Lean thinking is the continual and relentless pursuit of eliminating waste in our systems and processes. To think Lean is to think of how we can eliminate waste in every activity we do. The term Lean was coined by John Krafcik in is his paper “Triumph of the Lean Production System” for his Master’s thesis at MIT Sloan School of Management in 19882. Lean is described as: the five-step thought process for guiding the implementation of Lean techniques as easy to remember, but difficult to achieve:

1. Specify value from the standpoint of the customer. 2. Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating those steps

which do not create value. 3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly

for the customer. 4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next activity. 5. As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and

pull are introduced. Begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which value is created with no waste.