Lean principles apply to any process based operation. I cannot think of any process that does not have non-value added components in it that create the opportunity for waste production. In fact, by definition, a non-value added component in a process is waste.
Let’s take marketing for example and do something called lean marketing. Please remember that in a post of this size, I am leaving a lot to the imagination. Some businesses have marketing programs that start with the product/service and move outward to the customer. They call this customer focused because they do eventually think about the customer. This is not all bad because the customer is a part of the equation. The problem with this approach is that it is self-limiting. In effect, it allows the product/service to define the target customers and, as a result, becomes growth limited by this boundary. This is the waste of missed opportunity