Lean Project Management – It’s All About Value


By Gary Lloyd 


What is lean?

The term “lean” was coined by three academics (Jones, Roos and Womack) in their book, The Machine That Changed The World. The book described the Toyota Production System and the revolutionary impact that it had on the world’s car manufacturing industry. Toyota wanted to compete on the world stage but lacked the resources to do so. Through necessity, they rethought the manufacturing process and thereby gained a competitive advantage by drastically cutting the cost of production and significantly improving product quality.

Two of the authors, Womack and Jones, went on to write another book Lean Thinking, in which they advocate applying lean thinking to all types of organisations. In that book, they set out five inter-related ‘principles of lean thinking’:

  1. Identify Customers and Specify Value.
  2. Identify and Map the Value Stream.
  3. Create Flow by Eliminating Waste.
  4. Respond to Customer Pull.
  5. Pursue Perfection.

I believe that these principles can be applied to projects with a similarly radical impact on cost and on quality. In the following sections, I’ll set out how I think these principles can be interpreted for projects but the key point is:


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About the Author 

pmwj15-oct2013-lloyd-AUTHOR IMAGEflag-ukGary Lloyd

United Kingdom

Gary Lloyd is a programme and project management specialist who helps organisations and individuals to deliver value from their projects and programmes through: consultancy, mentoring, coaching, training and project assurance. His aim is to work with clients to both lower project risk and to develop organisational and individual delivery capability. He has been helping businesses to deliver IT enabled change for over 20 years. His roles have ranged from being the business leader who drives the change, through to being a trusted advisor to CEO’s and COO’s, helping them to get value from their projects, programmes and ventures.

Gary is the author of the book Business Leadership for IT Projects, published by Gower in the UK – more at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781409456902