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Building the House of Lean

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Groundwork - 5S, TPM, Visual Management

  • In the Lean philosophy, we would have the core groundwork, which would be 5S (5S is a method of controlling your workplace organisation).

  • Total Productive Maintenance, (a way of ensuring that all your equipment and machinery is efficient, and then working to the direct requirements to deliver the product on time).

  • Visual Management - (Visual management is about creating KPIs and information to allow you to react fast to the abnormalities).

Once we've got those three in place, your standard operating procedures become clear, and we start to focus on how do you make everybody work more efficiently to the exact same practices, so we get consistent sustainability.

Foundation Block - our Standards

However, once you've got that in place, then we can put our foundation block in place, which is what we call standards, that will be your standard operating procedures.

Once we've got standards, we can put problem solving methods in place. It's what we call practical problem solving. Because without standards you can't problem solve, because you're first question in problem solving is “what does the standard say?”.

Building the Walls

So once we got this in place, we can then build our walls up.

  • Just in Time - which is about having all your products delivered to the right quantity at the right place at the right time.

  • Jidoka - A Japanese word basically meaning quality systems.

Roof - Continuous Improvement

We put the roof on this process with Kaizen or Continuous improvement.

The house is held together by your people, their activities and knowledge

In reality, this whole system doesn't work unless we build it around the people and their activities and their knowledge. So in essence, we're trying to build in:

  • Through 5S, a self disciplined workforce,

  • Through TPM, and efficient equipment set

  • Through visual management, transparency

  • Through standards, sustainable business process

These are driven by product that's delivered on time, to the right quality, built around your people with an opportunity to continuously improve.

That's the whole foundation for Lean Management.

Please contact us at if you would like to learn more.


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