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Lean Operating System

Based on the principles of Toyota operating system and after decades of practical experience in consulting and design of large multinational enterprises.Dantotsu Lean Strategy Consulting Team has successfully introduced Lean Operating System into many top 500 enterprises in the world and top 100 group companies in China, and we have achived great success.

1. Why do enterprises need to adopt Lean Operating System?

Among the enterprises that promote lean for the first time, the proportion that can last for more than five years is less than 15%. The main misunderstandings includes project lean mode, lean production limited to the manufacturing process, Lean Office as the leading role of lean implementation, lack of standards for experiential lean practice and failure to integrate with the industry practice. Enterprises that successfully implement lean can transform lean thinking and methods into the daily work of the organization through lean transformation. The important form of development is to deploy and introduce advanced lean operatiing system. Lean thinking and methods are integrated into the daily work of the organization. the DNA of continuous improvement is formed.

Common Misunderstandings in Existing Lean Transformation Models

It is very difficult to establish the operating mechanism of continuous improvement in the project lean promotion mode.

lean production is limited in the workshop/plant. Lack of the end-to-end improvement capabilitiy. Lean activities can not support enterprise growth and overall performance improvement

Only relying on the promotion force from external consultants and Lean Office, there is no internal lean promotion mechanism.

Lean promotion relies on experience and individual practice, and lacks standardized system promotion methods.

Implementing lean by replication, lacking the combination of lean principles with the practical situation of the industry/enterprise.

Deploying lean operating system is the best practice to solve these problems.

85% of enterprises can not sustain lean promotion for the first time!!

2. Which enterprises have adopted Lean Operating System?

For example, HOS, Philips, Danaher and other global first-class enterprises have established and promoted their owm lean operating systems to gain sustainable competitive advantage in the market.

Benchmarking Mainstream Lean Operating System

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Strategy Deployment


Standard Work

Quick Problem Response

Knowledge Sharing

6S Visual Management

Relevance Ranking

Financial Indicators

Cash Flow


World-class lean operating systems can achieve excellent performance, but need to be based on long-term lean thinking, even at the expense of short-term financial objectives.

3. What is a lean operating system and what is not?

Lean Operating System is not the functional system of the enterprise, such as Purchasing, Human Resources, Planning, Production, Quality and other functional department. And it is not the performance management system of the enterprise, such as setting, decomposition, reporting, assessment and reward & punishment mechanism of key performance indicators. Lean Operating System is the interface between hardware and software (management system), which uses a series of brief principles to guide complex and smart behavior. And then the unique work mode for the enterprise is fromed.

The introduction scope of Lean Operating System includes production, R&D (research and development), logistics distribution and sales service, and aslo includes product recycling process in some enterprises. Functional system and performance management system are the basic management for enterprises, so the basic management and lean operating system cannot be confused.

What is an operating system?



1. The interface between hardware and software

2. A series of brief principles to guide complex and smart behavior

3. The work mode is fromed

There are some key elements to ensure the successful establishment of a sustainable operating system. But most enterprises which implemnet lean lack these elements in practice. Building Lean Operating System is the key to continuous excellent operation. Operating system is the Windows which build enterprise management system.

Build Lean Windows System for Enterprise

4. Connotation of Lean Operating System

Lean Operating System is the re-integration of enterprise operating mode. It is used to organize and manage product development, production, and relationships between suppliers and customers. Lean Operating System focuses on the whole value chain, from order acceptance to order completion as a whole. Continuous improvement is carried out through rapid problem solving. The proportion of value-added work is inceased by eliminating non-value-added activities.Just In Time is used to manage assets and cash. Jidoka is applied to ensure quality, dilivery, management speed and strategic focus.

Lean Operating System requires that Daily Kaizen can be impemented consciously and conscientiously. This can ensure to  gain practical experience and skills , rather than simply knowledge accumulation. Lean Operating System is the charge of coporate culture... It's a change in people, not just a change in management tools

5. Differences between Lean Operating System and Lean Six Sigma

Traditional Lean and Lean Six Sigma both adopt project promotion mode and lack continuous improvement mechanism. While Lean Operating System uses system promotion to change the way people work and integrates the culture of continuous improvement into daily work.

