Lean is a set of tools originaly created in Toyota company, after WWII. Creator was Taiichi Ohno, Toyota Plant manager during 1950s (when Toyota was producing tracks for domestic market), that was givven assignment from the owner to achive Ford productivity, in the company with „jidoka“ tradition (created by company founder, Sakichi Toyoda, in XIX century, during threadmill phase), and „kanban“ (created by his son, Kiichiro Toyoda, following logic of american supermarkets). until 80s this set of tools was developted and ussually known as TPS (Toyota Production System) or Lean production, even some of the best tools have nothing to do with production (for example new product development or supply chain management).  During last decade it has been merged with problem solving methodology Six Sigma, under name of Lean Six Sigma, and oftenlly used as a key set of tools for new age structure, commonly called „Continiuos improvement management“ or „Bussiness exellance management“ etc.


TOC (Theory of constraint

5 Lean Principles

Toyota orginal approach

Tools (more only in serbian version):


„7 wastes“.

VSM, Value stream mapping.

„One piece flow“.

Takt vreme (TT)

JIT, Just in time.

Kanban, or „pull“ system.


VM, Visual management.

SMED, „single minute exchange of dieces“.

Poka Yoke, or Error proofing.




Lean Bible

“The Toyota Way, 14 Management Principles from the World s Greatest Manufacturer”, Jeffrey K. Liker is ussually seen as a best Lean book, with a great history, very important for understanding of Lean, with anegdotes, interviews, with indiders, mostly Japanees, but a lot of Americans too, mostly managers of american Toyota brunches, with the content around so called 14 principles (under this text), with a lot of details, offering fantastic insight in what is called Lean. Some parts are „automotive specific“, some goes very deep in japaneese culture, so sometimes are heavy for understanding, but anyway this is the best Lean education material that you can find. This book is basic for some advanced Lean trainings (ususally caled „Lean leader“ trainings), best material for Lean professionals, and everybody else who want to learn more about Lean. Some of the topics I can strongly reccomend (Jidoka, Hansei, Heijunka, Nemawashi,  Kaizen, Genchi Genbutsu).


Principle 1: Base Your Management Decisions on a Long-Term Philosophy, Even at the Expense of Short-Term Financial Goals

Principle 2: Create Continuous Process Flow to Bring Problems to the Surface

Principle 3: Use Pull Systems to Avoid Overproduction

Principle 4: Level Out the Workload (Heijunka)

Principle 5: Build a Culture of Stopping to Fix Problems, to Get Quality Right the First Time

Principle 6: Standardized Tasks Are the Foundation for Continuous Improvement and Employee Empowerment

Principle 7: Use Visual Control So No Problems Are Hidden

Principle 8: Use Only Reliable, Thoroughly Tested Technology That Serves Your People and Processes

Principle 9: Grow Leaders Who Thoroughly Understand the Work, Live the Philosophy, and Teach It to Others

Principle 10: Develop Exceptional People and Teams Who Follow Your Company s Philosophy

Principle 11: Respect Your Extended Network of Partners and Suppliers by Challenging Them and Helping

Them Improve

Principle 12: Go and See for Yourself to Thoroughly Understand the Situation (Genchi Genbutsu)

Principle 13: Make Decisions Slowly by Consensus,Thoroughly Considering All Options; Implement Rapidly (Nemawashi)

Principle 14: Become a Learning Organization Through Relentless Reflection (Hansei) and Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)