Course 2012-2013 a.y.



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - BIEMF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course analyzes advanced management practices in complex business environments and offers a comprehensive introduction to Lean Management, a model derived from the diffusion and development 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.

Students learn:

  • the genealogy and evolution of Lean Thinking and its relationship with organizational theory and other management practices
  • the principles and tools of lean management and its implementation in different management functions, business environments and industries
  • how to eliminate waste from organizational processes through lean tools like: workplace organization (5S), standardized work, value stream mapping and improvement, quick changeovers (SMED), auto-nomation (Jidoka), and technology autonomous management (TPM), workload leveling (heijunka), just in time (one-piece-flow, pull, kanban supermarket systems), and problem solving through A3 and PDCA cycles.
  • how to drive organizational performance through continuous improvement initiatives
  • how to use the above lean tools as learning devices that allow to develop people’s skills and organizational capabilities
  • the management attitudes and behaviors that constitute servant leadership and support the implementation of lean thinking.

Course Content Summary

  • Origins and evolution of the Lean Movement
  • Waste (Muda), continuous improvement (Kaizen) and organizational learning
  • Lean principles and tools
  • 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 surface problems
  • Workplace organization (5S)
  • Value Stream Mapping and improvement
  • Problem solving through PDCA: A3
  • Lean culture, people development and leadership
  • Lean in administration and office
  • Towards a Lean Society: lean healthcare, education and consumption
  • Lean and green: sustainable lean

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Oral exam in the scheduled exam sessions.


  • J. Liker, The Toyota Way. 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA, 2004
  • M. Rother, J. Shook, Learning to see. Value Stream Mapping to Create Value and Eliminate Muda. The Lean Enterprise Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1999
  • J. Shook, Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement, Mentor, and Lead, The Lean Enterprise Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2008
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


The contents of course 30008 (Fundamentals of Organizations) are a prerequisite. Since the course uses a variety of learning methodologies including case studies, in-class exercises, simulations (lean game) and examples from real world lean transformation processes, attendance is recommended.

Last change 09/05/2012 16:51