Course 2023-2024 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BAI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


This course analyzes advanced management practices in complex business environments and offers a comprehensive introduction to Lean Management, a model derived from the diffusion of the principles and tools originally developed at the Toyota Motor Company. The course emphasizes the organizational, managerial and human aspects of Lean Thinking and illustrates its adoption in a variety of industries and business functions. It analyzes how firms should design and implement lean systems and offers a framework to undertake an sustain lean transformations. It illustrates how the adoption of Lean Thinking principles and tools affect managerial decision making and problem solving, eliminating waste and variability. It also elaborates on recent trends such as the application of lean thinking to innovation (Lean Product and Process Development), to entrepreneurship (Lean Startup Method), to sustainability ( Lean & Green), as well as its connection to the Agile movement.


  • Origins and evolution of the Lean Movement.
  • A short history of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
  • Waste (Muda), continuous improvement (Kaizen) and organizational learning.
  • Lean principles and tools.
  • The Lean Transformation Framework.
  • The House fo Lean.
  • Just-in-time.
  • Creating continuous flow (takt, one-piece-flow).
  • The pull system (kanban, Deming principle).
  • Leveling out workloads (Heijunka).
  • Stop to fix problems and quality. Do things right the first time (Jidoka).
  • Standardized work as the foundation of continuous improvement.
  • Using visual management to monitor performance and surface problems.
  • Workplace organization (5S).
  • Value Stream Mapping and improvement.
  • Problem solving through PDCA: A3 & Kaizen.
  • Lean culture, people development and leadership.
  • Lean in administration and office.
  • Lean product and process development.
  • Lean IT & LeanAgile.
  • Lean Startup.
  • Lean, social and green: sustainable lean.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe the genealogy and evolution of Lean Thinking and its relationship with organizational theory and other management practices.
  • Understand the antecedents and effects of waste and variability on organizational performance.
  • Explain the principles and tools of lean management and its implementation in different management functions, business environments and industries.
  • Identify different types of problems in organizations and apply different problem solving methods (A3, Kaizen and Theory-based)
  • Distinguish the management attitudes and behaviors that support the implementation of lean thinking.
  • Recognize the relationship between lean thinking and the lean startup method.
  • Identify critical success factors and barriers in lean implementation.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Eliminate waste from organizational processes.
  • Optimize workplace organization (5S).
  • Reduce resource idle time throughquick changeovers (SMED).
  • Prevent and/or detect the occurrence of errors and defects through auto-nomation (Jidoka) and technology autonomous management (TPM).
  • Reduce undesired variability through workload leveling (heijunka).
  • Maximize value flow to customers through just in time (one-piece-flow, pull, kanban supermarket systems).
  • Problem solve through A3 and PDCA cycles.
  • Design and conduct Kaizen events
  • Draw current and future state value stream maps and design value stream improvement plans.
  • Use leanagile techiques to develop new products, services and processes.
  • Design and conduct rigorous experiments to problem solve.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The course applies a variety of teaching methods and learning approaches and requires the active participation of students through class pre-work, readings, case discussions and project works. Students attending the course do lean simulations, interact with managers from companies that have successfully undertaken lean transformation processes and develop in-class applications of lean tools. Given the content and didactic methods of the course, class attendance, though not compulsory, is strongly recommended. Lectures and all the other in-class activities take place according to the following analytic program and calendar. All support materials are posted on the web and are accessible on the Bocconi platform. Attending students may sign-up to prepare, individually or in small groups, the in-class simulations and exercises leading the discussion in the relevant learning sessions.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Students qualify as attending students if they attend the majority of the classes both in the first and second half of the course. Attendance are monitored through the Bocconi electronic system. Grading system.

  • The final grade is the average of the grades obtained in a written partial and final exam (at the end of the course), covering, respectively, the first and second half of the course. The exams cover only the materials discussed in class and the relative textbook chapters. They include multiple choice questions and problem sets.
  • Attending students may complement and improve their grade through distinguished class participation and individual/group assignments and projects suggested by or agreed upon with the instructor during the course. 


Non attending students take an individual, written final exam. It covers the course textbooks and include multiple choice questions and problem sets.

Teaching materials


  • Materials (classnotes, documents, assignments, case studies, exercises) available on Blackboard.


  • M. ROTHER, J. SHOOK, Learning to see. Value Stream Mapping to Create Value and Eliminate Muda, Cambridge, MA,The Lean Enterprise Institute, Cambridge, 1999. 
  • A. CAMUFFO, Lean Transformations for Small and Medium Enterprises. Lessons from Italian Businesses, New York, CRC - Productivity Press, 2016 (only chapters 3 and 5).
  • J. LIKER, The Toyota Way. 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, New York, USA, McGraw-Hill, 2004. 
Last change 30/05/2023 13:24