Lean PDF Directory

Many of our Lean Dictionary terms (part of The Continuous Improvement Companion) come with a Lean PDF.

Download a single Lean PDF file to brush up on a term while waiting for a plane, or get them all to keep a handy Lean reference guide on your desk or in a kaizen room.

You can even print out copies for the whole audience of a class you might be teaching. We don’t limit the distribution of these Lean PDF files! Make as many copies as you need.

You can download individual files on each term’s page, or you can join thousands of other people and get an assortment of Lean PDF files in one bundle as part of The Companion Starter Kit (2569 downloads) .

In addition to our Lean terms, we also offer a variety of free Lean PDF forms & Tools.

Our Lean PDF directory…

  • 11 “C’s” of Lean Leadership (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    The 5 Whys Lean Term on PDF

    The 11 C’s of Lean Leadership provides a mnemonic device you can use to look at a the characteristics of a leader. Review this term online, or download a FREE 5-Page PDF on the 11 C’s of Lean Leadership.

  • 5 Whys (+6-Page Lean PDF +Video +MP3 +Form)

    The 5 Whys Lean Term on PDF

    The 5 Whys is a simple problem solving tool that helps you get to the root cause of a problem. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 6-Page PDF on the 5 Whys.

  • 5S (+14 Page Lean PDF, +11 Minute Video)

    5S Lean Term on PDF

    An organized, well-designed workplace improves efficiency. A great workplace, goes well beyond simply putting things in designates locations. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 14-Page PDF about 5S.

  • A3 Thinking (+14-Page Lean PDF +Video +MP3 +Form)

    A3 Thinking Lean Term on PDF

    A3 Thinking is a focused, structured problem solving methodology. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 14-Page PDF on A3 Thinking.

  • Better, Not Perfect (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    Better, Not Perfect Lean Term on PDF

    When resources are limited, getting better is more important than becoming perfect. It takes a lot of resources to get close to perfection, and most companies still have a lot of other opportunities in areas that are not yet even good. Allocate resources wisely.

  • Cause and Effect / Fishbone Diagram (+ 11-Page Lean PDF, + Video, + Form)

    Cause and Effect (Fishbone) Diagram Lean Term on PDF

    Effective problem solving requires an arsenal of tools. The cause and effect diagram is an effective way to sort through the chaos and see what is really causing your problems. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 11-Page PDF about fishbone diagrams.

  • Change Management (+ 9-Page Lean PDF)

    Change Management Lean Term on PDF

    Making improvements, by definition, requires change. Since most people find change very challenging, change management is an essential skill for leaders to have in any Lean organization.

  • Checklists (+ 9-Page Lean PDF)

    Checklists Lean Term on PDF

    Checklists are a quick, effective way to improve a process. There are pitfalls to using checklists, though. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 9-Page PDF about using checklists effectively.

  • CLOSED MITT (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    CLOSED MITT Lean Term on PDF

    CLOSED MITT is an acronym that is useful for helping to identify and categorize waste, and ultimately eliminate it.

  • Coaching (+ 3-Page PDF)

    Coaching Lean Term on PDF

    Coaching is an integral part of leadership, and as such it is essential in a Lean environment. Visit this Lean term page to download a FREE 3-Page PDF about coaching.

  • Communication (+ 6-Page PDF)

    Communication Lean Term on PDF

    Communication is the act of passing information back and forth. It is important not only to Lean operations, but also plays a vital role in creating employee satisfaction. Visit this Lean term page to download a FREE 6-Page PDF about communication.

  • Cycle Time (+ 9-Page Lean PDF +Videos +MP3 +Form )

    Cycle Time Lean Term on PDF

    Understanding how long work takes is a critical aspect to making improvements. Cycle time play a big role in staffing decisions as well.. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 9-Page Cycle Time PDF.

  • Daily Management (+13-Page PDF, +Video, +Form)

    Daily Management Lean Term on PDF

    Daily management is an ongoing PDCA cycle used to review an operation’s performance against expectations. More importantly, it is intended to drive process improvements when there is a mismatch. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 13-Page PDF on Daily Management.

  • Data Collection (+ 9-Page Lean PDF, + Video)

    Data Collection Lean Term on PDF

    Data collection is a core skill for continuous improvement. Decisions must be based in fact to be effective. Review this term online, or download a FREE 9-Page PDF on Data Collection.

  • Design for Manufacturing (+ 8-Page Lean PDF)

    Design for Manufacturing Lean Term on PDF

    Lean operations can only compensate so much for a poor design. Planning ahead during the design process, though, can maximize the potential impact Lean can have on an operation. Visit this Lean term page to download a FREE 8-Page PDF about Design for Manufacturing.

