It’s often said that Lean is about “doing more with less.”
Historically, and practically speaking, it’s true. But, it’s a phrase that we should be careful about, for a number of reasons.
Looking back at the origins of the term “Lean” as “Lean Production” 25 years ago (read more here). Generally speaking, the term “lean” was used because Toyota (and to some extent other Japanese automakers) did more with less. That was a fact and it was backed by data.
The idea of “do more with less” is helpful as a comparison between organizations in the sense of, ew, benchmarking. It’s less helpful (or even dangerous) as a prescription for an organization.
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.