How do I incorporate ‘Lean’ practices?

Question: “What are some good ‘Lean’ tools/reference materials for an admin to use? Our company is taking a ‘Lean’ approach this year, and I would like to incorporate this practice. How can an admin do it?” — Jessica Altamuro


What is a “lean” approach???

I’m not quite sure I understand the nature of your question. If you’re talking about “lean” in the sense that people are getting laid off, then probably the best thing to do is get your hands on some time management and strategy literature.

Perhaps you could rephrase the question to explain what “lean” means.


Check out for tips or do a google search for “Lean Approach workplace” for more sites offering info.

LEAN does not equal Layoffs!
Jessica – our office is in the beginning stages of introducing LEAN to our organization. We are Healthcare. I have a few articles I can send to you if you are interested. please send an email to with LEAN as your subject.
Lean mindset shift:
From – If you build it they will come (mass production)
To – when they come build it fast (lean production).
Lean is a way of thinking that focuses on continuous improvement on customer value. The Principles of ‘Lean Thinking” are
Value – what is the customer willing to pay for
Value Stream – the steps in the process that deliver value.
Flow – organize workflow to be continuous (no interruptions, wasted time or materials)
Pull – responding to customer demand
Standardize – reduce variation
Perfection – Relentless continuous improvement

Lean is about speed and the relationship between steps in a process, It is about eliminating non-value added elements from a process. It is about shrinking batch sizes down to one to create one-piece flow.
The Lean process:
Focus – focus improvement efforts on critical business processes and delays.
Improve – reduce non-value add delays, waste, and rework
Sustain – stabilize and monitor the improvements
Honor – recognize, reward, and refocus efforts.

Lean is doing more with less.
It is not necessarily a tool, but it is an approach. think of a process, map out all the steps and then look for redundancies and steps that have no value. revise the process but be sure to include all participants.
Lean is- getting rid of waste through continuous improvement.

Do why my outfit is doing:

LEAN on your older employees to take early retirement

I work at a manufacturing plant and our division is utilizing Lean practices. Let me know if the articles from Christine are helpful. I will request them as well or, if Christine reads this perhaps she could post them somewhere. Good luck and I look forward to checking out all the suggestions on applying the Lean approach to an admin position.

I have been studying a manual from the Community College of Iowa called, Workplacelean, Bringing the Power of Lean to the Office.
“Workplacelean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement by flowing the product or service at the pull of the customer.” Direct quote.
You can contact Collette Saylor, One Source Training at or call 515-964-6267 for information.