Difference with Lean Six Sigma

Tool Orientation

Trained experts leading (experts)

Special promotion (projects)

High potential candidates

System Orientation

Process leader leading (Coach)

Quick problem solving (Kaizen)

Everyone participating

Lean Operating System usually needs to integrate existing continuous improvement mechanisms. (Lean Six Sigma)

6. Deployment and import mode of Lean Operating System

To ensure that different enterprises successfully and quickly import Lean Operating System. Dantotsu has two deployment methods:

1. Overall Import Mode: Lean Operating System is overall introduced into enterprises through 100 weeks. It is an effective way to introduce lean quickly by adopting Overall Import Mode. However, many enterprises lack the experience of lean implementation. They are not sure about how much benefit lean can bring, or there is disagreement among senior managements about whether to introduce lean. In this case, the risk of adopting Overall Import Mode is still very large, because enterprises can not pass the first stage called "import preparation stage". The better method is to adopt Partial Import Mode, that is , combining the activities of the first stage and the second stage to make a breakthrough improvement on the pilot value stream (Product Family), so that the actual improvement benift can be got in a short time. Senior management can more easily reach a consensus on the overall implementation of lean through improt results of the pilot phase.

2. Partial Import Mode: Adopting the pilot value flow breakthrough mode in the second stage of Overall Import Mode. Remote evaluation and field diagnosis should be completed before the import, and the pilot area should be identified and determined. The ultimate goal of Partial Import Mode is to make organization preparation for Overall Import Mode.

7. Lean Operating System Import Roadmap (Five-stage Method)

Lean Operating System transforms the process improvement and personnel training through five stages. These five stages are Excellent Choice, Excellent Vision, Excellent Foundation, Excellent System and Excellent Practice. Combining enterprise strategy to establish a world-class lean operating system and build a culture of continuous improvement for the enterprises.

Five Stages, 45 Lean Activities, 2 Years of Deployment

Five-stage method is the best practice of Dantotsu’s team in first-class enterprises. It has strict standard roadmap and implementation evaluation mechanism. At the same time, it has high flexibility and customization according to different industries. The overall system import includes 45 standardization implementation modules, and the five stages have a strictly defined evaluation mechanism to ensure the effectiveness and timeliness of lean operating system import.

8. Leadership and Organization Development in Lean Operating System

The goal of lean operation system import is to build a world-class lean operation system and a culture of continuous improvement for enterprises, to achieve continuous process improvement through process improvement and personnel training, to establish a learning organization and flexible operation mechanism, and to establish a commanding point in today's market competition. Lean leadership is the key driving force to lead the system transformation in personnel training. The most important thing is to transform 12 traditional leadership models into 12 lean leadership models, integrate them into every management link of the enterprise organization to charge daily working methods.


Traditional Leadership

Lean Leadership


Mode 1

Focus on short-term goals

Long-term philosophy

Social responsibility

Mode 2

Produce as much as possible (Push)

Market demand (Pull)


Mode 3

Partial optimization

Overall optimization

System thinking

Mode 4

Standards limit creativity

Standards Start Continuous Improvement

Standard work

Mode 5

Hidden problems

Exposure problems

Visual management

Mode 6

Can't interrupt the operation

Stop and solve problems


Mode 7

Employees are liabilities

Employees are assets

Human capital

Mode 8

Leader is the boss

Leader is the coach

Theory Y, "trust, but check."

Mode 9

Manage by report

Gemba attitude

Gemba management

Mode 10

Who ?

5 Why ?

Root cause analysis

Mode 11

Plan quickly and implement slowly

Emphasize consensus and act quickly  

Hoshin management, consensus

Mode 12

Experts solves problems

All staff solve problems

Authorization, independent research team

Lean culture can be cultivated through lean leadership and personnel training. Lean Operating System focuses on establishing a cultural environment for all employees to improve. The Kaizen culture can be built through Kaizen practice, performance breakthrough and driving high performance teams, so that Continuously improve lean culture. The success of Lean Operating System not only requires continuous process improvement, but aslo the transformation of work mode. Building Lean Leadership 12 Paradigm is the soil for the success of Lean Operating System and the important cornerstone of organization development.

Behavior Verification Nine-Palace


Plan slowly, act quickly

All staff participation


Hansei, no excuse




Change the working mode

9.Five Stages of Lean Operating System

The implementation of lean operating system requires systematic deployment and gradual promotion. Rome was not built in a day. Enterprises can not become excellent through simple replication. Systematic deployment and gradual promotion are needed for enterprises.

Lean Import Deployment: Dantotsu Lean Operating Five-Stage Method

Phase 1, Lean Thinking

Phase 2, Lean Planning

Phase 3, Lean Lighthouse

Phase 4, Lean Promotion

Phase 5, Lean Extension

Introduce lean thinking  and reach a consensus on lean transformation vision. Object =  Management

Complete status diagnosis, goal setting and lean promotion planning. Object =  Lean + Management

Build lean beacon areas and explore lean driving models. Object =  Demonstration areas

Deepen the lean demonstration management mode and carry out horizontal and overall development. Object = Teams at all levels

Extend lean to supply chain and implement in all functional departments. Object = Functional departments

For more information, please contact dantotsu’s lean strategy consultants. TEL: 86-21-61122398.


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