There is a considerable debate within the business world on whether the companies will have to deliver value for the shareholders or the customers. There are many techniques that give value to the customer. One such method used is the 'lean production'. The project duration and the cost are considered in the 'project-as-production system' terms, that is, the total project cost and the duration of the project are more important than the cost or the duration of any specific activity. The co-ordination is accomplished generally by the central schedule, while the details of the work-flow are managed through the organisation by the people who are aware of the project goals performance. The value to the customer and the throughput, the movement of the information or the materials to completion are the primary objectives. The improvements will result when wastes are reduced, where the difference between the present situation and the ideal situation which is defined as meeting the customer's distinctive needs in the least time.
The lean thinking focuses attention on how the value is generated by reducing the waste rather than how any one of the activity is managed.
Whereas, the traditional project management views the whole project as the combination of different activities, lean thinking views the entire project in a different way. It is considered as one large operation (the entire project).
For the organisations which sell products and provide services, metrics for estimating the impacts of the projects on the customers are required. The field of economics gives many different metrics for measuring the customer value which includes the concept of consumer surplus. The field of the market analysis has developed many customer satisfaction metrics. Another common approach is to adopt the metrics which will describe the particular product or service characteristics which the customer will care about. Looking at the customer's point of view, the attributes of the product and the service quality and the price may be the chosen factors. While adopting such models, it should include the customer choice and also the market penetration models for predicting the dynamics of the new sales.