  • Dirty, Dumb, or Dangerous (+ 5-Page Lean PDF +MP3)

    Dirty, Dumb, or Dangerous Lean Term on PDF

    Dirty, dumb, or dangerous jobs make work far harder than it has to be and erodes job satisfaction. It follows that eliminating those problems will have a big impact on engaging employees. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 5-Page PDF about dirty, dumb, or dangerous jobs.

  • Flow Chart (+ 11-Page Term on PDF)

    Flow Chart Lean Term on PDF

    Flow charts are an instrumental tool for continuous improvement and problem solving. Their visual nature make waste and complexity jump out, highlighting improvement opportunities. Review this term online, watch a short video, or download a FREE 11-Page PDF on Flow Charts.

  • Gemba (+4-Min MP3, +6-Page PDF)

    Gemba Lean Term on PDF

    You can’t really understand a process until you see it at gemba-the real place where the work is done. Learn about this term, answer a poll question, listen to a short audio program, and download a FREE 6-Page PDF on gemba.

  • Important vs. Urgent (+ 9-Page PDF)

    Important vs. Urgent Lean Term on PDF

    Distinguishing between important and urgent can mean the difference between spending all your time firefighting, and being able to move on to fire prevention. Learn more and download a FREE 9-Page PDF on importance and urgency.

  • Job Satisfaction (+ 9-Page Lean PDF)

    Job Satisfaction Lean Term on PDF

    Job satisfaction is important in any company, but it carries even more weight when a company is focused on continuous improvement. Employees are expected to take the initiative and they won’t if the are dissatisfied. Download a FREE 9-Page PDF to learn more about job satisfaction.

  • Job Shop (+ 11-Page Lean PDF)

    Job Shop Lean Term on PDF

    Applying Lean to a job shop can be a challenge, but it is also well-worth the effort. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 11-Page PDF about Lean job shops.

  • Kaizen Event (+ 11-Page PDF)

    Kaizen Event Lean Term on PDF

    Kaizen events are typically week-long, focused projects in which a team makes substantial changes to a process. Learn more and, and download a FREE 11-Page PDF on kaizen events.

  • Kanban (+ 11-Page Lean PDF)

    Kanban Lean Term on PDF

    Kanban is a powerful inventory management tool that provides the stability required to improve operations. Visit this Lean term page to download a FREE 11-Page PDF about kanban.

  • Kitting (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    KittingLean Term on PDF

    Kitting is a production technique that helps to control inventory as well as to prevent mistakes that come from installing too many or too few parts. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 5-Page PDF about kitting.

  • Knowledge Management (+9-Page Lean PDF)

    Knowledge Management Lean Term on PDF

    Knowledge management is the method by which collective wisdom of an organization is preserved and shared. Learn more and download a FREE 9-Page PDF on knowledge management.

  • Lean Office (+14-Page Lean PDF +Video)

    Lean Office Lean Term on PDF

    Despite its reputation as a shop floor philosophy, Lean has migrated to office environments. While there are variations on how it is applied, it has unquestionably passed its infancy, and is providing stellar improvements to administrative operations.Visit this Lean term page to download a FREE 14-Page PDF about the Lean Office.

  • Line Stop (+5-Page Lean PDF)

    Line Stop Lean Term on PDF

    Line stops are an important part of both protecting quality and investigating problems in real time. Lean more and get a 5-page Line Stop Lean Term on PDF.

  • Luck (+ 6-Page Lean PDF)

    Luck Lean Term on PDF

    Luck plays a role in the success of your organization, but it is possible to stack the deck in your favor and prepare for bad luck. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 6-Page PDF about luck in Lean operations.

  • Motivation (+ 7-Page PDF)

    Motivation is the disposition to act, and to stick with something. Motivation can be either internal or external. The term self-motivation means that a person is able to keep momentum up on her own. External motivation comes from someone else. Great speakers and leaders can inspire people to take action.

  • Noise (Sound) (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    Noise Lean Term on PDF

    Excessive noise can cause hearing damage, but even below that threshold, it can hurt job satisfaction. Noise is also often an indicator of problems. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 6-Page PDF about noise in Lean operations.

  • Opportunity Costs (+7-Page Lean PDF +Video +MP3)

    Choosing one option means giving up the benefit of you other options. Learn more about these opportunity costs and download a FREE 7-Page PDF about opportunity costs.

  • Our Process Is Different (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    Our Process Is DifferentLean Term on PDF

    A common form of push back against Lean is that people think that their process is unique, and that Lean won’t work well because of those difference. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 5-Page PDF about why people think their Lean operation is unique.

  • Pareto Chart (+ 7-Page Lean PDF, +MP3)

    Pareto Charts Lean Term on PDF

    Learn about Pareto Charts and how the 80/20 rule guides your improvement efforts. Plus, download a FREE 7-Page PDF on Pareto Charts.

