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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

Lean Resources: Home

What is Lean?

The Michigan Lean Consortium defines Lean as "a dynamic process of continuous improvement and learning by empowered associates, in a culture of mutual trust and respect, focused on eliminating waste and maximizing value for our customers".

History of Lean at Michigan Tech

2008 - President Glenn Mroz initiated continuous improvement using Lean practices at Michigan Tech by bringing in a Lean consultant to train and coach a Lean Implementation Staff. Later that year the first kaizen (continuous improvement event) was held.

2011 - A grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service helped to train Lean facilitators and implementation leaders.

2011-present - Continuous improvement has expanded across campus and the Michigan Tech community. 210 kaizen events, involving over 750 people have taken place. 

Benefits of Lean

A Lean approach to continuous improvement provides us with a concrete method to examine work processes. The tools we use are tested and the cross-functional teams often bring new perspectives to the table.

Lean thinking can provide improved value for the customer by:

  • Improving the quality of work processes
  • Reducing errors or defects in work processes
  • Reducing costs
  • Improving flow of the process
  • Simplifying complex processes
  • Reducing lead time
  • Improving employee morale

Librarians are available to answer your questions. Click on the Ask Us bubble for FAQs and contact options (chat, email, text, phone).

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Lean Models

The following Lean Continuous Improvement Model demonstrates how Lean focuses on Customer Success through people, processes, and methods.


Michigan Tech's Continuous Improvement Office has created a Lean Mind Map that shows the many different aspects of Lean.

Lean Resources


The following books are available through the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Click the titles or search the library's catalog at for information on availability and borrowing.