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LCS Approved


LCS Approved solves the problem of not knowing if the product you are about to purchase to support your operational efforts will propel you further along your lean journey or take you backwards – or even become a barrier to progress.

LCS Approved is for businesses that sell products to organisations that support their lean (or aspiring lean ) operations. ‘Product’ could refer to a physical product, service, technology or system.

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LCS Approved is a status conferred on a ‘product’ confirming that the LCS considers it is aligned with, and supportive of, lean thinking principles and so will be conducive to fostering the development of appropriate lean practices and behaviours that underpin the creation of a sustainable, lean culture.

To establish that a product has the requisite attributes to be deemed LCS Approved, it needs to demonstrate it is aligned with a series of level Lean Enterprise Characteristic Statements.

For each of the statements, the product owner rates the level of alignment of the product on a five-point scale, from no alignment to very high alignment. The product owner also provides a summary statement for each, justifying the rating and a more detailed explanation can be included in a later section.

LCS Approved status is conferred on a product for a two year period, renewable thereafter.

LCS Approved has been developed in 2016 and is being tested and piloted as part of its ongoing development and roll out. It extends the LCS service offering and aligns with the LCS purpose, in that it promotes the adoption of lean thinking in organisations in order to help improve operational effectiveness and it helps practitioners apply lean thinking philosophy, tools and techniques so they can be more effective in their continuous improvement activities

Benefits of LCS Approved

For an organisation using an LCS Approved product, it provides confidence that the product will support lean operational methods and behaviours and play a positive role in the journey to building a sustained, continuous improvement culture.

For an organisation providing LCS Approved products, it makes its offerings more attractive to companies committed to adopting lean thinking – providing assurance, reducing risk and it helps associate its brand with best-practice operational thinking.

Method to Become LCS Approved

There are three elements in establishing that a product has the requisite attributes to become LCS Approved:

  1. Scrutiny of the product’s design, use, features and benefits by LCS assessors.
  2. The owner’s justification of its product’s positive role in fostering the development of a lean enterprise; this is achieved using the 20 Lean Enterprise Characteristic Statements.
  3. Customers’ (ie product users) corroboration of the product owner’s assessment.

Lean Enterprise Characteristic Statements

There are 20 statements, grouped under four headings. They have been developed from a range of key lean sources, including Womack and Jones’ Five Lean Principles, the ten Shingo Model Principles and Liker’s 14 principles of The Toyota Way.

Products need to demonstrate they align to these statements.


  • Supports the long term objectives of the organisation and promotes constancy of purpose
  • Fosters the development of an extended enterprise beyond the operating unit in which it is implemented
  • Encourages the organisation to manage by data.
  • Supports a value stream perspective, process/systems thinking and scientific thinking.
  • Supports organisational alignment – clarity of purpose and connected goals.
  • Supports the pursuit of perfection, focus on long term solutions and simplification.


  • Facilitates senior management engagement in operations and Gemba activity.
  • Supports the development of staff capability competency in problem solving
  • Supports a leadership style characterised by humility and respect for every individual.
  • Encourages the development of a learning organisation, a questioning culture, and the promotion of new ideas.
  • Supports empowerment, trust and effective communications.


  • Delivers improvements in productivity
  • Supports the presentation of visual controls and problem visibility
  • Facilitates demand responsiveness and pull systems.
  • Supports the levelling of workload, reducing unevenness
  • Supports quality at source and the delivery of “right first time” in both material quality and service quality
  • Delivers waste identification & removal
  • Supports the appropriate standardisation of processes


  • Helps the operation respond effectively to customer demand
  • Promotes customer focus and the creation of customer or stakeholder value

Application Form

The LCS Approved application form collects information about the product, its owner and product users. The form contains the Lean Enterprise Characteristic statements and for each, the product owner rates the level of alignment of the product on a five-point scale, from no alignment to very high alignment. The product owner also provides narrative explaining and justifying the rating.

Customer Corroboration

A sample of customers that have experience in using the product is asked to comment of the product owner’s assessment and the veracity of their claims via a questionnaire.

Overall Process

A Guide is available to download that provides details on the process, plus the fees payable and general terms. In summary, it is as follows:

  • An application form is completed by the product owner, which collects information on the company and product.
  • The form includes a series of Lean Enterprise Characteristic Statements and an applicant assesses its product against each of these, in terms of how well aligned it is on a five-point scale (no alignment to very high alignment). Narrative supporting the self-assessment is included.
  • The applicant provides the names of customers that use the product in their operating system and a sample of these is contacted by the LCS. They will be asked to state their level of agreement with the product owner’s self-assessment and add supporting comments where necessary.
  • Detailed information on the product is also supplied as part of the application – eg detailed description, specification, marketing material, etc

Download the Guide to becoming LCS Approved

Download the LCS Approved Application Form

July 2016

List of products, services, systems and technologies that are LCS Approved:

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Date Owner Product Description
July 2016

 ActiveOps, UKActiveOps Logo

Workware Operations Performance Management Software The Workware software suite provides teams and departments within service operations with the tools to support operations planning and production control, giving managers the ability to run their operations efficiently and the data/insight to improve their operations.

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