The Ten Commandments of lean management

The folks over at the Lean Enterprise Institute have pointed out a new article circulating in lean academia from Management and Production Engineering Review that breaks down the basics of applying lean philosophy in a tried and true form: Ten Commandments-style.

Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston (or Moses, your choice), improving flow like a true lean leader (source:

The stone tablets here are a PDF you can download, but the piece is a detailed breakdown of each “commandment” that links it to its originating Japanese terminology (often a problem in communication) and drives home its importance. The team of authors, led by researchers at the Wroclaw University of Technology’s Institute of Production Engineering and Automation in Poland, do a nice job of summing up leadership duties and how the rest of the team comes into play.

No parental dishonor, coveting or “thou shalt nots” here, but take a look at the first five:

1. Have a clear vision and improvement goals for the whole organization.

2. Be an engaged boss initiating changes.

3. Improve processes and the results will come as a consequence.

4. Create an Obeya-like management center.

5. Determine indicators and bonuses that show one direction to the managers.

Thou shalt read 6-10. Feel like bearing false witness and suggesting better commandments? Leave them in the comments.