Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply “lean“, is a systematic method for the elimination of waste (““) within a manufacturing system. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden (“ “) and waste created through unevenness in work loads (“ “). Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, “value” is any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.
Lean management is an approach to running an organization that supports the concept of, a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality
So if we begin with these definitions I’d say the differences lie first in the underlying focus on tangible things in manufacturing (e.g. eliminating waste) vs in-tangible management objectives (e.g. a long-term approach, incremental changes, efficiency and quality). But clearly both of these ‘LEANs’ take aim at achieving optimum results.
Other points of differentiation include the focus on value and an end result which in manufacturing is real economic value at a point-in-time, as compared to management which is not necessarily generating ‘just’ economic value, and that may be engaged in a ‘continuous improvement’ process.
This post was originally posted on Quora by Ron Ellis
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