What is Lean ?

Because the concepts related to lean are often confused or misused, it will be useful to first dwell on the origin and meaning of the lean concept.

Origin of Lean principles

The origin of lean principles comes from lean production and Toyota is the pioneer of lean production, also known as 'just-in-time production'.

Lean manufacturing is a process management philosophy and has been used by Toyoto in car manufacturing approaches. With its short usage, lean comes from the "lean production" philosophy and its origin is Toyota Production System.

Lean Software Development

Lean software development is based on the adaptation of lean principles to software development in a book by Tom and Mary Poppenieck.

Before moving on to the basic principles of Lean, it is useful to mention the lean startup book because the concept of lean is mostly considered as lean startups in the industry.

Lean startup was developed in 2009 by Eric Ries. Lean startup is based on lean manufacturing philosophy.

What is Lean ?

The basic idea of Lean is to reduce waste while increasing the value offered to the customer. In other words, it is producing more value with less resources. A lean organization should have a structure that understands the value of the customer and focuses on its processes to increase that value.

Lean is not a cost reduction program or technique, but a form of approach that focuses on reducing waste, creating value for the customer and continuous improvement for the entire organization. On the basis of Lean approach, there is respect for human and continuous improvement (kaizen).

What is Waste?

To put it simply, waste is anything that doesn't add value to the customer. Since everything that does not produce value for the customer continues to generate costs for the organization, Lean is considered wasteful.

Waste occurs in 3 main ways


It is also known as 7 waste types. It is the name of any action that consumes resources rather than creating value for the customer. The main categories of these wastes are;
waiting, error / repair, idle overproduction, doing more than necessary / needing, excess / less transportation, excess stock and unnecessary movement.


It is defined as overloading machinery, equipment and people over their capacity.


It is called the situation where production planning and production amount is not regular, and fluctuations occur by temporarily rising and falling.