A Better Understanding To Lean Project Management

what is lean project management

Do you know why organizations focus on getting a good project manager? It is because a good project manager will know what kind of project management method suits the organization. We all know how important project management is to an organization’s growth. Likewise, adopting the best-suited methodology is equally important.

There are many kinds of project management. But one method of project management aims at the core values of almost all organizations. It is Lean project management. We will discuss how it suits the core values of every organization later in the blog.

In this blog, we will discuss lean project management in detail and how it benefits your business.

What is Lean Project Management?

What is Lean Project Management

It is a way through which you can increase productivity while reducing resources used. The goal is to minimize waste without compromising the outcome’s value simply.

Isn’t that the core value of any organization? It uses lean manufacturing principles to meet the desired reduction in waste. But lean project management isn’t only applied to manufacturing processes. It has evolved to suit the purpose of any kind of project management.

Lean project management also focuses on increasing the value from the customer’s perspective. So it is a highly valuable method for both the organization and the customer.

To successfully reduce wastes, it is essential to identify them first. Lean manufacturing principles commonly address three types of waste.

  1. Muda: Tasks that use up the resources but provide no value to the organization.
  2. Muri: Unnecessary overuse of employees and equipment.
  3. Mura: Wastes created due to the inconsistent resource usage plan.

The primary goal is to reduce these three wastes. Reducing these wastes naturally increases the overall efficiency of the project.

Principles of Lean Project Management

To apply lean project management, experts have identified five key principles to follow. Following these principles will let you understand the flow of this method of project management.

  1. Specify value: Place importance from the customer’s perspective. Identify what matters most to the customer.

  2. Map the value stream: This principle points out the importance of planning. You should create a map of all the processes involved to provide an optimum value to the customer.

  3. Make the value flow by eliminating waste: Analyse the plan for any ways to reduce the consumption of resources. You should also alter the plans to minimize waste.

  4. Make the value flow at the customer’s pull: This project management method is all about customer satisfaction. So, improve your process by identifying the primary requirements of the customer.

  5. Embrace continuous improvement in pursuit of perfection: Monitor and make changes to the plan. Regular monitoring of the process results in effective waste reduction.

The principles exist to make the process easier. So the next time you apply lean methodology, resort to these principles.

Popular Lean Project Methodologies

Many organizations find the lean method to be one of the most cost-effective methods. You will be happy to know that you can approach many different ways to implement lean strategies. The following are some of the main methods to apply lean principles:

  • The Deming Cycle
  • Six Sigma
  • Kanban

All the above-listed methods aim at optimizing the value stream in one way or the other. It also focuses on improving employees’ lean thinking capabilities.

1. The Deming Cycle:

The Deming Cycle

The Deming cycle focuses on continuous improvement of the process. The process is a loop consisting of four main steps. They are,

  1. Plan: Plan for anything that may interfere with the smooth workflow of the lean project.
  2. Do: Carry out the plan in small steps. Ensure that there is no over-exploitation of resources.
  3. Check: Analyse the results of the small steps.
  4. Act: Improve the process by altering the plan.

Due to constant checks made, the overall efficiency of the project is always within the expected limits. This lean method concentrates on identifying the root cause of all the problems and tries to eliminate or replace the step that causes major inefficiencies.

Example: In a manufacturing unit, the cost goes extremely high when a project undergoes certain steps. The Deming cycle will help you identify the root cause of this problem by consistent tracking. It also helps you identify alternate steps to reduce the cost.

2. Six Sigma:

Six Sigma

The six sigma project management has the primary goal of reducing the variation in the process. This promotes greater control over the resources used. Thus ensuring the lean method’s policy of reducing wastes. Unlike the Deming Cycle, the six sigma project management focuses on preventing any inefficiencies. The following are the steps involved in this lean method:

  1. Define: Create a project chart that defines the project goals and customer needs.

  2. Measure: Collect the available performance results. Ensure that the data collected is reliable and true.

  3. Analyse: Analyse the data to identify the issues. Perform several tests before confirming the issue.

  4. Improve: Make changes to the project charter to improve the efficiency of the process.

  5. Control: Monitor the newly implemented process. Ensure that all the parameters stay inside the favorable limits.

The six sigma project management mainly focuses on statistics to avoid any future failures. Rather than solving the problem after it occurs. This method suits manufacturing companies than any other organization.

3. Kanban


Kanban is one of the most-praised methods for facilitating the application of the lean process. The primary focus of this lean method is to eliminate the backlogs. Preventing backlogs ensure the completion of the project on time. This further promotes the value of the project from the customer’s perspective.

Some of the best project management software use Kanban boards to visualize their project workflows. The process of the Kanban method is the same as any other lean method. The only difference is that you can visualize every process.

The following are the benefits of using the Kanban method:

  1. Improves flexibility.
  2. Reduces waste.
  3. Promotes easy understanding of the project.
  4. Promotes a smoother and linear workflow.
  5. Reduces bottlenecks saving precious time.

With the effective use of Kanban boards, you never waste your resources, and you always stay ahead of schedule. This is one of the best lean methods to keep yourself and your employees well-informed and highly collaborative.

Benefits of Lean Project Management

As mentioned earlier, this method of project management proves useful in waste reduction. But, let us take a look at the other areas in which this method is beneficial.

1. Promote employee engagement:

Promote employee engagement

By using lean methods, organizations can improve the collective effort of the employees. In most organizations, employees do not have a mentality of promoting efficiency. They rather focus on getting the job done by any means necessary. The lean method encourages employees to opt for efficient ways to complete a process.

2. Lesser staff turnover:

Unsatisfied or overworked employees tend to quit easily. The lean method eliminates employee burnout. Using the lean method, you use lesser resources to achieve more results. Naturally, this prevents employees from overworking.

The lean method also promotes a feeling of belonging by including the employees in the company’s goals. The sense of belonging is a strong motivator to reduce staff turnover.

3. An advantage over the competitors:

An advantage over the competitors

When there is a friendly environment that works together, the organization’s standards rise high. The lean method increases the overall effectiveness of the products of an organization. Thus, giving an edge over the other organizations in the market.

4. Higher customer satisfaction:

Higher customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction decides whether your project will succeed or not in the market. Since the lean method uses the pull approach, every process undertaken is to increase customer satisfaction. You can get a higher market value while minimizing waste.

How to implement a lean methodology using PeppyBiz’s project management software?

PeppyBiz is widely known for its effective business solutions. We are one of the top-rated SaaS providers in the market, serving all sectors. Our project management software has all the necessary features within a simple interface. You do not need subject knowledge to use our software. Its high versatility is the key factor that influences businesses of all sizes to opt for it.

Our project management tool uses one of the popular lean methods, the Kanban method. The following are the features of our software:

  • Discussion boards.
  • Task management tools.
  • Centralized storage facility.
  • Chatbox.
  • Timesheets.
  • Report creation tools.
  • Integrated email.
  • Gantt charts.

There are many numbers of project management software available in the market. But it is rare to find one that is flexible to suit every business needs. Go ahead and schedule a free demo with us today to learn more about what we offer.


For effective lean project management, you must change your perspective to that of the customer. You must emphasize the need to develop projects that meet customer requirements. Also, the lean method is the ideal way of eliminating waste and increasing productivity.

Realizing this will influence you to adopt the project management method that exponentially grows your business. Employ lean methods with powerful software to start growing today!

Sara is a Content Writer at PeppyBiz. She is not only a creative writer but also paints a beautiful canvas. She makes sure that you are left with no doubt about keeping up with marketing and sales.

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