Clickable staff directory icon.
Clickable forms icon.
Clickable org chart icon.
Clickable about us icon.

LEAN Essential Tools

Essential Lean Tools

Lean Tool What is it? How Does it Help?


Organize the work area.

Eliminate waste that results from a poorly organized work area.

5 Whys – Root Cause

Problem solving methodology, resolving the underlying problem instead of quick fixes that only treat immediate symptoms of the problem.

Help to ensure that a problem is truly eliminated by applying corrective action to the “root cause” of the problem.


Template to document the problem, the analysis, the corrective actions and action plan on single sheet.

A structured and useful problem-solving template. Acts as a storyboard “one pager.”

DMAIC - defined 

DMAIC - checklist

Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control processes.

Data driven strategy used to improve processes.


Strategy where staff work together proactively to engage in identifying inefficiencies and building new and improved process.

Combining collective talents of an organization to continually identify and eliminate waste from processes.

Lean – defining

Lean defined.

High-level overview of Lean principles and pillars.

Lean Process Improvement Scoping

Template to scope a Lean process improvement effort.

Detailed document identifying goals, process owners, stakeholders, etc. as a Lean process improvement project begins.

Problem Definition

Find problems and solve them.

The first step to solving an issue is to properly define the problem.

Process Flow Chart

Visual presentation of the steps in a process.

Typically one of the first steps in a process improvement effort is to map the steps.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

Problem solving methodology.

Continuous improvement through iterative 4 step process.

Value-Added Flow Chart


A process to improve cycle times and productivity.

Visually separate value adding activities from those that are non-value add.

Value Add Test

Asking a series of questions to identify activities with value add.

Focusing on the process, pose a series of questions, the answers will assist in identifying value add versus non-value add activities.

Waste – defining

Non-value add activities defined.

Descriptions and countermeasures to address waste processes.

Waste Walk

To fix the problem, you must first see the waste.

Immersing individuals into the work area to identify first hand presence of non-value add activities.