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Lean Thinking Observatory

Sponsored by auxiell and Banco BPM

Although the last decade has been characterized by a growing understanding of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises with regard to the principles and methodologies of Lean Thinking, there remains a strong belief that we limit ourselves to a reductive vision of the theme, often interpreted as a set of methodologies confined to the productive sphere, in a limited number of sectors, and with implications in terms of economic-financial performance, employment and system competitiveness impossible or difficult to estimate.

The Lean Thinking Observatory distinguishes itself by undertaking a series of initiatives:

  • monitoring the effects of lean transformation on economic and financial performance and the adoption of lean management systems;
  • identifying best practices of lean transofrmation and lean management pratices
  • looking in particular at the Italian context examining performance in particular specific sectors and the role of human capital;
  • a comparison in the international context, thanks to Bocconi University's international connections
  • the use of  quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to build a reliable database of "cases" which can  be used for comunications and learning from the Observatory;
  • the construction of a patrimony of data and open knowledge which can be used by researchers both in Italy and abroad, according to the regulations established by the members of the Observatory.

In order to realise these ambitious objectives and become a point of reference for researchers, companies and policy makers, the work of the Observatory will follow five directions:

  • A systematic survey of the corporate ownership, corporate governance structures, organizational structures and economic-financial performance of companies that have undertaken lean transformation paths in Italy. We will refer to listed and unlisted companies in various industrial sectors.
  • A periodic monitoring of the areas of corporate performance subject to continuous improvement and of the lean methodologies applied most by companies.
  • An in-depth study on a theme or practice of greater practical interest for the world of companies that adopt lean management systems, identified from time to time together with the partners and thanks to the Steering Committee's activity, for example lean startups;
  • An international comparison with other companies in Asia, Europe and North America
  • A focus on excellent companies (successful ones) in terms of lean transformation so that others can learn from the best in class.

If you would like to learn more about Lean Transformation or Lean Processes, you can contact the ICRIOS research office at: