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Many definitions of lean exist online, in books, and in company- adopted lean initiatives, but the one from the source says it all. Taiichi Ohno, founder of the Toyota Production System, said that the purpose of lean is to "just produce what is requested by the customer."
When beginning the lean journey, it is helpful to develop a roadmap of the key milestones and programs that must be implemented along the way. To help with this process, two of the great lean resources, Lean Thinking by Womack & Jones and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean by Flinchbaugh & Carlino, have been consulted.
Companies that implement lean typically become faster: They develop products faster, bring them to market faster, and start earning money for them faster. Before we even define what “lean” means, it’s almost just as important to define what lean is not.