  • Parkinson’s Law (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    Parkinson's Law Lean Term on PDF

    Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill the time available. Learn more in our 5-page Lean PDF file.

  • PDCA Cycle (+11-Page PDF, +Video)

    Pareto Charts Lean Term on PDF

    Learn about the PDCA Cycle and how it can make your improvement efforts more effective. Plus, download a FREE 11-Page PDF on the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle.

  • Poka Yoke (+ 8-Page Lean PDF, +Video)

    Poka Yoke Lean Term on PDF

    The best way to eliminate defects is to prevent errors in processes. A poka yoke is a mistake-proofing device that ensures that it is impossible to make a mistake in a process. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 8-Page PDF about using poka yoke in your in Lean operations.

  • Policy Deployment (+ 6-Page Lean PDF +Video)

    Policy Deployment Lean Term on PDF

    Policy Deployment is the (usually) annual process of reviewing the strategic goals of an organization and aligning the company’s resources towards meeting those goals. Hoshin Kanri is the Japanese term that means roughly the same. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 6-Page PDF on Policy Deployment.

  • Psychology of Lean (+ 9-Page Lean PDF)

    Psychology of Lean Term on PDF

    Psychology plays a far greater role in Lean than most people realize. Learn more and download a FREE 9-Page PDF about psychology in a Lean organization.

  • Push System (+ 6-Page Lean PDF)

    Push Systems Lean Term on PDF

    To learn about Lean, one must also understand operations that are not Lean. Seeing the problems that push systems cause help enlighten teams to the benefits of pull. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 6-Page PDF about push systems in Lean operations.

  • QCD / Quality, Cost, Delivery (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    QDC Lean Term on PDF

    Metrics are vital to Lean operations. Many organizations use QDC (Quality, Delivery, Cost) to categorize their goals. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 6-Page PDF about using QDC to organize metrics in Lean operations.

  • Respect for People (+ 8-Page Lean PDF)

    Respect for People Lean Term on PDF

    Lean requires a great deal of employee engagement to function at its best. Showing respect for people is crucial to getting that engagement. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 8-Page PDF about respect for people.

  • Run Chart (+Video, +9-Page PDF)

    The 5 Whys Lean Term on PDF

    Run charts are a powerful problem solving tool that makes problems visual. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 9-Page PDF on Run Charts.

  • Standard Work (+14-Pg Lean PDF +MP3 +Forms +Video)

    Standard Work Lean Term on PDF

    Standard Work is at the core of most Lean operations. It adds consistency and efficiency to a process. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 14-Page PDF on Standard Work.

  • Standard Work-in-Process (+ 7-Page Lean PDF, + Video)

    Standard WIP Lean Term on PDF

    Standard Work-in-Process controls the amount of inventory in a system and allows Standard Work to flow smoothly. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 7-Page PDF about Standard Work-in-Process.

  • Standardization (+ 9-Page PDF)

    Standardization Lean Term on PDF

    Standardization is at the heart of nearly all the Lean tools. Learn more and download a FREE 9-Page PDF on Standardization.

  • Standards (+ 6-Page Lean PDF)

    Standards Lean Term on PDF

    Standard define the expectation. Strong Lean leaders set clear standards and track deviation from them so they can fix the underlying processes. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 6-Page PDF about standards in Lean operations.

  • Stopgaps (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    Stopgaps Lean Term on PDF

    A stopgap is a short-term fix to prevent a known problem temporarily until a better, permanent solution can be devised. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 5-Page PDF about using stopgaps in Lean operations.

  • Takt Time (+13-Page Lean PDF +Video +Tool)

    Takt Time Lean Term on PDF

    Takt time is the required pace of production. Managing with it adds a great deal of stability to an organziation. Watch a few short videos, and download a FREE 13-Page PDF about takt time.

  • Training (+ 7-Page Lean PDF)

    Training Lean Term on PDF

    Download a 7-page Lean PDF file on different styles of continuous improvement training. Part of our Continuous Improvement Companion.

  • Voice of the Customer / VOC (+ 15-Page Lean PDF)

    Voice of the Customer Lean Term on PDF

    Most companies say that the customer is important, but hardly listen to them at all. Great companies focus on capturing the Voice of the Customer (VOC) from numerous sources. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 15-Page PDF about how the voice of the customer should affect your Lean operation.

  • Waste (+ 9-Page Lean PDF +Video +MP3 +Form)

    Seven Wastes Lean Term on PDF

    The “seven wastes” is one of the most important continuous improvement terms you will hear. Most of the Lean tools, at their core, focus on reducing waste to improve flow. The seven wastes provide a systematic way to categorize problems and identify improvement priorities.

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