Lean management approach: setting up clear goals, roles, tasks & deadlines


What exactly is lean management?

Lean management is a management method that aims in continuous improvement of a company by using as less resources (time, money, effort), as possible.

Lean management is also connected with lean production / manufacturing; in this case the main goal is to produce by eliminating wastes as much as possible.

The competitiveness of SMEs is vital for the European economy. Adopting lean philosophy is a viable and popular approach for developing production and enabling continuous improvement.

How to apply lean management?

In order to apply lean management in a company/organization you need to follow five basic principles:


In lean management, value is very important. The first step in applying the methodology of the lean management is to identify the value that the service/product provides to the customers.

Value stream

The second step is the identification of the workflow. The production systems and the employees involved must be clearly identified. If everything in the company is clarified, then it is easier to identify what has and what does not have value to the customers.


After the value and the way of production is clarified, the next step is maintaining a continuous workflow. During this step, the specific tasks and responsibilities of each department as well as the working groups have to be defined. These actions also contribute to the reduction of delays on value added activities.


The pull system is based on production according to the customers’ needs, demands and orders. The amount of goods produced is not defined based on forecasts, but on the actual amount of customers’ orders. This eliminates the waste and the surplus production and efforts.


The last step, is actually the feedback that employees are receiving from the managers and the customers. It is a way for improvement, increase of efficiency and productivity, as well as increase of motivation among the employees to keep up the good work and improve themselves. All these, finally will lead in adding more value to the products/services and increasing the customers’ satisfaction.

Lean management has direct impact on both employers and employees, as well as on clients. By completing the tasks without wasting too much time and effort, employees get more happy and enthusiastic with their work. This attitude affects directly on clients, as they have good relations with the employees and the employers achieve to have a fast growing and successful company.

Human resources

For a successful lean management implementation, the formation of a lean management team is necessary, that will be dedicated on the lean management implementation and will develop strategies in order to maintain lean management success in the company.

A team of lean managers, that they will lead and monitor all activities mentioned in the strategy developed by the lean management team, assuring that the lean management process continues successfully.

Expected impact

Lean management is based on the regular communication of the managers with the employees. This action, brings positive impact on the employees:


Example(s) of prior application

Company name: Barba Stathis

Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Number of employees: 250+

How the WPI was implemented?

Barba Stathis is food company in Greece. The Company’s activities include the production and sale of frozen vegetables (conventional and organic), mixed vegetables (plain and with rice), combinations of frozen vegetables based on traditional Greek recipes, as well as tomato products and fresh salads. It is one of the few Greek companies that is certified with Lean Six Sigma and successfully applies lean management. Six Sigma (6s) methodology is a structured approach for reducing defective products and services, optimizing processes and reducing costs. It uses a range of proven and modern tools from TQM (Total Quality Management), Statistics and Lean Management.


Other examples:
Decos Noordwijk
BK Bodem

How can I acquire a voucher for implementing workplace innovation practices? ​