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Lean Production

Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich) via edX


  • The current course run ends on June 30, 2021. If you think you won't have enough time to finish, you can enroll in the run starting on May 01, 2021 and ending on June 30, 2022*

Learn about Lean Management, a customer-centric methodology that improves processes by eliminating waste and focusing on value-added tasks.

This course will introduce the main tenets of the Toyota Production System, which includes Just-in-Time manufacturing, quality management tools, and the critical concept of Kaizen, the Japanese practice of continuous improvement. You will also learn about the key organization and managerial approaches that are used in Lean.

You will learn how to analyze process flows in order to establish process capacity and identify the process bottleneck. You will then calculate resource utilization and cycle time to evaluate the impact of set up times, batching, defects and reworks on key process performance measures, including inventory, flow rate and flow time.

We will also discuss the impact of key concepts of Lean, including Heijunka, Kanban, Jidoka, Andon, Poka Yoke, and 5S, which help achieve increased productivity and quality.

Upon successful completion of this program, learners will earn the TUM Lean and Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, confirming mastery of Lean Six Sigma fundamentals to a Green Belt level. The material is based on the American Society for Quality ( Body of Knowledge up to a Green Belt Level. The Professional Certificate is designed as preparation for a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt exam.


Week 1: Introduction: Identification of Waste
Understand the basic differences between craft production and mass production. Review the history of Lean Production, focusing on Japan's Toyota Production System as an alternative to mass production. Discuss how waste impacts productivity and describe Taiichi Ohno’s famous 7 Wastes.

Week 2: Understanding Flow: Capacity Analysis
Cover the basics of process analysis, including understanding how to calculate process capacity and resource utilization, as well as the important concepts of cycle time and takt time. Understand the relationship between inventory, a waste, is directly related to the flow time in a system through Little’s Law. Understand how variability in a system causes queuing or waiting. even if there is enough capacity on average.

Week 3: Continuous Flow: Setup Time Reduction
Calculate the impact of setups on capacity when the product variety is increased and understand how batching can improve this, but at the expense of increased inventory. Review the Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), and learn why reducing setups and changeovers are critical to Lean manufacturing. Discuss the concept of Total Productive Maintenance and calculate the metric Overall Equipment Efficiency.

Week 4: Improving Flow: Workplace Organisation and Visualization
Introduction to the concepts of Workplace Visualization and Organization and 5S for improving and maintaining continuous flow in Lean Production.

Week 5: Maintaining Flow: Establishing Pull Systems and Scheduling
Define the key principle from the Toyota Production System, Just-In-Time (JIT)and the significance that JIT has for Lean Production in reducing waste and meeting customer demand. Review the relevant components of production planning and how these affect Production Scheduling, the heart of Lean Production. Understand, with the help of reduced setup time, how Mixed-Model Scheduling achieves a match between production and customer and how Pull systems can be realized using Kanbans.

Week 6: Quality and Continuous Improvement
Calculate the impact defects have on our flow rate. Understand how Poka Yokecan help fool-proof our processes and learn how to structure and run a Kaizen Blitzto bring about rapid improvement opportunities for problem-solving and process improvements. Consider the central role of Continuous Improvement in Lean Production by comparing the set of management principles, The Toyota Way 2001, and Jeffrey Liker’s 14 Management Principles.

Taught by

Martin Grunow and Holly Ott

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4.9 rating, based on 502 reviews

Start your review of Lean Production

  • Aziz Senzia completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    What an experience! First of all, I would like to thank all lecturers and guest lecturers for this course (Lean Production) for their valuable materials. They all made this course possible for their vast knowledge and experience in the area(s) they...
  • Vlad Ivankine completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I am ashamed to admit that coming into this course I had no idea what Lean Production was and was only taking the course as it was part of the Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification program that I was interested in obtaining. I could not be happier with...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The professor Holly Ott understands what a S.M.A.R.T (specific measurable attainable realistic time) quality objective actually is for a each of her lectures. Furthermore she follows the 3E( FEMA Reinforcing the perception of fair treatment 3E) of communication...
  • My name is Rony Tabari and I am from Indonesia, I am currently undertaking a role as an Operations Improvement Advisor for Phu Bia Mining (PBM) with operations in Laos as one of the producing assets for PanAust in South East Asia. Again, first of all,...
  • Anubha Asthana completed this course.

