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28 October 2022 | Posted by angela.tuduri

Lean management - How to optimize projects successfully?

The competitiveness of the business market combines methodologies which favor the development of innovative and current projects.

Surely it is not the first time you have heard about the Lean Management methodology and its practical approach in the organization and constant improvement of projects.   

Through this post you will learn more about Lean principles and its features to define, map, create and improve with each project.   

What is Lean Management?   

Lean management is a management system that focuses on improving processes and identifying and removing waste through small changes that optimize the efficiency of any project.  

The system can be used to develop products and services, manage inventory and operations, achieve greater production efficiency, simplify logistics and produce just-in-time delivery.  

What does this mean?  

The goal of lean management is to create products that customers demand and satisfy their needs. A working approach that, through small tasks, reduces overruns and creates valuable products that guarantee customer success.   


The roots of this methodology date back to the 1940s, when the Toyota automobile manufacturing company described its "just in time" production systems. This method was based on the control of risks/problems that could slow down production, seeking the success of its projects and minimizing overruns. The "just in time" model has as its main objective to produce the required quantity at the time of demand.   

This model makes it possible to control the entire production and purchasing process.   

Toyota integrated quality circles or groups of workers in which they discussed ways to improve the workplace; multiplying business and production effectiveness.   

A new approach in the production chain that today, thousands of companies use as a main method and that has spread all over the world.   

Lean is an effective management tool that can help you lead projects efficiently.  The methodology is designed to bring the project team and stakeholders together to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement in terms of cost and time, thereby reducing risk and maximizing your return on investment.   

Lean Concept   

There are aspects that precisely define the concept of Lean Management in the business environment:  

  • Effectiveness - When an organization develops Lean Manufacturing, it focuses on meeting the expectations of its customers.  

  • Efficiency - The maximum level of efficiency is achieved by using the right resources and improving processes to eliminate what does not add value. Through this methodology, overruns are drastically reduced, and project effectiveness is increased.   

  • Innovation - Lean management fosters an innovative culture. That is, one in which employees can identify problems and solve them, and in which there is leadership committed to continuous process improvement in a project.   

Lean Principles - The Fantastic 5   

The five principles of Lean project management serve as steps to achieve perfection in customer satisfaction. Using these five steps will increase your chances of reducing production "waste," staying within project scope and meeting critical success criteria.  

  1. Define - Identifying the value of your product is the key principle of lean project management. Knowing the customer's needs in this first approach will be the starting point for implementing a Lean methodology.   

At this point, we must consider the stakeholders. The internal stakeholder will be in charge of overseeing the development, while the external stakeholder or customer will be the one affected by the quality of the project outcome.  

  1. Mapping - At this stage, the objective is to adopt the customer's value as a baseline and determine the steps that lead to success. Those steps that do not represent an element of value will be considered a waste.   

Reducing and eliminating residual steps or processes ensures that customers receive exactly what they want and, at the same time, reduces the cost of producing that product or service.  

  1. Create Flow - Throughout this stage, the project management plan will be reformulated to increase efficiency. The "waste" identified in step two will be eliminated by breaking down each stage of product development and reconfiguring the steps as needed.   

Using project milestones as benchmarks ensures that no new "waste" is generated as the project progresses.  

  1. Pull system - Using a pull system allows jobs to be integrated into the production process as they progress with tasks from different stages.  

This concept arose with the idea of Toyota's just-in-time inventory system.  

  1. Continuous improvement - The fifth Lean principle focuses on applying continuous improvements within the workflow. As an iterative process, Lean project management allows improvements to be integrated throughout the project process and roadmap.   

Benefits and relevance   

The benefits offered by the Lean management methodology are, among others, the effectiveness, efficiency and innovation that it allows you to apply in your projects. In addition to these three major benefits, we find:   

  • Waste reduction  

  • Increased customer service  

  • Increased quality control  

  • Improved lead times  

  • Reduced costs  

  • Increased project consistency  

Lean management, a skill in demand  

Studies related to project management are growing all the time. The different methodologies applicable in the project roadmap to manage, execute and evaluate projects require professionals capable of adapting these new circumstances to the business environment.   

At La Salle Campus Barcelona you will develop the necessary skills to become a project manager and increase the existing adaptation capabilities and requirements in the area. With the Master in Project Management or the Master in Agile Methods you will be trained according to the international standards of the PMI.   

In addition, La Salle URL becomes the first and only university in Spain to be awarded with the double accreditation of PMI: GAC and ATP.   

What are you waiting for? Boost your future with the most innovative masters!   


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