5 Principles For Lean Thinking

Principle (1): Value Definition- Specify Value

It is the product or service with specific capabilities offered at specific prices through a dialogue with specific customers. The value is defined by ultimate customer and it is expressed in terms of product or service that meets the customer’s needs at specific price and time. Value is created by the producer and it is viewed by the customers as the reason why producer exists. 

The main objective is to define the right product with right capabilities that the target customer wants and it will ultimately lead to elimination of waste.

Principle (2): Value Streams- Identify Value Streams

It is the set of all specific actions required to create & deliver a specific product (or value) through the following three tasks:

  • Problem-solving task (Value Definition-Problem-Solution Fit): it is running from product concept through detailed design and engineering to production launch.
  • Information management task (Value Planning): it is running from order taking through detailed scheduling to delivery.
  • Physical transformation Task (Value Capturing): it is proceeding from raw materials to a finished product at the hands of the customer.

The main objective is to define the right value streams that target customer wants and it will leads to elimination of waste.

Principle (3): Flow- Create Value With Continuous Flow

It is the processes made to create and deliver the value to the specific customer. These processes comprise of all steps required to create and deliver the value from product-concept development all the way through delivering the right product to the target customer and collect revenues.

The main objective is to create value with a continuous flow that eliminate waste for materials, cost and time.

Principle (4): Pull- Create & Deliver Value Required By The Customer

It is the ability to design, schedule and make a product exactly what the customer wants. That is, you can let the customer pull the product from you as needed rather than pushing products onto the customers. The processes & capabilities required to plan, make and deliver value is governed by the specifications set by the specific customers. A customer pulls wanted products as per the set of criteria specified by the customer.

The main objective is to produce and deliver the right product to the customer as needed with lowest possible of time, inventory, cost or in other meaning with elimination of waste.

Principle (5): Perfection- Continual Improvement Of Value Creation & Capturing

It is the continuous processes for reducing effort, time, space, cost, and mistake while offering a product that a customer wants.

The objective is to offer a value that a customer most wants.


Written by: Munther Al Dawood

Enterprise Development Services



Inspired by: Womack, J. & Jones, D. 2003. Lean Thinking, Simon & Schuster, London UK.




Categories entrepreneurship, lean thinking, startupTags

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