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Implement Lean Project Management Into Your Routine To Start Cutting Costs And Saving Hours

By July 20, 2022No Comments

Implement Lean Project Management Into Your Routine To Start Cutting Costs And Saving Hours

Focused on implementing lean manufacturing concepts, lean project management is among the greatest project management techniques you can use. The goal of lean project management is always to deliver excellent products whilst also eliminating waste of any type. During the ’50s, it was Toyota that pioneered lean manufacturing techniques to improve its production operations. In other words, according to the Project Management Institute, to be lean means supplying what is required, the moment it’s needed, with the absolute least number of items, gear, manpower, and space.

Lean Project Management applies the Lean Manufacturing principle to reduce resource waste and improve production and delivery times. These are the key elements of this ideology:

1.- Encourage all employees to improve their productivity rate while attempting to reduce the number of defects.

2.- Detect and remove procedures and practices that do not contribute to the final result as a way to manage and optimize expenses.

3.- Increasing the quality of the end-to-end supply chain to lower inventory costs and deployment timelines.

Recognizing wastage is an essential first step toward achieving a lean working environment. Let’s take a closer look at some of these wastes, as defined by Lean Management.

The 7 Wastes Of Different Variety According To Lean Project Management

To put it simply, everything that has no beneficial influence on the end product’s performance is deemed waste. Most notably throughout short-term operations, avoiding resources and idle time contributes to the emergence of better profit in the long run. The 7 categories of wastes are defined in depth in Lean Project Management, which itself is derived from Lean Manufacturing.

  • Inventory: When you order too much stock or make your purchase before you know how much you’ll actually need. It has the potential to turn everything about your process into shambles and result in excessive charges.
  • Waiting: This one is directly linked to neglecting your plans.  If this happens, as the project progresses, individuals and activities slack and have to wait for priors to proceed.
  • Defects: This results in not only tardiness in the project’s completion, but also financial, manpower, and reputational losses.
  • Overproduction: Overproducing can lose you more funds and resources than you anticipated during the planning stage. Furthermore, the fundamental issue with overproduction is that it diminishes the worth of your goods in the long run.
  • Motion: Inadequate communication amongst project members is a fundamental cause of motion wastage. It’s usually preferable to maintain project participants centered on their responsibilities.
  • Transportation: This one is linked to the project’s physical sites. If the project must be completed in multiple places, you should figure out a means to limit transportation costs and keep them as low as possible.
  • Over-processing: Excessive approval processes usually put a strain on the project’s pace. It is much preferable to deploy quickly rather than flawlessly under the agile project management process.

How To Implement Lean Project Management

Lean Project Management is the application of lean manufacturing, lean thinking, and lean construction principles to the field of project management. If you want to apply Lean techniques and approaches to your projects using Lean Project Management, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure a seamless transition.

Adjust Your Flow To Match Lean Project Management

If you want to successfully pull off a Lean Project Management implementation, a company must adjust its processes with responsible teammates who will immediately take on the important activities from the backlog at the appropriate moment.  As a consequence, the team may apply Lean techniques and skills to speed up the adoption process and improve results. In a nutshell, fine-tuning current operations in accordance with lean principles can be a major element of implementing Lean Project Management.

Recruit Knowledgeable Team Members With Experience

It is critical to assemble a productive team that is well-versed in Lean Project Management beliefs and values in order to carry out Lean Project Management operations smoothly. All members of your team should be able to carry out their responsibilities using their knowledge of lean methodology and tools.

It’s a good idea for companies to first start with training staff to build their processes and customized approaches that are adapted to their specific needs. With that in mind,  the Kaizen workshop may be used by the team to find, develop, and integrate new operational efficiencies into their processes.

Build And Foster Ownership Culture Using Lean Project Management

The idea of Lean Project Management encourages leaders and team members to accept accountability for products, procedures, and operational requirements. It is critical for all the employees in the company to accept the whole value chain. Thanks to ownership culture, people can contribute to the action of eliminating waste, which improves productivity and effectiveness.

Develop A Continuous Process

Maintaining a constant and smooth workflow involves identifying and removing wastes that obstruct value generation without disrupting flows or postponing subsequent actions. As a result, one of several primary responsibilities of Lean Project Management instructors is to ensure that the project flows efficiently and with no setbacks.

If you need some help identifying waste, these descriptions will be useful:

  • Unforeseen setbacks during current tasks
  • Inventory that is no longer in use
  • Procedures and practices that are ineffective
  • Overproduction
  • The defective rate is high.
  • Transportation expenses that are unnecessarily high
  • Inefficient use of resources

Enforcing Lean Project Management To Software Related Projects

Different project management approaches are used in the software development business. Certain approaches have risen to prominence among software engineers in recent times. These techniques and procedures all have the same goal in mind: to produce software products of high quality with innovative features faster than the competition.

A book called “Lean Software Development” was published in 2003 by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck, which describes the steps you can follow to apply Lean Project Management practices to software development processes.  After having tremendous experience using Lean manufacturing concepts in her business to boost efficiency, Mary Poppendieck decided to create this book.

