Womack & Defining Lean

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Recently, I saw Jim Womack give two talks at the Global Lean Healthcare Summit. One was a talk that could have applied, about Lean in a general sense, to a manufacturing audience as well as a healthcare crowd.

One point Jim kept bringing up was the need for simple definitions of Lean. Most of you are probably familiar with the five principles of Lean from the book Lean Thinking.

Not that it was a terribly complicated definition, but now Jim is talking about Lean as three principles. As he puts it, “If you like the definition, use it, otherwise you can come up with a different one.”

  • Purpose – start with a definition of your purpose, why are you in business?
  • Process – define your processes and work toward perfection constantly, focus on your processes, not just on results
  • People – Involve and develop your people.

It's reminiscent of a different Toyota “3P” model.

What models or frameworks do you use for giving people a brief overview into the Lean approach?

Updated: Here is a link to the LEI page with videos of Jim talking about these 3 P's.

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5 Comments
  1. mike t says

    If it increases flow and it decreases waste…., its Lean

  2. Jon Miller says

    It’s good.

  3. […] or the tasks that are assigned to them.   This is very similar to Jim Womack’s “Purpose, Process, People” model. Your “role” (what you are responsible for) is more than your task […]

  4. […] job description or the tasks that are assigned to them.   This is very similar to Jim Womack’s “Purpose, Process, People” model. Your “role” (what you are responsible for) is more than your task […]

  5. […] Moore is a Lean thinker. Based on James Womack’s latest and simplified definition of Lean as Purpose, process and people (not unlike what we have had pasted on our home page for years) Michael Moore clearly has a purpose […]

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