In business, change is always present. What worked yesterday no longer works today. Customers are more demanding, competitors are more competitive, and new markets and new competitors are emerging globally. Thus, in order to survive, companies must explicitly manage change as a central process of the business. To achieve such agility, companies must become "lean" by shedding bureaucracy and top-down hierarchies, and managers must stop thinking in terms of departments and start thinking and acting with the entire enterprise in focus. The Lean Enterprise presents an in-depth study of what it means to be lean, and how to do it. It introduces the three-tier teaming system-a lean, enterprise-focused, cascading hierarchy of senior executives, process owners, and action teams who fuse the core competencies and expertise of a company and its external partners, and focus on a vital few "strategic processes," with the goal of delivering superior value to customers.