Lean management: What you need to know

Lean Management

Want to learn a more efficient way of working? You should try lean…

Not only could the principles of the popular management methodology help improve the quality of your work, but it could also open the door to a whole new set of careers. Especially if you’re looking to add real value to your organisational skills.

We spoke to the experts at vision2learn, one of the UK’s top course providers, to find out more about the lean methodology – and discover how you can start learning lean for free:


What is lean management?

Lean is a popular approach to management that focusses on continuous improvement – aiming to promote a culture that minimises waste, and is as efficient and productive as possible.

Organically developed by Toyota in the late 1980s, the philosophy has gone on to be applied in a wide range of industries, including everything from manufacturing and business management through to product development and design.


What are the lean management principles?

There are five key principles of lean:

  1. Identify value – What works best for the consumer? Determine what internal teams/external customers want from your service, and whether their needs are being met.
  2. Value mapping – Map out all the processes that go into producing a piece of work or product. Once you’ve visualised each step, you’ll be able to identify where work gets stuck, as well as where waste can potentially be eliminated.
  3. Create flow – Once wasteful steps have been eliminated, the next step is to ensure the remaining processes all continue to flow correctly. Are there any new tools you can implement to increase efficiency? Can communication between teams be improved?
  4. Establish pull – When does the consumer need the piece of work to be completed? What can you do to ensure they get it on time? Getting this phase right means delivery time can be dramatically improved across the board. No matter what it is you’re working on.
  5. Seek perfection – Lean isn’t a one-time process. As perfection can never truly be achieved, organisations should strive for continuous improvement by repeating this process again and again. Only then will waste continue to be removed, and efficiency gained.


What are the best lean management tools?

There are a number of different tools a manager or company can employ to help implement the key principles of lean.

Some of the most popular lean management tools include:

  • 5S
  • Kaizen
  • Kanban
  • KPIs
  • Mistake proofing
  • SMART goals
  • Takt time

However, there are many different tools out there you could employ. The key is finding the right one for you and your business – as well as the lean principle you think needs the most work.


What are the benefits of the lean methodology?

Since the principles of lean were formalised in the late 1980s, it’s gone on to be employed by thousands of businesses around the world – helping to increase efficiencies across a wide range of industries.

Although particularly helpful for project managers and product owners, lean is useful for teams in almost any business. In fact, for lean to be successful, it requires all employees to be bought in and committed to continuously improving.

On a personal level, it’s also a great stepping stone to PRINCE2 and Lean Six Sigma, two of the most popular and sough-after project management qualifications – and it can open the door to several different careers.


What are the best lean jobs?

Getting lean qualified can lead to career progression in a wide range of different sectors, including engineering, the public sector, FMCG, human resources and many more.

Some of the best jobs you could do once you’ve got-to-grips with the lean methodology include:

  • Project Manager
  • Scrum Master
  • Quality Engineer
  • Process Improvement Consultant
  • Product Manager
  • Lean Consultant


How do you get lean qualified?

There are a wide range of certifications out there to help you learn lean. Not to mention validate your skills to employers.

If you’re interested in finding out more, we recommend getting-to-grips with the key principles by taking a free online course.

That way you can get your head around the methodology, and whether it’s right for you, your business, and your career – all without paying an upfront cost.


Why study with vision2learn?

vision2learn offer courses funded by the UK government, that are delivered and accredited in partnership with a further education college.  

They’ve helped thousands of people to advance their skillset and progress in their career, studying everything from customer service, business and IT, through to nutrition and healthcare.

Benefits of studying with them include:

  • Access to FREE courses in work-related areas
  • A convenient way to update your skills and boost your CV
  • Gaining a Level 2 nationally accredited qualification
  • Flexible studying options
  • UK-based support team and a one-to-one dedicated tutor


Find out more



Interested in learning lean? Talk to vision2learn today.



vision2learn are one of the UK’s top providers of free courses, helping thousands of people across the world to get certified and progress in their careers.



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