Lean Results PRO - FAQ

Our Lean Results PRO course covers a range of topics from explaining why you should implement lean and it's benefits, how to successfully and practically implement lean and how to measure the results of a successful lean implementation. This page outlines some of the topics covered in the Lean Results PRO course to give you a more detailed understanding of how implementing lean can benefit your team or business.

What is a lean culture?

Lean culture refers to a set of values, principles, and practices within an organization that align with the principles of lean thinking. At its core, lean culture is a mindset and approach that emphasizes continuous improvement, waste reduction, and employee empowerment. Originating from the lean manufacturing philosophy pioneered by Toyota, lean culture has expanded beyond its manufacturing roots and is now applied across various industries and sectors.

Key characteristics of a lean culture include:

Continuous Improvement

A commitment to ongoing enhancement of processes, products, and services. Employees are encouraged to identify inefficiencies and actively participate in finding solutions for improvement. Continuous improvement training is included in the Lean Results PRO course.

Waste Elimination

The relentless pursuit of eliminating waste in all its forms, including time, materials, and resources. This involves scrutinizing every aspect of the workflow to identify and eliminate non-value-added activities.

Respect for People

A fundamental principle of lean culture is the respect for every individual within the organization. This involves recognizing the unique skills, perspectives, and contributions of each employee.


Employees are empowered to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This empowerment fosters a sense of responsibility and engagement, contributing to the overall success of the organization.

Customer Focus

Prioritizing customer needs and delivering value are central tenets of lean culture. Organizations strive to understand customer requirements and align their processes to meet or exceed those expectations.

Visual Management

Using visual cues and tools to make information about processes, performance, and goals readily available. This helps in creating transparency and facilitating better communication within the organization.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Lean culture promotes a collaborative environment where cross-functional teams work together to achieve common goals. Collaboration is essential for addressing complex challenges and driving continuous improvement.


Establishing standardized work processes and procedures to ensure consistency and efficiency. Standardization provides a baseline for improvement efforts and helps in sustaining positive changes over time.

Advantages of lean manufacturing with lean culture

Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach to improving process efficiency by eliminating waste. Lean culture is a set of values and principles that support lean manufacturing by empowering employees to identify and eliminate waste, and to continuously improve processes.

The advantages of lean manufacturing with lean culture include:

Reduced waste

Lean culture encourages employees to identify and eliminate waste from all aspects of the manufacturing process (DOWNTIME): defects, over production, waiting, utilised talent, transportation, inventory, motion and extra processing.

Improved quality

Lean culture emphasizes the importance of quality in all aspects of the manufacturing process. By identifying and addressing the root causes of defects, businesses can improve the quality of their products.

Increased productivity

By eliminating waste and streamlining processes (information, material and product flows), lean culture can help businesses to produce more products within the customer requirements with fewer resources.

Reduced costs

Lean culture can help businesses to reduce costs by reducing waste, improving efficiency, and increasing productivity.

Improved customer satisfaction

By delivering high-quality products on time and at a competitive price, lean culture can help businesses to improve customer satisfaction.

In addition to these advantages, lean culture can also lead to improved employee morale, increased safety, and a more sustainable business.


A manufacturing company with a lean culture might implement a "5S system" to organize, clean and standardize their workspaces. This would help to reduce waste and improve efficiency by eliminating unnecessary movement and clutter. The company might also implement a "just-in-time" (JIT) inventory system to reduce waste and costs by only producing what is needed, when it is needed.

Overall, lean manufacturing with lean culture can help businesses to improve their bottom line and become more competitive.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a workflow management methodology that originated in Japan. It emphasizes visualizing work on a board, typically with columns representing different stages. Tasks, represented as cards, move through these stages. WIP limits are set for each stage to prevent overloading and maintain a smooth flow.

The approach follows a pull system, where work is pulled into the system based on capacity and customer demand. Continuous improvement is a key aspect, with regular feedback loops and the application of the Kaizen philosophy for incremental enhancements.

Kanban is adaptable, accommodating changes in priorities or requirements. It encourages collaboration within teams and transparent communication. Metrics such as lead time, cycle time, and throughput are used to measure and optimize performance.

Roles are not strictly prescribed, allowing flexibility in team structures, and shared responsibility is encouraged. Kanban principles include starting with existing processes, pursuing incremental changes, and respecting current roles and responsibilities. Overall, Kanban is widely applied in various domains to optimize processes and enhance productivity.

The Lean Results PRO course includes Kanban Training among many other topics.

What is 5S?

5S is a workplace organization methodology that originated in Japan. It comprises five principles aimed at improving efficiency, safety, and overall organization. The 5S framework includes:

Sort (Seiri)

- Focuses on eliminating unnecessary items from the workplace.

- Separates essential tools and materials from those that are unnecessary.

Set in Order (Seiton)

- Organizes and arranges necessary items in a logical and accessible manner.

