Lean is based on a foundation of principles designed to eliminate waste and to help companies improve the way they do business. The five principles are summarized in Figure 1.
The five principles of lean are:
- Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer.
- Identify all the steps in the value stream, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
- Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
- As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
- As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, repeat this process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.