Here’s an example of the every day use of the word “lean” that, unfortunately, means just about the exact opposite of what we mean with “Lean Manufacturing” or the Toyota Production System:
“Just like airport delays, bumped passengers and other travel problems this year, the British Airways baggage system shows how airlines have made operations so lean and taxed infrastructure so fully that problems compound exponentially for customers.”
In this article about BAA losing so many suitcases and giving generally horrible service, the word “lean” really means that they are cut so close to the bone that they’re ineffective.
Lean is about effectiveness, not having “lean staff” (not enough people) or “lean budgets” (not enough money).
That every day use is one of the problems with the term “Lean,” isn’t it?
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