The most important key point to remember regarding Lean project management is that it is one of the most common and effective Agile methodologies. Like other agile methodologies, the flexibility of Lean Project Management is based on its iterative nature, since it is difficult to recognize and improve unneeded features and jobs between active stages of a waterfall project with a sequential structure.  Incremental and agile techniques are better for increasing overall effectiveness when working on a project.

Another characteristic of Lean Project Management would be that, like some other Agile frameworks and approaches, Lean teams self-organize. They are multifunctional and do not have a direct link to hierarchical systems.

To further appreciate the importance of the Lean Project Management technique in software design, consider this: when any team member happens to encounter waste, the team should instantly stop working so they can begin to build a solution as well as an upgrade for it. This method offers a lot of value in terms of time management and can aid you immensely in reaching every deadline in your project.

5 Vital Characteristics Of Lean Project Management

The major goal of lean project management techniques is to optimize the process, which indicates that its main focus is on boosting the process’ performance. The primary objective of adopting these ideas is to produce reliable and long-term process stream improvements. James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones coined the phrase “lean thinking” in their 1996 publication “Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation.”

The main 5 principles that “Lean Thinking” presents are “Identify Value”, “Map the Value Stream”, “Create Flow”, “Establish Pull”  and “Seek Perfection”.

Let’s take a deeper look into each of them.

Identify Value

This concept describes the customer’s experience, which is the most important component in determining any product’s true value. If you can figure out how much a consumer is willing and able to pay for a good, product, or service, you can make an informed price selection. Once you’ve established a target price, they must adhere to it by reducing waste and optimizing operations.

Teams constantly employ refining strategies to deepen their further understanding of a customer’s thoughts in order to discover the proper value.

Map Your Value Stream

End-to-end actions for generating a project or a product, including all processes, are referred to as a value stream. This concept dictates that each phase and step that make up the value stream must be mapped initially. The output may then be scrutinized to eliminate superfluous stages or any actions that could waste time, resources, and money, or impair quality. A potential map is developed as a result of this procedure, which leads to the construction of a better and improved plan. This strategy allows the structural change between the present and future states to continue.

Create A Flow

End-to-end actions for generating a project or a product, including all processes, are referred to as a value stream. This concept dictates that each phase and step that make up the value stream must be mapped initially. The output may then be scrutinized to eliminate superfluous stages or any actions that could waste time, resources, and money, or impair quality. A potential map is developed as a result of this procedure, which leads to the construction of a better and improved plan. This strategy allows the structural change between the present and future states to continue.

Establish Pull

The optimal condition of value flow matches the product you are offering with your customer’s needs. This lowers inventory prices, avoids overproduction, and maximizes resource utilization. Revenue production is triggered by every client request.

Seek Perfection

This idea aspires for long-term sustainability and consistency. Setting high standards and establishing a lean culture is both helpful in achieving excellence.

People are required to maintain the cultural shift at any degree of development. The condition for the value stream improves when solutions to barriers are generated by people who care about them and make sure to implement them.

What Do You Get Out Of Lean Project Management?

There are plenty of benefits to implementing Lean Project Management into your projects and the whole organization. A few of them are quite obvious, but others you wouldn’t immediately guess. Let’s get into the details of all of the things you can get out of Lean Project Management.

Faster Delivery Times

The amount of time you will be able to save during each process as you implement Lean Project Management techniques will rise as you go through your project’s production lifecycle.

Inventory Cost Will Go Down

Getting your productivity to be right on schedule all the time means your organization can function smoothly and without a hitch even with a much lower than usual inventory level.

More Engagement

Team members are encouraged to participate and engage with resource efficiency and optimization through ownership culture.

Higher Productivity Levels 

Productivity will increase when obstructions in the flow are removed using Lean tools and practices.

Elevated Quality

The goal is to prevent faults in the Lean Project Management process. This decreases future faults while also improving the general well-being and quality of goods and services.

Better Work Culture

Organizations that have adopted a culture of continuous development eventually deliver a better work culture and market-competitive performance.

Satisfied Customers 

When you use Lean Project Management to produce better goods and improve your delivery times, you’ll have much happier customers and a good reputation.

Best Tools And Resources To Use In Lean Project Management

Some strategies for improving productivity throughout project management tasks and organizational change are provided by Lean Project Management apps.

Mapping Value Streams

Experts are using this tool for assessing the present condition of a value stream as well as developing a strategy for achieving the projected future of a product or service’s manufacturing lifecycle. “Material & information flow mapping” is another name for it. It’s basically a graphic tool that displays all important phases in a process, along with the duration and volume consumed by every step. A value chain would be a similar term that outlines all the operations that take place within a corporation.

Work Cells

Some of the best examples of how work cells function are cross-functional or independent teams. Physical tools and resources can be added to the team’s work cells in specific instances, but this can vary depending on the sector and how standards are met.

Iteration Or 1 Piece Flow

Iteration is a term often used in the software development industry. Within manufacturing professionals, a work team might use this strategy by concentrating on only one item or job until it is completed. You must create a consistent production environment in order to employ the one-piece flow approach.



