What are the 7 lean principles?

Lean manufacturing is a production philosophy that aims to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. It is based on the lean principles of continuous improvement, respect for people, customer focus, flow, pull, and perfection. These principles are applied to streamline the production process and make it more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing customer demands. The goal of lean manufacturing is to create a production system that is cost-effective and capable of delivering high-quality products and services to customers. By adopting a lean approach, organizations can increase their competitiveness, improve their bottom line, and provide a better work environment for their employees.

Lean Principles

Elimination of waste:

This principle involves identifying and removing non-value-adding activities in the production process, such as overproduction, waiting, unnecessary motion, defects, overprocessing, excess inventory, unused talent, and unused space. By removing waste, the production process becomes more efficient and cost-effective.

Continuous improvement:

This principle involves a constant search for ways to improve processes, products, and services. It encourages everyone in the organization to identify and solve problems and make suggestions for improvement.

Respect for people:

This principle recognizes the importance of treating workers as valuable assets and empowering them to contribute to the improvement process. It involves creating a work environment that is safe, respectful, and supportive, and providing workers with the necessary training and tools to do their jobs effectively.

Customer focus:

This principle involves understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of customers. It involves listening to customer feedback and using it to drive continuous improvement.

You may like to read about How lean principles are used in manufacturing.


This principle involves creating a smooth and continuous flow of work, from the receipt of an order to the delivery of the finished product. This helps to reduce waiting time, minimize inventory, and improve lead time.


This principle involves producing only what the customer needs when the customer needs it. This helps to reduce inventory and improve lead time, making the production process more flexible and responsive to changes in customer demand.


This principle involves striving for a state of continuous improvement, where waste is eliminated, and processes are streamlined to the point where they are running at peak efficiency. It is a never-ending journey toward improvement, where everyone in the organization is committed to making the production process as efficient and effective as possible.

In conclusion, lean manufacturing principles provide a roadmap for organizations looking to improve their production processes and deliver greater value to customers. By focusing on waste elimination, continuous improvement, respect for people, customer focus, flow, pull, and perfection, organizations can streamline their production processes and make them more efficient, flexible, and responsive to changing customer demands. Adopting a lean approach can also help organizations improve their bottom line, increase their competitiveness, and create a better work environment for their employees. Overall, lean manufacturing is a proven and effective production philosophy that can help organizations achieve their goals and deliver greater value to their customers.

1 thought on “What are the 7 lean principles?”

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