous improvement that is the base of Lean Management.

I have found for you a great image of the Toyota cycle for Kaizen.

It all about people and learning!

Never heard KAIKAKU?


With the daily kaizen, you will have small daily improvement.
Then, this process will lead you to the KAIKAKU.
Here the definition from WIKIPEDIA.

Kaikaku (Japanese for "radical change") is a business concept concerned with making fundamental and radical changes to a production system, unlike Kaizen which is focused on incremental minor changes. Both Kaizen and Kaikaku can be applied to activities other than production.

When you have the Kaikaku, you experience a strategic step change that transforms your company in the direction of the vision you set at the beginning of the Lean Journey.


To set a Lean Management framework you have to understand what is lean and the basic principles.

As a manager, you have to teach and practice the foundation of the Toyota’s House, the stability, the standard.

So, by having a daily rhythm on the boards, you will teach the company by example.


by following the 5 lean steps process below, you will really transform your company:

#1 – Control your territory

#2 – Give meaning to actions

#3 – Motivate and driving your team

#4  Delegating simple problem-solving

#5 – Managing the progress plan


I am thrilled to read your comment on what is Lean Management for you!

Comment below!