Lean methodology in education: how to implement it online

The lean methodology applied to online education allows the specialization of trainers and content through techniques and tools based on...
21 February 2023

Table of contents

Lean methodology in education: how to implement it online

The lean methodology applied to online education allows the specialization of trainers and content through techniques and tools based on 5 essential principles that revolve around the value desired to be offered to students.

The Lean methodology generally focuses on the continuous improvement of industrial, business, or training processes. In this constant improvement, what is known as “waste” is reduced (any element that does not add value and represents an unjustified loss of resources).

In this article, we want to share how you can implement this methodology in your educational processes to help you achieve your goals and improve the student’s experience.

What is the Lean methodology?

The Lean methodology is an efficient project management (or management approach) model focused on the continuous optimization of both business and educational processes, which provides additional value thanks to the constant improvement of protocols and the reduction of blockages. 

This way, procedures become more efficient while innovation and creativity are boosted with optimal results in achieving objectives. 

It emerged in the 1960s in Japan and was initially known as Lean Manufacturing since it began to be applied in factory production. 

Over time it has been gradually applied in other areas and, hence, versions such as Warehouse, Construction, Office, Health, Education, and Learning.  

Specifically, the Lean methodology applied to training is reinforced by all the possibilities offered by the digital medium, such as accessibility or the analysis of indicators.

To summarize, the main goal we can draw from the Lean methodology definition is to create a more efficient and effective workflow that maximizes customer value while minimizing waste and unnecessary steps.

Lean Methodology

Lean methodology principles: how to implement them

Before implementing the Lean methodology training, you must consider that it is a process of change that is shown as a break from traditional thinking. 

Thus, you must prepare your teams to set this philosophy by working on the human factor through effective communication that describes the challenges and benefits of Lean in training processes.

The Lean methodology focuses on 5 fundamental principles that do not stop moving towards each other in a mental graphic representation of a circle, and that are: 

  1. Value identification.
  2. Value stream mapping.
  3. Efficient workflow.
  4. Establish a Pull system.
  5. Pursue perfection.

Based on these 5 principles, here we explain how you can implement them in online training. 

Value identification

Defining the value consists of analyzing the training objectives to be achieved and, consequently, removing any redundant process or documentation – a waste of time and resources – that could be a brake or an obstacle on that path. 

Among the possible actions to implement, you have:

  • Enhance the activities that add value to training. 
  • Reduce the activities that do not add value but are necessary to perform the tasks. 
  • Eliminate activities considered as waste, i.e., that consume resources and do not contribute, such as over-information, excessive bureaucracy, etc. 

The result of this value analysis should lead to a training strategy that strictly uses the necessary resources to achieve educational goals, leading to lower costs. 

Lean methodology principles

Value stream mapping

In this phase, you must focus on 3 steps: 

  1. Preventing and solving problems. 
  2. Effectively manage information and documentation by developing programs adapted to the needs of your students.
  3. To carry out an agile training process management that allows optimal assimilation of the contents. 

LMS or Learning Management Systems work very well in Lean training. In fact, they allow you to create virtual classrooms and obtain performance indicators as interesting as the success rate of your actions. 

Also, remember that proctoring allows you to monitor remote evaluations effectively and safely and is an effective complement to LMSs.

Efficient workflow

The Lean methodology requires a value chain in which each process stage must try to improve the previous one, keeping the pre-established educational objectives in mind. In this way, Lean thinking flows throughout the process. 

You can achieve this through Kanban boards, for example, a project management method that allows you to map all its phases easily. 

Subscribe today to SMOWL’s weekly newsletter!

Discover the latest trends in eLearning, technology, and innovation, alongside experts in assessment and talent management. Stay informed about industry updates and get the information you need.

Simply fill out the form and stay up-to-date with everything relevant in our field.

Establish a Pull system

The value you generate must respond to the needs and expectations of your learners. To achieve this, you can use the Pull technique, a system that responds to a demand only when it exists. 

Pursue perfection

In the process of implementing this methodology in an e-learning context, you can use tools such as the 5 S’s – organize, order, clean, standardize and apply discipline -, Kaizen – continuous motivation of learners – or Poka-Yoke, which helps to prevent human errors.

Thanks to the Lean development methodology, you will achieve: 

  • Eliminating teaching constraints. 
  • Standardizing education. 
  • Optimizing the time dedicated to each subject. 
  • Improving the didactic material used in each task. 
  • Discovering and adopting new ways to evaluate. 

In e-learning, accessibility and security are two concepts that must be present. Thanks to our proctoring products, you can guarantee the academic integrity of your teaching strategies and activities. 

We help you build safe, effective, and GDPR-compliant environments for your training and education.  

Request your free demo, and let us show you solutions to boost the Lean methodology in your training projects.  

Download now!

8 interesting


about proctoring

Discover everything you need about online proctoring in this book to know how to choose the best software.

Fill out the form and download the guide now.

And subscribe to the weekly SMOWL newsletter to get exclusive offers and promotions.

You will discover all the trends in eLearning, technology, innovation, and proctoring at the hands of evaluation and talent management experts.

Share on:

Write below what you are looking for

Escribe a continuación lo que estas buscando