Introduction to Lean Thinking

This is an introduction to the key principles and tools of Lean Thinking, using a simulation exercise, lectures and DVD. Participants are encouraged to question and comment.


It would be useful if participants were to read LeanThinking by Jim Womack and Dan Jones. It can be ordered from Lean Enterprise Australia at its bookstore.


The workshop briefly describes the history of Craft production and Mass production, and traces development of Lean Thinking from its origins in Toyota. The five principles, later compressed to three, are explained.

Some of the key tools are discussed and illustrated, including:

  • Value Stream Mapping as an over-arching tool
  • Quick changeover
  • 5S
  • Pull systems

People issues are explored in the context of such important issues as involving everybody in Problem Solving, communicating using the one-page (A3) report, Visual Management.
The concepts of the Seven Wastes are addressed using a very effective DVD.
All the concepts are drawn together in a simulation exercise in which all participants take part.


Through instruction, discussions, group activities, and hands-on exercises, this workshop will give participants a good understanding of the basic principles and tools of Lean Thinking.

Who Should Attend:

Those who would benefit from attending this workshop include:

  • Operators, managers, supervisors, technical support personnel and change agents

Any industry (manufacturing or service) with multi-step processes

  • Organizations beginning, or considering beginning, the Lean journey.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the workshop you should be able to:

  • Understand and explain to others the benefits of Lean Thinking.
  • Describe the basic principles of Lean Thinking
  • Understand some of the tools and how they fit within the overall Lean Thinking philosophy.