In This Chapter
Defining Lean as a philosophy, a framework, a methodology, techniques, and tools
Probing the Lean pedigree — what it is and isn’t
Understanding Lean and Toyota — the history and the present
Figuring out how Lean fits in with the global family of business improvement systems
When you first hear the word lean, it conjures up an image. Most likely, you’re seeing a mental picture of thin people — like long-distance runners, or those aerobics junkies who somehow don’t seem to have an ounce of extra fat on them. Maybe you’re thinking about lean food — the foods that are lower in fat and, of course, much better for you. The term lean also implies a sense of speed and agility, with a sort of edge or underlying aggressiveness that recalls the rhyme “lean and mean.”
That’s because the word lean suggests not only a physical condition, but also a certain discipline — a mental toughness. The notion of lean carries with it a commitment to a set of principles and practices that not only get you fit, but keep you fit. People, who are lean, seem to be that ...