Lean management

Also known as: Lean management

Lean management describes the effective design of the entire value chain of a company with the help of decentralization and simultaneousization.

Definition / explanation

The aim of lean management is to create a holistic production system and thus "create value without waste", ie to coordinate all processes in the value chain in such a way that superfluous activities can be avoided.

Two perspectives come together: on the one hand that of the customers and their demands on availability, price, quality and individuality, on the other hand that of the provider with his striving for profitability and competitiveness.

The resulting processes have a high degree of customer orientation, without which a company will not survive in the market.

Video: Explanation of Lean Management

Principles of Lean Management

customer focus - The overriding principle, customer orientation, means nothing other than that all products and services are precisely tailored to the customer. That means the customer gets:

  • the right product
  • in the right time
  • in the right place
  • in the best quality
  • at an adequate price

Further principles:

  • Concentration on your own strengths
  • Business process optimization
  • constant quality improvement
  • internal customer orientation
  • decentralized structures
  • open handling of information and feedback

Im Hinblick auf das Personalmanagement kommen dazu das Ermöglichen von Eigenverantwortung der Mitarbeiter und deren Empowerment sowie eine Personalführung, die sich als Dienst am Mitarbeiter versteht. Damit Lean Management gelingt, muss die zugrunde liegende Philosophie in allen Mitarbeiterköpfen verankert werden.


In-house - Within the company, it is about the decentralization of tasks, competencies and areas of responsibility with a team-oriented work structure and broadly qualified employees.

Cross-company - It describes the principle of outsourcing across companies, i.e. a reduction in the company's own depth of service and the transfer of production steps in the value chain to partner companies.


Simultaneousization refers to the parallelization of processes in one or between companies involved in the creation of a product. Processes are carried out simultaneously or overlapping in time as soon as possible, with the aim of saving time.

Methods of Lean Management

Value stream mapping - The value stream analysis is the essential method of lean management. This analysis should reveal potentials and inefficiencies. All service creation processes are examined in detail, from the raw material to the customer.

All processes that are needed to manufacture a product or service are referred to as the “value stream”, and information is provided about the value-adding processes that are the only ones that should be the focus of the company.

This knowledge enables resources to be used optimally and efficiently.

Other methods - Further methods are the production process control according to the Kanban system and the single piece flow (ie the accompaniment of a single production piece by an employee at all stations of the production process) as well as visualization, which illustrates the application of the methods.

Lean management in human resources

In human resources, lean management can be interpreted as lean leadership. This refers to flat hierarchies that should contribute to shorter communication channels and faster decisions.

This also allows a flexible approach to the customer, which in turn promotes customer orientation and thus potentially the company's success. At the same time, reducing management levels is a means of reducing costs.


  • Lean management describes the effective design of processes
  • The aim is to consistently avoid wasting time and resources
  • The main principle is customer orientation
  • Lean management succeeds with the help of decentralization and simultaneousization
  • In human resources, lean management describes flat hierarchies
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  • lean management
  • lean management simply explained
  • lean management definition

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