It’s been over twenty years since the term “Lean” became the predominant term used to describe the revolutionary business philosophy that began its evolution over sixty years ago as the “Toyota Production System” (TPS). Over those twenty years “Lean” has itself evolved into many different forms as numerous academics and consultants molded it to suit their various means to many ends.
What started as “Lean Manufacturing” became “Lean Thinking” and then “Lean Management”. Other offshoots of TPS such as “Agile Manufacturing” and “Quick Response Manufacturing” and “Business Process Reengineering” followed along very quickly. I will not even try to name all of the variations, both good and bad, that this powerful philosophy has inspired over these many years. But this massive regeneration in many forms has also generated much confusion.
One of my goals in creating this blog was to cut through much of this confusion and get back to the core foundation and principles of “Lean/TPS”. My first blog posts were designed to answer the questions of “what is Lean?” and “how does Lean work?”. My ultimate goal, which is given in this blog’s subtitle, is to take this “what” and “how” and evolve into an understanding of “why” Lean works.
With this in mind, I highly recommend anyone new to this blog to start with my three part series on “What is Lean?” which can be found here, here and here. This will provide you with a general understanding of my own terminology/methodology and overall system approach to core “Lean/TPS” when reading later posts. I want to avoid more more confusion.
In fact, my first eleven posts (Update: now thirty-eight posts) were written with a conscious order in mind when I created them. They follow a purposeful flow of ideas as you read through them in chronological order. While recommended, it is not at all necessary to do it that way. I have tried to create links between the different posts so that you can easily navigate among the posts to chase down or clarify information you may need.
I have also added a “Table of Contents”, that lists the posts in chronological order, to the menu to help you navigate the site. I hope you find this useful.