What is Lean Management?

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Belle vague en Guadeloupe

In the past two months, I had to answer this recurrent question: What is Lean Management? Why Lean Management and How to make it happen?

This is what I answered to my clients: Lean Management is the way to change your company by establishing a continuous improvement culture at all levels of your company.

Lean Management will mean new Managerial practices based on the Lean method, i.e. « Daily Huddle meetings » and Visual Management. It will mean also new roles and responsibilities for operators and employees. Indeed, Lean teaches us that to improve, an organization must rely on its operators, to analyze problems and their root causes, find wastes and define concrete solutions; that they will implement themselves for the happiness of the company customers.

Lean Management has several outcomes:

Employees understand what they do at work and why. They seek permanently how to improve their ways of working for their personal benefit, the customers benefit and finally their employer’s benefit.

Managers are managing. They lead and develop their team while developing themselves by learning more and more Lean techniques and deploying them.

Customer Requirements are taken into account by Management and Employees and they end up more satisfied.

Shareholders make more money by spending less on defects, wastes and process inefficiencies.

Finally it looks like Lean Management is a win-win for all the involved actors!

So now, the question is « How to start Lean Management? » Several answers exist but it seems that the so-called « five lenses method » is very popular among industries and particularly among Financial Services.

Below, you will find a summary of the five lenses approach.

Five organizational levers are identified to implement the cultural change. For each of them, key deliverables using Lean Management tool box must be implemented to achieve the transformation:

  • Lens 1 – Voice of Customer

−Identify the customer needs and expectations : prioritize request / expectations and specification per process

−Assess the customer’s level of expectations, including demand management

  • Lens 2 – Process Efficiency

−Identify the main end-to-end value chain through value stream map design

−Question their performance and determine whether it matches customer expectations : analyze of resources involved, measure of efficiency


  • Lens 3 – Performance Management

−Identify the relevant KPIs to follow and the escalation process

−Assess the organization’s ability to balance work to match customer demand proactively

  • Lens 4 – Organization and skills

−Assess the level of people / job alignment

−Identify roles and responsibilities

−Identify the needs for skills and the roadmap to build capability

  • Lens 5 – Mindset and behavior

−Assess the current / target mindset to ensure successful transformation : be a agent of change, set up a vision, create a shared need, mobilize engagement, sustain change, monitor progress

−Lay the foundations for continuous improvement


Franck Strub, CEO of Equable, a Lean Management and Lean Six Sigma Consulting company

Business Operations Excellence with Actionable Insights and Measurable Results


tel. +33 689 061 398


contact: franck.strub@equable.fr