    Hi, I am Anubha Asthana from India. I am currently working for Globallogic Technologies Pvt. Ltd. as Quality Analyst on the project of Google. The three specific things I learned in the course were: 1. Ample amount of information and learning. For a...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Hello ! I am Nuruzzaman Faruqui from Dhaka, Banglades. I am an Electrical Engineer and working in Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd with the Technical Project Team of my company . I have to work & perform with different project all over the year. I...
  • Abdel Kader Traore

    Abdel Kader Traore completed this course.

    The course is really amazing. As a fresh enginner in food science working at one the leading manufacturers of chocolate, I already knew about lean production and several tools associated with it (VSM, kanban, SMED, OEE, 5S etc.). But I was not able...
  • Anonymous
    Have completed the Lean Production courses and found it very practical and useful. This course is easy to access, well structured and guide learner step by step to gain knowledge and terminology. There is always detail explanation and example to illustrate...
  • Angel Efren Rojas Kingland completed this course, spending 28 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Excellent course, I did it as part of the TUM Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Program. This course is the last one and the least difficult but with great information about Lean Thinking methods and tools.
  • Sergey Tikhonov

    Sergey Tikhonov completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    In short this course is great! I would have to choose one word to describe this course it would be “efficient”. Detailed review. The lectures cover all important Lean topics. Typical lecture is about 10-15min long and covers one topic or gives an overview....
  • Anonymous
    Hallo my name is David Wiesner from Darmstadt Germany. I am in a phase of recovery from a brain surgery and so I am unemployed st the moment. Enjoyed the lecture very much. It was dedidactical very good. I learned a lot. And it was very easy to...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was excellent from every aspect:
 Topics are split up in 6 sessions/weeks that accommodated a full time employee to still manage a good work-life balance. The analytical process is explained in easy words, so one must not be afraid of not...
  • Anonymous
    Dorigto He realizado este curso a propuesta de mi jefe y ha sido un gran descubrimiento para mi Tengo intención de profundizar más en el tema ya que he descubierto no solo un método de mejora de eficiencia en el trabajo sino una nueva filosofia que...
  • Christian Kahl

    Christian Kahl completed this course.

    At the beginning I took this course just to show current or future employers my experience in this topic and didn't expect anything so new for me as it's my filed of work as a manager in continuous improvement. But as the course commenced, I have learnt...
  • Profile image for Norvin Cuentas
    Norvin Cuentas

    Norvin Cuentas completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    My name is Norvin from Bellevue, WA-USA with a background in Mechanical Engineering. As I write this I am in between roles as well as a Co-Founder of an early stage startup called Vivify Trucks. The 3 specific things that I learned in this course that...
  • Profile image for Murali Krishna
    Murali Krishna

    Murali Krishna completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    One of the best MOOC on Lean production that you can find online. Whether you are a novice or an expert, this course gives you the concise content that is required to understand lean. The course is well structured, perfectly presented with case studies,...
  • Profile image for Lilian BOSTAN
    Lilian BOSTAN

    Lilian BOSTAN completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This course is a great opportunity to learn important quality matters. The course is very well structured, the complexity is just fine for upper-beginner level, the topics are explained in good details. You have the opportunity to replay video and recheck...
  • Mohammed Anyimadu

    Mohammed Anyimadu is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I am Anyimadu a Mechanical Engineer graduate from KNUST Ghana, The course lean Production is one of the most enjoyable courses i have ever taken, it gives you in depth understanding and knowledge of how to eliminate waste from the workplace. I really...
  • Anonymous
    Good day! I am Bienne, a 5th year BS Industrial Engineering student from the University of the Philippines - Diliman. I have had the pleasure of completing the TUM Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certificate Course, and learning a lot more new concepts from...
  • Profile image for Olga Campo Ferrero
    Olga Campo Ferrero

    Olga Campo Ferrero completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I am a Materials Engineer with more than 10 year background on quality, design and manufacturing of rotor blades for the wind industry. I took this course to improve my knowledge and apply the Six Sigma methodology to my daily work: office and factory enviroments. Moreover, a lot of big companies are requiring employees with at least GB and with you (course team) and edx is a great opportunity to obtain. You are more cost-effective and the explanations and papers are the best.
    I did enjoy taking the lessons, very descriptive, completed, and clear with all materials well-prepared. I have now a good basis to start working with this methodology. Thank you very much for this course of Lean and for the Programme of Six Sigma!!.

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