- Reduces time wasted searching for tools or materials.

Shine (Seiso)

- Involves cleaning and maintaining a clean workspace.

- Identifies and addresses the root causes of dirt, dust, and clutter.

Standardize (Seiketsu)

- Establishes consistent work practices and procedures.

- Ensures that the first three S's become routine and are sustained over time.

Sustain (Shitsuke)

- Encourages the continuation and improvement of 5S practices.

- Involves training, regular audits, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

5S is widely applied in manufacturing, service industries, and various workplaces to enhance organization, safety, and productivity. You can access 5S training in the Lean Results PRO course.

What is SMED?

SMED, or Single-Minute Exchange of Die, is a methodology focused on minimizing the time it takes to change over a manufacturing process from producing one product to another. The goal is to reduce setup or changeover time to a single-digit number of minutes, ideally within the range of one to ten minutes. SMED aims to increase operational efficiency, flexibility, and responsiveness in manufacturing by:

Internal and External Setup

Distinguishing between internal (tasks that can only be done when production is stopped) and external (tasks that can be done while the last batch is still running) setup activities.

Converting Internal to External Setup

Moving as many tasks as possible from internal to external setup to minimize downtime.


Standardizing setup procedures to make them more efficient and repeatable.


Performing setup tasks in parallel rather than sequentially to save time.

Elimination of Adjustments

Designing equipment and processes to reduce the need for adjustments during setup.

By implementing SMED principles, organizations can achieve quicker changeovers, reduce production batch sizes, and improve overall production flexibility, allowing for more efficient and responsive manufacturing operations.

Learn about SMED with the Lean Results PRO course.

What are SQDC Boards?

An SQDC board, representing Safety (S), Quality (Q), Delivery (D), and Cost (C), is a visual management tool used in manufacturing and operations. Comprising four columns, each dedicated to a specific element, the board serves as a centralized platform for teams to track and communicate key performance indicators related to safety, product quality, delivery schedules, and cost management.

By utilizing an SQDC board, organizations can enhance communication, streamline decision-making processes, and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement. This visual tool empowers teams to quickly identify and address issues related to safety incidents, product quality deviations, delivery challenges, and cost fluctuations, facilitating a more agile and responsive operational environment.

What are work instructions?

Work instructions are detailed step-by-step guides that provide clear directions on how to perform a specific task or job within an organization. These documents are crucial in various industries to ensure consistency, quality, and safety in the execution of work processes. Work instructions typically include information such as materials needed, tools required, sequential steps to follow, safety precautions, and any relevant quality standards.

For instance, in a manufacturing setting, work instructions for assembling a product may outline each assembly step, specify the torque values for tightening screws, and emphasize safety measures to be taken during the process. These instructions serve as a valuable resource for employees, enabling them to carry out their responsibilities accurately and efficiently, ultimately contributing to the overall effectiveness and standardization of operational procedures.

What is pareto analysis?

Pareto analysis, also known as the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle, is a decision-making technique that suggests a large majority of problems (80%) are caused by a small number of root causes (20%). This principle is named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. In the context of problem-solving or process improvement, Pareto analysis is used to identify and prioritize the most significant factors contributing to a problem or a set of issues.

To conduct a Pareto analysis, data is collected on the various factors influencing a problem. This could be defects in a manufacturing process, customer complaints, or any other relevant metric. The factors are then ranked in descending order based on their contribution to the overall problem. The analysis helps to focus resources on addressing the most critical issues first, optimizing efforts for maximum impact. For example, in a business context, a company might use Pareto analysis to determine which product defects are causing the majority of customer complaints, allowing them to prioritize quality improvement efforts on the most crucial aspects of their products.

Learn to conduct a pareto analysis with the Lean Results PRO course.

What is a spaghetti diagram?

A spaghetti diagram is a visual representation of the flow of people, materials, or information within a process or system. It gets its name because the lines that represent the flow often resemble a tangled mass of spaghetti, illustrating the complexity and inefficiencies in the workflow. This diagram is particularly useful in identifying and analyzing the physical movement and paths taken by individuals or objects in a given space.

To create a spaghetti diagram, one typically observes and documents the actual paths taken by people or materials as they move through a process. This is often done by physically following individuals or items and marking their routes on a map or floor plan. The result is a visual representation that clearly shows the movement patterns, crossovers, and potential bottlenecks in the process.

The primary purpose of a spaghetti diagram is to identify opportunities for improvement in efficiency and layout. By visualizing the current state of a process, organizations can pinpoint areas where unnecessary movement, delays, or congestion occur. This information is valuable for making informed decisions about process redesign or reorganization to optimize workflow and reduce waste. Spaghetti diagrams are commonly used in lean manufacturing and process improvement methodologies.

Learn how to implement the methods above with the Lean Results PRO course.

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