“Kaizen” refers to the notion that continually improves all operations and relates to company actions that include everyone from the President to the production workers.  The term kaizen (改善) means “improvement” in Japanese.  It can also be applied to any processes that rely on external techniques and organizations, including buying and shipping. Healthcare, counseling, mentorship, government, and finance are among the sectors and businesses where it is usually used.

The goal of this approach is to reduce waste by improving the standard and quality of existing programs and procedures.

Currently, there are five basic principles behind Kaizen which are present in every instrument and activity associated with the idea. They are: “Understand Your Customer”, “Let things flow”, “Go to the Gemba, “Empower People”, and “Be Transparent”. In order to create an effective culture of constant improvement and a benchmark in the progress of excellence, efficiency, and workforce management relationships, these five principles must be used in every organization.

All Kaizen events usually incorporate some or all of the following ideas:

  • Set your goals and include any relevant data and information.
  • Examine and assess the present situation before announcing a proposal for improvement.
  • Carry out improvements.
  • Figure out what isn’t working and find an easy way to repair it.
  • Keep note of things to follow up on and share the outcome.

The 5S Or Five Phases

Sort, shine, set in order, standardize, and sustain are the five steps of the 5-S method. Every S indicates a 5-step procedure that may help a company enhance its general efficiency. To get started, Sort, the very first stage in the 5-S process, evaluates what is essential for your working area and the things that could be discarded without affecting the work’s worth.

Then, following the preliminary sorting, teams can put their strategy in place for the leftover items. Shine involves routine maintenance of current processes and equipment. The next phase is to standardize, which involves systematizing and repeating the activities accomplished in the previous steps. The final phase concerns the consistency of performance behaviors.

Plan, Do, Check & Act, Or PDCA

“PDCA” refers to a four-stage iterative technique that includes “Plan,” “Do,” “Check,” and “Act.” This strategy is used to regulate and enhance corporate processes and goods over time. It gives you a clear, effective, and quick way to solve every problem by allowing you to try different solutions and evaluate results in a waste-reduction cycle whilst also implementing changes.

PDCA presents a systematic strategy to identify the best solutions to a problem by following these 4 steps.


To begin, you must first comprehend and find the issue or prospect that you wish to pursue in order to reach the desired outcomes. Then, to demonstrate desired quality standards, set the goals and methods necessary.


The next stage is to put the selected possible solution through a testing process. Doing the testing is going to show you whether or not the findings fulfill the quality standards. If you discover an issue early on, you may make cost-effective modifications to your plan.


This stage involves gathering and analyzing the outcomes of the previous phase in more depth. You’d go back to the Plan phase if you feel like you did not receive the intended outcomes. Once you’re happy with the results, you may move on to Acting. Since you’re going to use the procedure more than once, placing all of the information into something like a chart can help you notice the differences between the cycles.


This is the stage when you put your solution into action or launch your solution package. Adjustment is another name for this stage. The process improves as a result of the activities made throughout this phase, with specific guidelines, norms, and features. During subsequent PDCA implementation, the supervisor must monitor for and avoid duplicate activities and solutions, so resource waste can be reduced and avoided.

Lean Project Management vs Different Agile Methods

All of the other different Agile methodologies have a close link with Lean Project Management, as the majority of them prioritize customer happiness within their value chain. They’ve all been created iteratively, with the goal of producing regular improvements rather than large release packages. Most significantly, it is critical to comprehend the similarities and differences across Lean Project Management and other Agile methodology in order to ensure that the implementation is viable and that your project management process will be successful and efficient.

But as much as they have in common, Lean Project Management can also be very different from all of the other Agile methodologies, either in small or fundamental ways.

Lean Project Management seeks to reduce waste in both the short and long term and to enhance processes, and satisfy client needs more effectively and precisely.  Instead of focusing on a single area, such as software development, Lean Project Management delivers knowledge to all tiers of a business. To add value to the organization in its entirety, all units may adopt Lean concepts to their operations. Lean culture aids firms in increasing overall effectiveness and streamlining whole operations.

A primary goal of Lean Project Management should always be to eliminate as much variance & rework as feasible. It highlights a variety of activities that may be taken with a variety of instruments to reduce this type of expense.

Let’s Recap Our Findings

We hope that with the help of this article, you may now determine whether or not to use Lean Project Management if such advantages align with your commercial and technical needs. This approach has been around for decades, used by many organizations and it has shown its efficacy and utility multiple times.

Lean Project Management is being used in the manufacturing business to acquire a competitive edge in the worldwide market. It has inspired many of the most popular agile frameworks as well as approaches for resource optimization with optimum percentages. Furthermore, Lean Project Management streamlines the entire project lifecycle to give a clear and consistent picture of the project’s general wellbeing.

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin


I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra


At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU


Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams


SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne


The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn


This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit


Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy


Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol


A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal


Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh


One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire


Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta


I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie


Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia


It was good!

- Sergei


Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris