Research Award




 Research Award Recipients

The Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recognizes and promotes research and writing regarding new knowledge and understanding of lean and operational excellence. Awards are given in four categories: (1) books (monographs), (2) published articles, (3) case studies, and (4) applied publications/multimedia programs.


Below are our past recipients of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award.


To view the list of past recipients (1989-2010), please click here.


Creating a Lean and Green Business System

Creating a Lean and Green Business System: Techniques for Improving Profits and Sustainability

Keivan Zokaei, Hunter Lovins, Andy Wood, Peter Hines


You cannot implement lean; you have to create it. The same is true for lean and green. In order to create a lean and green business system, there needs to be orchestration across all levels of managing an organisation. There is much more to creating a lean and green business system than just drawing upon a set of tools and techniques.

This book introduces the concept of lean and its impacts on the wider economy. But more importantly, it puts forward a systematic and structured way in which organisations can create a lean and green business system emphasising simple managerial and behavioural changes that often cost nothing or very little, yet deliver significant benefits. The book presents case studies from around the world from leading firms using lean and green as simultaneous sources of inspiration in various sectors of industry—from automotive and retail to textile and brewing. Opportunities are huge, for example, a multi-national food manufacturer saved the equivalent of $1.2 million in water and energy consumption following a one-week blitz intervention in one of their most modern sites in South East Asia.

The following demonstrates various aspects of creating a lean and green enterprise: strategy deployment, process management, supply chain collaboration, and leadership and people engagement. We discuss each area of the model through at least one case study: Strategy Deployment (Tesco), Process Management (Toyota), Supply Chain Collaboration (M&S), Leadership and Engagement (Adnams).

The book shows that the starting point for creating a lean and green business system is the mind-set of senior managers. It is hard to deliver the type of results we have seen from leading edge organisations such as Toyota, Unilever, Tesco, M&S and Adnams without executive commitment to integrating these two approaches to achieve the dual benefit of improved economic and environmental performance.

A starting point is the understanding that there is no trade-off between lean and green, that lean and green should be brought together, as Toyota have done with their Monozukuri approach which is explained in the book. The next step is to create a whole business approach that focuses on the needs of customers, the business, the employees and wider society. In achieving this integration, there is a great deal we can learn from the paradigm shift that occurred during the 1960’s and 1970’s across the Western world as managers came to realize that there was no trade-off between quality and cost. This requires a coherent strategy that is well developed and well deployed across all levels of the business. It also requires that continuous improvement be seen to be about the reduction of not just the classic economic wastes but also environmental wastes such as pollutants, landfill and excess energy and resource usage. This will mean bringing lean people together with environmental teams in a common function and improvement process.





Achieveing STEEEP Health Care

Achieving STEEEP Health Care

David J. Ballard, Neil S. Fleming, Joel T. Allison, Paul B. Convery, Rosemary Luquire


Reaching America's true potential to deliver and receive exceptional health care will require not only an immense and concerted effort, but a fundamental change of perspective from medical providers, government officials, industry leaders, and patients alike. The Institute of Medicine set forth six primary "aims" to which every participant in the American healthcare system must contribute: health care must be safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient centered. Presented as the acronym STEEEP®, the collective realization of these goals is to reduce the burden of illness, injury, and disability in our nation. Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) is committed to doing its part and has adopted these six aims as its own.

Achieving STEEEP Health Care tells the story of BHCS's continuing quality journey, offering practical strategies and lessons in the areas of people, culture, and processes that have contributed to dramatic improvements in patient and operational outcomes at BHCS. The book features (i) perspectives of senior leaders in the areas of corporate governance, finance, and clinical leadership; (ii) strategies for developing and supporting a culture of quality, including systems and tools for data collection, performance measurement, and reporting; (iii) clinical service-line examples of successful quality improvement initiatives from reducing heart failure readmissions to coordinating cancer care; and (iv) approaches to accountable care that strive to simultaneously improve the patient experience of care, improve population health, and reduce per capita costs of health care.





12 Pillars of Project Excellence

The 12 Pillars of Project Excellence:
A Lean Approach to Improving Project Results

Adil Dalal


The 12 Pillars of Project Excellence will help you transform the theory of project management from the age of command, control, and chaos to a solid practice of project leadership that engages, empowers, and enlightens your organization. Asking tough questions about the current state of project management, it provides you with powerful tools for organizational- and self-assessment.

The book unveils novel solutions and breakthrough concepts such as project culture analysis, the five powers of project leadership, the power of visualization (TM), the science of simplicity (TM), dynamic risk leadership, and dynamic project failures analysis. These cutting-edge tools and techniques will help revolutionize and transform the fundamental approach to project management and significantly enhance the success rate of any project and lead to a culture of operational excellence. The powerful new techniques provided are based on the author's practical experiences, lessons learned, subtle insights, leadership pri nciples, and nearly two decades of wisdom acquired from leading over 300 successful projects. The principles described in this workbook will help project managers, executives, and organizations chart out the most efficient path to the pinnacle of project leadership.





Lean RFS

Lean Leadership for Healthcare: Approaches to Lean Transformation

Ronald Bercaw


Healthcare organizations that have already applied Lean thinking to their processes, with the diligence of effective management and strong leadership support, are now realizing the benefits of their efforts. And, many of those benefits surpass what was thought possible just a few years ago. To be successful, these organizations had to provide the leadership to arrive at their future state.

Written by a Shingo Prize-winning author and Lean sensei, Lean Leadership for Healthcare: Approaches to Lean Transformation explains how to apply Lean improvement to both clinical and non-clinical processes. It presents valuable lessons learned by the author over the years of leading improvements in this complex industry and lays out a clear roadmap for initiating your Lean improvements.


Illustrating the leadership behaviors required to achieve sustainable success, the book is ideal for leaders in the healthcare industry looking to initiate Lean improvements to clinical and non-clinical processes. It reviews the fundamentals of Lean and explains how to link a strategy of continuous improvement to corporate strategy to achieve operational excellence. It also describes how to mitigate the risk of failure when undergoing large-scale corporate change—including what can go wrong and how to prevent these failures.


The book includes case studies that share the time-tested insights of healthcare team members and leaders. It outlines a management system for sustaining your Lean improvements and provides the Lean leadership approaches, thoughts, and visual tools you’ll need to guide your organization along the path toward world-class healthcare performance.





Lean RFS

Lean RFS (Repetitive Flexible Supply): putting the pieces together

Ian Glenday and Rick Sather


The concepts of Lean RFS fly in the face of conventional supply chain planning. It is counter-intuitive on how one improves business performance. The reason being it requires manufacturing to make in ever smaller batches with correspondingly more change-overs – something most people believe would result in reduced efficiencies and increased waste. This was particularly true at Kimberly-Clark (KC) – part of the paper industry – whose factories have very large production equipment based on achieving “economies of scale” = big batches and few change-overs.

Despite this perception, in many companies Lean RFS has created significant changes in the way things are done and delivered quantified improvements. Firstly by removing much of the fire fighting that is endemic in most companies. Secondly in changing people’s mind set about how things can be within companies – greater teamwork and engagement of people coupled with more available time – as a direct result of reducing the fire fighting - to be able to work on improvements. Thirdly it creates a phenomenon called “economies of repetition” which leads to a situation where learning curve, routines and stability can thrive. People like routines, they find the reduction in fire fighting motivating and the stability enables them to continuously make step by step improvements. This leads to increases in performance of efficiency, product quality and waste. It is a foundation on which continuous improvement activities can be built right across the wider supply chain. It is the same concept as what Toyota originally called patterned production or heijunka – the foundation of the Toyota Production System (TPS). However it is also the least understood aspect of TPS and Lean.

Kimberly-Clark has been working with Lean RFS since 2006. They have seen some great results. The workbook is NOT about the Lean RFS journey at KC however it does include many examples, quantified results and lessons learnt from them. KC is a company most people are aware of as a global producer of branded well known consumer products. The book also includes examples, results and lessons learnt from other companies who have implemented Lean RFS.

The imagery of the workbook is a jigsaw puzzle, hence the title “Putting the pieces together”. The analogy is when building a puzzle one first puts in the corner pieces followed by the straight edges to give the puzzle shape, size and points of reference before finally putting in the centre pieces. In many companies Lean is only about what the authors see as the centre pieces – the tools of Lean such as 5S, SMED and kanbans to name a few. There is no foundation, structure and defined shape making sustainable continuous improvement not impossible, but rather difficult, to achieve. First one has to stop the fire fighting endemic in most companies by moving from batch to flow logic = the corner pieces. Then put in the straight edges such as policy deployment and Lean leadership that provide a defined structure. Finally one adds in the centre pieces – the tools and techniques.


This workbook shows – using examples from named companies - how Lean RFS can make a paradigm shift happen.  Lean RFS provides the foundation that makes other improvement techniques and tools easier to implement and sustain leading to a step change in performance. It is NOT a history of applying RFS in KC – it is about how to put the pieces together in the right way if you want to make the paradigm shift of batch to flow logic – using examples from KC and other companies Ian has been working with. To show how they have used the stability, foundation and structure Lean that RFS creates to help them achieve a Lean transformation.





Mastery of Innovation

The Mastery of Innovation: A Field Guide to Lean Product Development

Katherine Radeka


When companies say that they use Lean ideas in product development, what are they doing? What practices and tools have they adopted? How has their product development process changed from their efforts? What results have they seen?


In 2010, Katherine Radeka launched the Lean Product Development Benchmarking Study to answer these questions. All of the 69 companies who responded were eager to share what they had learned in a series of telephone interviews. In 2011, Katherine visited more than two dozen of these companies in a series of benchmarking visits.


Although Eric Rebentisch of MIT, Durward Sobek (Shingo prize winner) and Goran Gustafsson of Chalmers University advised Katherine as she designed the study, it was never intended to be an academic research project. Instead, Katherine's observations and conclusions were meant to provide ideas and inspiration by sharing stories of success with Lean Product Development.


The Mastery of Innovation shares Katherine's conclusions from these observations. The focus of the book is the set of nineteen case studies describing the many ways that companies have used Lean Product Development and the improvements they have seen in their product development performance. In order to be a case study, the company had to have evidence of sustained results.


The contributor companies include Ford, Scania, Novo Nordisk, DJO, Irwin Seating, Philips Electronics, Steelcase and smaller companies that have seen great results from their work with lean. The case studies reflect the breadth of the lean community, with industry representation, geographic location, company structure and size.


The main message from these case studies is that there is no one best way to implement Lean in product development. Each successful implementation of lean product development was significantly different. Some chose to focus on Value Stream Mapping and others on Knowledge Creation and Reuse to eliminate the waste of reinvention. Some used A3 Reports and Visual Planning Boards- others used electronic tools. Every company had adapted Lean to fit.


These companies serve as exemplars and inspiration for people considering Lean Product Development. They demonstrate that the Lean Product Development theory works in practice, giving product development leaders the confidence to bring Lean into the lab.


In the rest of the book, Katherine shares some basic information about lean in product development and the consolidated observations from all 69 companies. The final chapter lays out a framework for the phases of a Lean Product Development Transformation.





Healthcare Kaizen

People: A Leader's day-to-day Guide to Building, Managing, and Sustaining Lean Organizations

Steve Gran, Robert Martichenko, Walt Miller & Roger Pearce


Building a lean problem-solving culture begins and ends with people and leadership. While many books teach about lean tools, few address the day-to-day leadership requirements of successfully transforming organizations into the lean enterprise. In 15 easy-to-read-and-reference chapters, People: A leader's day-to-day guide to building, managing, and sustaining lean organizations, outlines the high-level concepts, activities, principles, and practices that a lean leader must know intimately and apply daily. This book was written with the sole purpose of fundamentally changing how you think and act relative to leadership.

A lean leader is an educator, trainer, coach, and mentor. The lean leader is always planning, sharing the plan, and executing the plan based on deep knowledge of his team members' personalities, skills, and how the game is played. As a student and teacher, the lean leader understands the value of people. We love the game, and the people who play it.





Healthcare Kaizen

Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements

Mark Graban and Joseph Swartz


Healthcare Kaizen focuses on the principles and methods of daily, or Kaizen, for healthcare professionals and organizations. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “change for the better,” as introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his 1986 book Kaizen: the Key to Japan’s Competitive Success and through the books of Norman Bodek, both of whom contributed introductory material for the book. In 1989, Dr. Donald M. Berwick, founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, endorsed the principles of Kaizen in the New England Journal of Medicine, describing it as “the continuous search for opportunities for all processes to get better.” This book shows how to make this goal a reality.


Healthcare Kaizen shares some of the methods used by numerous hospitals around the world, including Franciscan St. Francis Health, where co-author Joe Swartz has led these efforts. Most importantly, the book covers the management mindsets and philosophies required to make Kaizen work effectively in a hospital department or as an organization-wide program.


Healthcare Kaizen shares examples and of actual Kaizen improvements from different healthcare organizations, from various departments in inpatient and outpatient settings and is unique in highlighting process improvement activities conducted by physicians, nurses and other clinicians. The book includes a total of 200 full-color pictures and visual illustrations of Kaizen-based improvements that were initiated by nurses, physicians, medical technologists, pharmacists, housekeepers, senior executives and other staff members at all levels.


Healthcare Kaizen will be helpful for organizations that have embraced weeklong improvement events, but now want to follow the lead of ThedaCare, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and others who have moved beyond just doing events into a more complete improvement methodology management system based on Lean or the Toyota Production System.


It’s often said, without much reflection, that “people hate change.” The experiences shared in this book prove that people actually love change when they are fully engaged in the process, get to make improvements that improve patient care and make their day less frustrating, and when they don’t fear being laid off as a result of their improvements.





A Factory of One

A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve your Personal Performance

Daniel Markovitz


Most business readers have heard of the Lean principles developed for factories—a set of tools and ideas that have enabled companies to dramatically boost quality by reducing waste and errors—producing more while using less. Yet until now, few have recognized how relevant these powerful ideas are to individuals and their daily work. Every person at a desk, drafting table, workstation, or operating table must (like a factory) deal with the challenge of reducing the waste that creeps into their work. The same Lean principles that have improved efficiencies on the factory floor can be just as powerful—in fact, far more so—in helping individuals boost personal performance.


A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performancedescribes how you can foster a new mindset and improve your performance by applying Lean methods to your work. It translates powerful Lean tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to your daily work, revealing how they can help to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link you ever more closely to customer value. This practice will help you develop better self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and the ability to self-correct errors.


This book not only provides the tools, but also teaches you how to find the root causes underlying your inefficiencies so you can eliminate them permanently. It will enable you to immediately improve personal productivity while developing the skills needed for continuous improvement. It includes real-world examples that illustrate how these principles have been successfully applied across a range of industries. Providing the perfect mix of what-to-do with why-to-do it, the text details a step-by-step approach to applying Lean principles to your work.





Anatomy of a Lean Leader

Anatomy of a Lean Leader

Jerry Bussell


Leaders of lean-thinking organizations require some unique, even contradictory traits. They must be servants as well as trailblazers, good listeners and mentors as well as visionaries and team players. While traditional companies might be able to get by with old-fashioned, command-and-control managers, lean organizations need the talents, enthusiasm, and opinions of every person. This means that leaders must serve the people and the processes while guiding everyone toward fulfilling the organization’s true purpose. It is a tall order and, in many ways, a new definition of leadership.


For 30 years, Jerry Bussell studied leadership while bringing lean practices to companies such as Medtronic and becoming a passionate, well-known advocate for lean. In that time, he saw many lean initiatives fail through lack of leadership or repeated missteps by those in charge. Realizing that leaders rarely understood the needs of an organization that is becoming highly efficient, self-motivated and improvement driven, he set out to help. In a lean environment, after all, true leadership is not a nicety; it is a necessity.


In this book, Jerry identifies the ten essential characteristics of a lean leader and illustrates those traits with stories from modern CEOs and one of this country’s greatest leaders, President Abraham Lincoln. Whether you are a CEO or running your first kaizenevent, this book will keep you engaged and help you focus on the behaviors and attitudes that are essential to creating the kind of continuous open-loop improvement that is the heart of lean thinking.




Design for Operational Excellence

Design for Operational Excellence

Kevin Duggan


The ability to implement and maintain improvement initiatives like Lean and Six Sigma is essential for improving quality, eliminating waste, reducing costs, and increasing output—but it’s only the first step. Eventually, the improve-sustain-improve-sustain pattern itself becomes the end product. But it doesn’t have to be this way.


Why make operational improvement a perpetual process when you can make business growth a perpetual process?


In this trailblazing book, Kevin Duggan—author of Creating Mixed Model Value Streams and founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence and Duggan Associates—takes you beyond Lean and Six Sigma to achieve true Operational Excellence. By developing a “design for operational excellence” you can leverage the operations side of the business to enable continuous growth.


Design for Operational Excellence provides the design criteria and guidelines that enable you to grow your business organically by refocusing management’s attention from running the business to growing the business. Duggan takes you step by step through the new principles of Operational Excellence:


#1: Design Lean Value Streams
#2: Make Lean Value Streams Flow
#3: Make Flow Visual
#4: Create Standard Work for Flow
#5: Make Abnormal Flow Visual
#6: Create Standard Work for Abnormal Flow
#7: Have Employees in the Flow Improve the Flow
#8: Perform Offense Activities


Case studies illustrate how companies that applied Duggan’s methods grew consistently over time by designing and implementing a lean flow of product to the customer. The result was a flow that “self healed” when interruptions occurred, which removed the need to manage flow. These methods work in any business environment, not just manufacturing. Everything from insurance, financial, and banking organizations to hospitals, mining companies, universities, and even government can benefit from the bottom-line and topline business results Duggan’s methodology offers.


Design for Operational Excellence is the next great leap in the evolution of sustained business growth. Begin designing for growth now and stop reacting to customer needs. Instead, position your operation to provide customer solutions in changing markets, which will lead to profit and growth in even the most severe economic and market downturns.




Leading and Managing

Leading and Managing the Lean Management Process

Gene Fliedner


This book develops a new model for lean management. The intent is to demonstrate a model framework consisting of four critical components: leadership, culture, team and tools. The development of the model and these four components will be built from empirical theories reported in the research literature and in successful applications. This framework will offer a path to develop lean leaders with practical, actionable guidelines. The model framework is suited to broad applications offering practical guidelines for manufacturing and service environments alike. The lean model will develop each of these four components, explaining their relevance and importance for guiding internal lean initiatives. In developing the model, the text will chronicle the historical development of lean noting the significant lean contributions, contributors, and dates of these contributions. This development will trace contributions to the practice of lean back hundreds of years, prior to the contributions of Henry Ford and the contributors from the Toyota system in the 1950's. The future of Lean will also be examined with the current topic of sustainability and how it has extended lean concepts with an external focus towards product life cycle concerns and social issues. This offering is different from competing offerings in three fundamental ways. First, it offers and develops of a comprehensive lean model based on a sound framework. Second, it examines a comprehensive timeline of significant lean contributions and their contributors. Third, it extends lean by looking at the future applications in the area of sustainability.





Lean Done Right

Lean Done Right: Achieve and Maintain Reform in Your Healthcare Organization

Thomas G. Zidel


Your healthcare organization cannot afford to waste time, money, or resources on an improper Lean implementation. You want to create a culture of continuous improvement, not a regime of tools that address problem areas but have short-lived results.


Lean Done Right: Achieve and Maintain Reform in Your Healthcare Organization provides a roadmap for launching a transformative and sustainable Lean initiative. The Lean implementation model focuses on strategically directed action, developing a lean organizational culture, and enhancing the care delivery system.





Lean-Led Hospital Design

Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future

Naida Grunden and Charles Hagood


Instead of building new hospitals that import old systems and problems, the time has come to reexamine many of our ideas about what a hospital should be. Can a building foster continuous improvement? How can we design it to be flexible and useful well into the future? How can we do more with less?


Answering these questions and more, Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future explains how hospitals can be built to increase patient safety and reduce wait times while eliminating waste, lowering costs, and easing some of healthcare’s most persistent problems. It supplies a simplified timeline of architectural planning—from start to finish—to guide readers through the various stages of the Lean design development philosophy, including Lean architectural design and Lean work design. It includes examples from several real healthcare facility design and construction projects, as well as interviews with hospital leaders and architects.


Check out a video here of the authors discussing their book, Lean-Led Hospital Design at the 2012 Med Assets Healthcare Business Summit.





Lean Sustainability

Lean Sustainability

Dennis Averill


The Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance defines safety as the maintenance of peace of mind. Without peace of mind, or the serenity brought about by a safe working environment, employees will be unwilling and even unable to focus their energies on production improvement. Thus, it can be said that all improvement begins with safety.


A how-to manual on the proper integration of safety and environmental sustainability with Lean implementations,Lean Sustainability: Creating Safe, Enduring, and Profitable Operations provides a proven recipe for achieving safety and sustainability excellence. This book is the result of the author’s two decades of experience implementing Lean; Safety, Health, and Environmental (SHE); and sustainability processes in the chemical, food, and consumer products industries. It unveils valuable lessons learned and little-known tips for eliminating waste and increasing process efficiency—while reducing safety incidents and the overall impact on the environment.





Leveraging Lean in Healthcare

Leveraging Lean in Healthcare: Transforming Your Enterprise into a High Quality Patient Care Delivery System

Charles Protzman, George Mayzell MD, Joyce Kerpchar


This practical guide for healthcare executives, managers, and frontline workers, provides the means to transform your enterprise into a High-Quality Patient Care Business Delivery System. This book will help to take you out of your comfort zone and provide you with new ways to extend value to your customers. It drives home the importance of the Lean Six Sigma journey. The pursuit of continuous improvement is a journey with no end. Consequently, the opportunities are endless as to what you and your organization can accomplish.





Own the Gap

Mike Martyn and Bryan Crowell


“Own The Gap” exposes many of the conventional myths of leading a lean transformation and explores the intersection between strategy, improvements,
and results. Written and researched over the past year, the book includes detailed information on how to create a strategy deployment process which defines
what it means to win at each level of the organization. In addition to building an effective strategy deployment process, the book includes examples of how to build a visual management system that enables teams to see if they are winning or losing in real time. After a team can see whether or not they are winning, the book shows you how to develop a daily kaizen cycle, where problem solving, employee suggestions, and recognition systems occur across every team, every day. Finally, the role of leaders in creating, improving and sustaining these systems is provided. The book includes step by step instruction on how to create leader standard work,engage follow up through reaction protocol, and drive results with daily huddles, weekly action plan reviews and a monthly step back process.





Personal Kanban

James Benson and Tonianne Barry


Machines need to be productive. People need to be effective. Productivity books focus on doing more, Jim and Tonianne want you to focus on doing better. Personal Kanban is about choosing the right work at the right time. Recognizing why we do the things we do. Understanding the impact of our actions. Creating value - not just product. For ourselves, our families, our friends, our co-workers. For our legacy. Personal Kanban takes the same Lean principles from manufacturing that led the Japanese auto industry to become a global leader in quality, and applies them to individual and team work. Personal Kanban asks only that we visualize our work and limit our work-in-progress. Visualizing work allows us to transform our conceptual and threatening workload into an actionable, context-sensitive flow. Limiting our work-in-progress helps us complete what we start and understand the value of our choices. Combined, these two simple acts encourage us to improve the way we work and the way we make choices to balance our personal, professional, and social lives. Neither a prescription nor a plan, Personal Kanban provides a light, actionable, achievable framework for understanding our work and its context. This book describes why students, parents, business leaders, major corporations, and world governments all see immediate results with Personal Kanban.





Potent Medicine

John Touissant


This radical second book by healthcare executive John Toussaint, MD, outlines the essential framework for curing America's healthcare system from inflated costs and poor quality. The current state of healthcare in this country cannot be sustained and requires potent medicine. While health systems have made great strides toward increasing quality and reducing medical harm in isolation, they often struggle against a system that actually rewards waste and error. In Toussaint's hard-charging debut, On the Mend, readers were introduced to the efforts of ThedaCare, a five-hospital system in northeastern Wisconsin in redesigning care delivery by building a culture of continuous improvement. This resulted in some of the best healthcare quality and lowest costs in the United States. But delivery is only one side of the game. Potent Medicine introduces two additional key components in creating a value-based healthcare system in America: paying providers based on outcomes and making healthcare quality and cost data transparent. The book reveals eye-opening accounts from the physicians and system leaders who stood on the frontlines during the development of Wisconsin's most innovative healthcare organizations, and from the patients they're trying to help. Change is bearing down fast on U.S. healthcare. Potent Medicine shares the insights and tools that leaders need to not only anticipate and adapt to that change, but to drive it. The book is a call to action for all stakeholders to collaborate: physicians, consumers, insurers, employers, healthcare leaders, and policy makers across the nation to join together and participate in ongoing experiments to transform our nation's healthcare system. Read about the proven methods that will get us to higher quality and better value in healthcare.





Single Patient Flow: Applying Lean Principles in Healthcare

Dr. Sami Bahri and Bruce Hamilton


Meet Dr. Sami Bahri, the “World’s First Lean Dentist.” Over the past thirty years, through personal study of The Deming Management System and subsequently many texts describing the Toyota Production System, Dr. Bahri and his staff have continuously pursued a singular mission: “to provide patients with the correct treatment they need, when they need it, in the right quantity that they need it, while eliminating anything that interrupts or delays this flow.”


Borrowing the Toyota concept of one-by-one production, Dr. Bahri and his team refer to their vision as “single patient flow.” Don’t make the patient wait – anywhere. This single-minded goal has been the compass for many small improvements including a pull system to manage a flow of material, information and treatment to the patient. Quick change instrument trays assure that most dental procedures can be completed at a single seating. Visual controls alert a thoroughly cross-trained staff of dental assistants, hygienists, front office specialists and dentists when help is needed. Daily improvement and problem-solving occur through morning meetings and on-the-spot adjustments.


Behind the tools is an enduring respect for employees and patients. In Dr.Bahri’s words, “It’s a win-win for the patient who competes his treatment in fewer visits and the practice which now has nearly twice as many available hours to see patients.” But the journey is never-ending as you’ll hear from Dr. Bahri, his staff and even his customers.





Taking Improvement from the Assembly Line to Healthcare, The Application of Lean with the Healthcare Industry

Ronald Bercaw


Taking Improvement From the Assembly Line to Healthcare supplies step-by-step guidance on how to implement Lean methods to achieve world-class rates of improvement in healthcare.


The book begins with a comprehensive review of why immediate action is needed now.  A perfect storm caused by an aging population, escalating costs, poor clinical quality outcomes, and a shortage of labor necessitates immediate improvement is necessary.


Following the reason for action, the book then details the fundamentals of Lean and the tools required to discover waste and deliver sustainable solutions.  The first chapter provides an overview of the fundamentals of the Toyota Productions System.  This explanation,  like all the explanations in the book, are written in the healthcare vernacular.  A further explanation of the lean tools and the application of the tools follows.


The book then details actual case studies within emergency medicine, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic clinics, general internal medicine, administration, and community care. These case studies highlight examples from both the U.S. and Canada.


A roadmap to begin a transformation journey within the healthcare industry follows. This six step process provide readers with the tools and insight needed to begin their improvement journey.


The book concludes by highlighting the leadership challenges organizations will need to address in order to reach that elusive tipping point—where the organization becomes capable of delivering continuous improvements in quality, patient safety, lead times, productivity, cost, and staff development and engagement. This final section unveils valuable lessons learned, as well as mitigation strategies to increase readers’ chances of success.





The 7 Kata

The 7 Kata

Conrad Soltero and Patrice Boutier


The biggest competitive advantage an organization can achieve comes from the synergies created by employees skilled in enhancing organizational dynamics. The Seven Kata: Toyota Kata, TWI, and Lean Training supplies time-tested tools and advice to help readers adapt to changing conditions and outcompete their rivals. It explains why a mix of the skill sets that Training Within Industry (TWI) and the Toyota Kata (behavior patterns) teach is the ideal recipe to boost organizational synergies and enhance any Lean transformation.


Bridging the kata/TWI nexus, the book lays out a road map for Lean success. It devotes a chapter to each of the Seven Kata and suggests possible courses of action dependent on your organization’s strengths and constraints. Bringing together valuable information on many of the disjointed Lean practices, it explains key Lean concepts, including gemba walks, genchi gembutsu, and PDCA.


After introducing kata, it reveals the different kata inherent in the three major TWI courses and the TWI Job Safety course. It illustrates the value stream analysis relationship to the kata and the kata relationship to TWI. It also demonstrates how to use kata to solve the problems identified in your value stream analysis while simultaneously conditioning your employees’ adaptive thinking patterns.


Supplying a clear understanding of exactly where the seven kata apply in your Lean journey, the authors include helpful guidelines for coaching a kata. They also highlight mistakes they have experienced or witnessed so you can avoid the same pitfalls. As globalism continues to make management’s organizational skills a competitive differentiator, this book provides you with the tools to use the seven kata to place your organization on a discernible path towards operational excellence.




The 7 Kata

The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs

Josef Oehman, Bohdan Oppenheim, Deborah Secor, Eric Norman, Eric Rebentisch, Joseph Sopko, Marc Steuber, Rick Dove, Kambiz Moghaddam, Steve McNeal, Mark Bowie, Mohamed Ben-Daya, Wolf Altman, John Driessnack


The guide provides the findings of the Joint MIT-PMI-INCOSE Lean in Program Management Community of Practice that are based on a 1-year project executed during 2011 and 2012. The community was made up of selected subject matter experts from industry, government, and academia. The findings reported in this guide are based on known best practices from the literature, program experience of the subject matter experts, and input from an extensive community of professionals.

The findings of the Joint Community of Practice were extensively validated through community and practitioner feedback, multiple workshops at INCOSE and PMI conferences, LAI-hosted web-based meetings, and surveys of the extended professional community. The survey results clearly show that programs that use the Lean Enablers show a significantly stronger performance in all dimensions—from cost, to schedule and quality, as well as stakeholder satisfaction.

The core of this document contains (1) the 10 themes for major engineering program management challenges, and (2) the 43 Lean Enablers with 286 subenablers to overcome these challenges, better integrate program management and systems engineering, and lead engineering programs to excellence.




The Lean 3P Advantage

The Lean 3P Advantage

Allan Coletta


How do you take talented engineers and surround them with the elements needed to create brilliant designs that lead to market-changing products? Lean 3P is how.

Written from an operations perspective, The Lean 3P Advantage: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Production Preparation Process explains how to build collaborative thinking and innovation into the front end of the design process. Describing how to develop successful new products concurrently with new operations, the book illustrates real-world scenarios with numerous examples and case studies to help newcomers succeed the first time around. For those familiar with 3P, the book supplies the basis to explore Evergreen 3P—a process for applying 3P to small-scale design projects for similar benefits.


Coverage includes product planning and evaluation criteria, selection of alternatives, timing considerations, construction of prototypes, and measuring effectiveness. This book will help you and your team develop holistic designs that foster innovation and deliver products and production operations that effectively utilize people and exceed the expectations of all stakeholders.




The 7 Kata

The Outstanding Organization

Karen Martin


The recession upset a record period of global growth and expansion, forcing entire industries to rethink their business model. To ensure continued market share and profitability, many organizations are deploying Lean and Six Sigma efforts directed at key cost, quality and service objectives in order to maximize customer value and reduce cost. And many will fail at meeting those objectives. After two decades in the trenches of helping companies design and build better, more efficient operations, Karen Martin has pinpointed why performance improvement programs often fail: chaos, the sneaky but powerful force that frustrates customers, keeps business leaders awake at night, and saps company morale.


In The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence (McGraw-Hill Professional; July 2012; HC; $30.00), Karen offers a toolbox for combating chaos by creating the organizational conditions that will allow your improvement efforts to return greater gains. Proven, practical, and surprisingly simple, Karen’s system focuses on four key behaviors for operational excellence—Clarity, Focus, Discipline, Engagement—that, once instilled into a company’s DNA, open the door to sustainable growth and profit.




The Pittsburgh Way

The Pittsburgh Way to Efficient Healthcare: Improving Patient Care Using Toyota Based Methods

Naida Grunden


America’s healthcare system needs to change. Not only does our country spend 16 percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, but despite spending more than other industrialized countries, our general health lags behind. While we have plenty of data identifying where healthcare in America falls short, we’ve precious little practical, hands-on information about how to fix it.


In The Pittsburgh Way to Efficient Healthcare, Naida Grunden provides a ingenious and optimistic look at how principles borrowed from industry can be applied to make healthcare safer, and in doing so, make it more effective and less costly. The book is a compilation of case studies from units in different hospitals around the Pittsburgh region that successfully applied industrial principles to the benefit of patients and the satisfaction of employees.


The Pittsburgh Way to Efficient Healthcare is written for all healthcare stakeholders – from clinicians to insurers to employers to those who have the greatest stake in healthcare quality improvement, the patients.




The Psychology of Lean Improvements

Chris Ortiz


Fear of change—we all experience it. Some accept change immediately, some gradually adapt, while others may never get there. Whether it’s poor leadership, the inability to change, or pure ego, this book explores this perplexing commitment to inefficiency. The Psychology of Lean Improvements: Why Organizations Must Overcome Resistance and Change the Culture examines the psychology behind why businesses avoid Lean transformations. It investigates why businesses cling to the eight deadly wastes and why they still find ways to place continuous improvement on the back burner.


Frequently sought out for his expertise in Lean manufacturing, Chris Ortiz has been featured in a number of trade publications and on the television show Inside Business with Fred Thompson. In this book, Mr. Ortiz breaks down the fear of change within executives and organizational leaders. He examines the psychology of dysfunction, provides insight into why so many businesses fall short in creating visions for growth and prosperity, and identifies tools that can help you address resistance to change.


Detailing implementation techniques with a proven track record for success, the book considers specific strategies that can be helpful towards improving your company and changing its culture—including cellular manufacturing, total productive maintenance, setup reduction, Kanban, visual communication, and in-line production. It explains how to get started on your Lean transformation, describes why an economic downturn might be a good time to embrace Lean, and warns of the dangers behind failing to do so.






Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream

Robert Martichenko and Kevin von Grabe


Building a Lean Fulfillment Stream will change the way you think about your supply chain and logistics networks.  Even better - it gives you a way to act using lean principles to transform and continuously improve these two key flows.


In this pioneering workbook, lean logistics veterans Robert Martichenko and Kevin von Grabe explain step-by-step a comprehensive, real-life implementation process for optimizing your entire fulfillment stream from raw materials to customers, including practical insights into two critical concepts: calculating the total cost of fulfillment and collaborating across all functions and firms along the fulfillment stream.


Your company, like most, probably calculates costs at different points within departments, such as the piece price paid by the purchasing department to a supplier. Few companies figure the total cost associated with each major function across the whole fulfillment stream. Calculating total cost, which most executives find surprisingly large, lets you measure the impact of your improvement efforts on operational performance and overall income.


Martichenko and von Grabe also give you guidance and tools for collaboration. Using the example company ABE Corp. as their model, the authors illustrate how the lean conversion process is a win-win for every company along the supply chain. And an accompanying analysis illustrates the financial benefits and shows you how to apply the metrics.


The narrative, supported by 41 charts and illustrations, including value-stream maps, shows you:

  1. How to apply the eight guiding principles for implementing lean fulfillment, even when all the data and variables are not known.

  2. The seven major types of waste in logistics and supply chains.

  3. How a fulfillment-stream council of representatives from internal departments, customers, suppliers, and transportation providers gives critical guidance and support.

  4. The “eight rights” for assessing perfect order execution.

  5. What lean metrics to use, such as why average days on hand of inventory is a better measure than inventory turns.

  6. How to identify and eliminate waste in shipping, receiving, and yard management.

Learn how to use lean management principles to convert supply chains and logistics networks into smooth, fast-flowing fulfillment streams.




Lean Office and Service Simplified: The Definitive How-to Guide

Drew Locher


Lean Office and Service Simplified goes beyond the basic tools and delves into the key concepts of Lean as they apply to office and services. Value Stream Management will be discussed first, followed by chapters on Standard Work, Flow, Level Pull and Visual Management. Further, each will be explored in tremendous depth and will provide a step-by-step methodology for each. Chapter 6 will cover several of the more important "tools" such as 5S and Mistake Proofing. These should be applied while implementing the key concepts covered in Chapters 1 through 5 in order to maximize the benefits.


Chapter 7 provides a function by function review of the application of lean. Does lean apply to Sales and Marketing? How about Finance and Accounting? These are frequently asked questions that need responses. Functions commonly found in most all service organizations and the administrative areas of manufacturing companies are covered. It must be noted that the examples provided in this chapter must be implemented in the context of Value Stream Management in order to maximize the benefits.


While the commons sense nature of lean concepts will resonate with most people, the successful application of lean requires fundamental behavioral change in many people. People are creatures of habit, and therefore, will have difficulty changing. However, they can create new habits if sufficient time is allowed. The most common obstacles encountered will be addressed throughout the book, along with strategies to overcome them drawing on over twenty years of practical experience. This discussion will culminate in Chapter 8 "Leading the Lean Organization". The hope is that the reader will come away with the confidence to put into practice the well tested and proven methodologies provided.





Lean principles, learning, and knowledge work: Evidence from a software services provider

Bradley R. Staats, David J. Brunner, and David M. Upton


The paper “Lean principles, learning, and knowledge work: Evidence from a software services provider” examines the applicability of lean production to knowledge work by investigating the implementation of a lean production system at an Indian software services firm. Authors, Staats, Brunner, and Upton, first discuss specific aspects of knowledge work – task uncertainty, process invisibility, and architectural ambiguity – that call into question the relevance of lean production in this setting. Then, combining a detailed case study and empirical analysis, the authors find that lean software projects perform better than non-lean software projects at the company for most performance outcomes. The article documents the influence of the lean initiative on internal processes and examines how the techniques affect learning by improving both problem identification and problem resolution. Finally, the authors extend the lean production framework by highlighting the need to 1) identify problems early in the process and 2) keep problems and solution together in time, space, and person.


Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries

Raymond C. Floyd


While Lean practices have been successfully implemented into the process industry with excellent results for over 20 years (including the author’s own award winning example at Exxon Chemical), that industry has been especially slow in adopting Lean. Part of the problem is that the process industry needs its own version of Lean. The larger part of the problem is resistance to transformational change, a barrier that can only be overcome with effective leadership and results-oriented planning that engages rather than excludes all stakeholders.


Written by Raymond Floyd, an unparalleled leader of Lean transformations, Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries provides potential process industry change agents with the no-nonsense guide needed to eliminate waste and achieve sustainable optimal efficiency.  Presenting lessons in lean as they apply within the liquid industries, the book focuses on developing the four measures of Lean as defined by the Shingo Award:

    1. Business Results

    2. Consistent Lean Enterprise Culture

    3. Continuous Process Improvement

    4. Cultural Enablers

Illustrated with his own success stories, Floyd describes business results, Lean enterprise thinking, and policy deployment in process industry terms. He offers detailed theory, practice, and examples of continuous process improvement, and describes the leadership and defines the ethics needed to evolve and sustain Lean transformation. Floyd lays out the specific steps needed during the first six months of transformation and the benchmarks to be achieved during the first two years of implementation. All companies can benefit from Lean; this book makes sure that those who want it, know how.




On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry

John Toussaint and Roger A. Gerard


Part case study, part manifesto, this groundbreaking new book by a doctor and a healthcare executive uses real-life anecdotes and the logic of lean thinking to make a convincing argument that a revolutionary new kind of healthcare — lean healthcare — is urgently needed and eminently doable.


In On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry John Toussaint, MD, former CEO of ThedaCare, and Roger A. Gerard, PhD, its chief learning officer, candidly describe the triumphs and stumbles of a seven-year journey to lean healthcare, an effort that continues today and that has slashed medical errors, improved patient outcomes, raised staff morale, and saved $27 million dollars in costs without layoffs.




The Remedy

The Remedy: Bringing Lean Thinking Out of the Factory to Transform the Entire Organization

Pascal Dennis


This work has an extremely widespread application as the tools, techniques, and methods described are at a level that achieves the goals of Lean and operational excellence without tying them down to a specific industry or work stream. The book provides practical knowledge for lean champions, managers, and executives driving toward operational excellence enterprise-wide. The story format, and the presentation of this material was excellent, and the avoidance of lean and operational excellence jargon gives the book a wide appeal…it is a pleasure to read.


The Remedy is a compelling a business fable that shows how Lean quality improvement business practices—traditionally associated with manufacturing--can dramatically improve the service areas of your business-including design, engineering, sales, marketing and all processes in between.


Written by Pascal Dennis, a leading Lean consultant, the story follows Tom Pappas and Rachel Armstrong, senior leaders at a desperate automotive company as they try to implement a Lean management system across an entire platform, the Chloe, a breakthrough "green" car. The future of the company is at stake. Can Tom and Rachel, supported by Andy Saito, a retired, reclusive Toyota executive, regain the trust and respect of the customer? Can a venerable but dying company implement Lean practices to every part of their business and learn a new, more effective way of managing?




The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement

Jeffrey K. Liker and James K. Franz


The large majority of organizations that have embarked on an operational excellence program through lean, six sigma, or lean six-sigma, have found the results at first positive, then reaching a plateau, and then going in reverse.   The Shingo Prize committee found that was true of too many of the past award winners.  They concluded the difference between those who sustained the journey to excellence and those who did not was leadership and culture.  This prompted revising the award to focus more intensely on leadership and culture, rather than just the tools.


This book complements those efforts by providing a thorough treatment of the philosophy, thinking, and methods of a true culture of continuous improvement, and provides case examples of the journey.  The Toyota Way was never a process improvement methodology, but rather focuses on a long-term quest for excellence based on creating a system of processes that reveal problems so highly developed people with finally honed problem solving skills can continually improve whatever they are responsible for.  This culture of continuous improvement provides an army of process improvement experts in every part of the company who are then aligned through a shared company vision.   Separating out “lean processes” as a standalone endeavor does not make sense for any organization, and, in fact, treating lean and six sigma like a technical toolkit to fix processes is why most companies fail to achieve true operational excellence. 


This book is the result of decades of practice trying to help companies on their journeys.  We start with some theory, focusing in what makes anybody excellent in anything (a sport, music, cooking, engineering), which is a disciplined process of deep practice with teachers providing immediate feedback and guidance. We then draw on what Dr. Deming taught Toyota about becoming excellent which is to practice diligently Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) at all levels of the company all the time.  We illustrate attempts to use this philosophy of teaching companies how to learn through case examples either we or our associates have led in diverse industries including manufacturing heavy equipment, iron ore mining, developing fuel for nuclear power plants, designing next generation automotive systems, running millions of blood and tissue tests in a healthcare lab, running a long-term care facility, and more.  Throughout the book we have sensei (teacher) reflections from our guest sensei who led the transformations. We humbly (because we have failed as often as we have succeeded) end with what we have learned about what works, and doesn’t, in attempting this ambitious transformation toward a culture of striving for excellence.   The conclusion discusses practical issues like where to start, the role of the sensei and the coach, how to expand the learning process, the role of leadership, and how to address the many barriers to progressing on the journey.




The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership

Jeffrey K. Liker and Gary Convis


Since The Machine that Changed the World (1991) defined “lean production” (based on the model of the Toyota Production System) as the next new paradigm of management since the mass production revolution, lean has spread from automotive, to the rest of industry globally, to defense, to financial services, to government, to health care, and more.  As it expanded globally we have learned a great deal, both about what lean really means within Toyota, and about factors that lead to success and failure in trying to bring it to other organizations.  At a high level we can view the evolution from lean as a toolkit to eliminate waste, to lean as system to deliver customer value, to lean as a philosophy of continuous improvement, and now we are moving into a new era.  Lean, aka continuous improvement, is being recognized as a deep corporate philosophy that must be reinforced daily by leadership at all levels of the organization.  It is a way to connect operational excellence to a company’s business strategy, but this can only be achieved if both deep and broad in the organization team members are constantly surfacing problems, finding the root cause (Plan), attempting countermeasures (Do), checking what happened, and acting on what they learned (PDCA).


The role of leadership in a lean organization, as detailed in The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership, is to live the values, show the way, and develop others through daily coaching.  Organizations are increasingly discovering the role of culture and leadership.  Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix recipe to transform leaders from a short-term focus on quarterly returns to a long-term focus on developing people to achieve operational excellence.  The typical leader in the typical organization is almost 180 degrees away from a model of lean leadership.  Changing values and leadership behavior is every bit as challenging as trying to convince overweight people to change their lifestyle to healthy eating and regular exercise.  They must want it badly and transform themselves.  Leaders that succeed in changing themselves to lead, teach, and coach on the long-term journey to continuous improvement throughout the organization will change the game in their industry.


In this book we define a model of lean leadership based on Gary’s 25 years of experience with NUMMI, Toyota, and then as CEO of Dana and Jeff’s 30 years of deep study of Toyota.  We explain the model through stories from our collective experiences and give practical advice for the long hard road leaders must commit to in order to truly self develop.




Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience

Charles Kenney


The Virginia Mason Productions System is based on the Toyota Production System, a manufacturing approach Toyota has used for more than 50 years.  Like Toyota, Virginia Mason’s experience is truly a journey in continuous improvement.  This book represents a snapshot in time describing Virginia Mason’s place on that path.  Applying the manufacturing methodology to health care is difficult and, by its nature, evolves on a daily basis.  Today, a visitor to Virginia Mason may see processes or work flows that are different than what is described in this book.  Some improvements, in fact, have not been spread to all corners of the organization.  Other improvements may not have been sustained simply because change is hard, and it takes people to ensure it is maintained.  However, through a culture characterized by the rigorous and consistent application of the tools and methods of VMPS, all processes and work flows ultimately will be more efficient, resulting in higher quality care and improved patient safety.




Work That Makes Sense

Work That Makes Sense: Operator-Led Visuality

Dr. Gwendolyn D. Galsworth


Work That Makes Sense is Gwendolyn Galsworth's eagerly-awaited book on how to implement, coach, support, and sustain visual inventiveness on the operator-level. The result? A 15% to 30% gain in productivity and a spirited, engaged, and aligned work culture.



Toyota Under Fire

Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity

Jeffrey K. Liker and Timothy N. Ogden


Toyota Under Fire takes you beyond the headlines and into the offices and factories of Toyota to reveal the truth behind the company's highly publicized and controversial recall of over 10 million vehicles.

Jeffrey Liker, the world's leading expert on Toyota processes and culture, was granted unprecedented access to the company's systems and people. The end result is the most comprehensive account available of  what really precipitated the crisis, and how Toyota management met the ensuing challenges to come out stronger-lessons that can be applied to any management crisis in any industry.




Stories From My Sensei

Stories From My Sensei: Two Decades of Lessons Learned Implementing Toyota-Style Systems

Steve Hoeft


In the tradition of Taoist philosophers and Zen masters, Steve Hoeft tells the stories he learned from his Toyota Production System (TPS) master teachers. Sometimes enigmatic, sometimes funny, but always powerful and enlightening, these stories of continuous improvement and Lean implementation are organized around the Toyota House framework. After covering historical and foundational aspects of TPS, the stories go on to illustrate a wealth of essential topics encompassing the timeless, unchanging principles of Just-In-Time, Built in Quality, and Respect for People, and delves into specifics on many tools like kanban, Quick Changeover, and A3 Problem Solving.


More than entertainment, the telling of stories is a way that human wisdom is handed from one generation to the next. It is a gentle but memorable way to learn the lessons of failure without suffering the personal pain of misdirected efforts; a way to find the best path without having to personally experience hundreds of dead-end journeys. It is a way to gain understanding that goes deeper than definitions.




Toyota Kata

Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness, and Superior Results

Mike Rother


Toyota Kata defines management as, “the systematic pursuit of desired conditions by utilizing human capabilities in a concerted way.” Rother proposes that it is not solutions themselves that provide sustained competitive advantage and long-term survival, but the degree to which an organization has mastered an effective routine for developing fitting solutions again and again, along unpredictable paths. This requires teaching the skills behind the solution.


In this management approach a primary job of leaders and managers is to develop people so that desired results can be achieved. They do this by having the organization members (leaders and managers included) deliberately practice a routine, or kata, that develops and channels their creative abilities. Kata are patterns that are practiced so they become second nature, and were originally movement sequences in martial arts.


Toyota Kata submits that the improvement-kata pattern of thinking and behavior is universal; applicable not only in business but in education, politics, daily living, etc.. The book’s underlying message is that when people practice and learn a kata for how to proceed through unclear territory, they don't need to fear the obstacles, changes and unknowns they encounter. Rather than trying to hold onto a sense of certainty based on one's perspective, people can derive confidence from a kata for working through uncertainty.




Lean IT

Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining your Lean Transformation

Steven C. Bell and Micheal A. Orzen


Information Technology is supposed to enable business performance and innovation, improve service levels, manage change, and maintain quality and stability, all while steadily reducing operating costs. Yet when an enterprise begins a Lean transformation, too often the IT department is either left out or viewed as an obstacle. What is to be done? Lean IT shares practical tips, examples, and case studies to help you establish a culture of continuous improvement to deliver IT operational excellence and business value to your organization.




Toast Value Stream Mapping

Toast: Value Stream Mapping Video



In 2004, GBMP released Toast Kaizen, a short video to demonstrate the importance of direct observation in continuous improvement. It is now used around the world (in 14 languages) to help explain the true meaning of Kaizen. In reality, as viewers observe the 2004 toast-making process, they are witnessing an already improved process, one where much Muda, Mura and Muri have already been remove as the modern-day kitchen is fairly well organized already. But this is not so in most other endeavors.


According to Bruce Hamilton (the Toast Guy), “If our kitchens were organized the same way as our factories, offices and clinics, then the refrigerator would be in basement, the toaster would be in the attic and the bread would be stored anywhere there was an open space. We would be making huge batches of toast that spent most of their existence being moved and stored. And we’d see isolated departments that each added a little bit of value and a whole lot of waste, working out of sync, rarely communicating and often displeasing the customer.. Just like most business environments”


So, watching "Toast Kaizen", it’s easy to separate the wastes from the work, and in doing so make the whole job easier, better, faster and cheaper. But what if the process is not self-contained as in a kitchen. What if the process is laid out like most factories and offices? Then those material, information and production flows would be spread out all over into functional areas that would hide most of the waste. In fact, almost none of us see the whole process in our daily work, just the little piece we do ourselves. So now, GBMP offers "Toast VSM", a 2009 sequel to the original - a DVD no Lean Training Library should be without.




Follow the Learner

Follow the Learner
Dr. Sami Bahri
Lean Enterprise Institute

In his book, Follow the Learner: The Role of a Leader in Creating a Lean Culture, Dr. Sami Bahri describes how he and the staff in his dental practice tackled each of these questions. The book describes how their organization, the Bahri Dental Group, transformed their work and their thinking from a traditional batch-and-queue approach to one focused directly on the needs of the patient, not on the needs of the practitioners. The purpose of Follow the Leader is to present a picture of how any organization can build a culture based on lean principles and tools. Why tell a story about a dental practice? First, everyone has been to the dentist. Every reader has a common frame of reference and therefore has experienced the processes and problems Dr. Bahri describes. Second, he happens to be one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable lean thinkers and practitioners in any field. Follow the Learner provides a glimpse into what it means to become a lean learning organization and a leadership model for continuously improving it. People at all levels of lean experience in any type of organization will be able to read this book and better understand the universal application of both lean methods and leadership practices.



The Lean Manager

The Lean Manager
Michael and Freddy Ballé
Lean Enterprise Institute

The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation reveals how individuals can go beyond the short-term gains from tools and realize a deeper, sustainable path of improvement. The Lean Manager, the sequel to the Balles' international best-selling business novel The Gold Mine, tells the compelling story of plant manager Andrew Ward as he goes through the challenging but rewarding journey to becoming a lean manager. Ward learns to use a deep understanding of lean tools, as well as a technical know-how of his plant's operations, to foster a lean attitude that sustains continuous improvement. Ward moves beyond fluency with tools to changing his behavior as a manager and leader. He shifts from giving orders and answers to asking the right questions so people identify and address problems. He learns how to use tools to unleash the creativity and motivation of people, so they learn how to solve problems as well as coach and teach others to solve problems. Ward learns how to create lean managers.



Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering

Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering
Bohdan W. Oppenheim, Earll M. Murrnan, Deborah A. Secor
Loyola Marymount University | LA

Systems Engineering (SE) is regarded as a sound practice but often burdened with waste, as documented in recent NASA, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Department of Defense (DoD) studies. Lean thinking is the holistic work system credited for the extraordinary rise of Toyota. Lean thinking has been successfully applied in many work fields such as general manufacturing, aerospace. engineering, healthcare, service industries. The emerging field of Lean Systems Engineering (LSE) is the application of lean principles, practices and tools to SE and to the related aspects of enterprise management (EM) in order to enhance the delivery of value (which is defined as flawless delivery of product or mission with satisfaction of all stakeholders) while reducing waste.This paper contains four parts: 1) Historical background of the new field of LSE and a review of the fundamental concepts of Lean Thinking. 2) The development process of a new product called "Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering." 3) A list of the Enablers organized into six Lean principles. 4) Summary and conclusions. The Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering is a comprehensive checklist of 194 non-mandatory practices and recommendations forillulated as "do's" and "don'ts" of SE and containing tacit knowledge (collective wisdom) on how to prepare for, plan, execute, and practice SE and EM using lean thinking.



Breaking Through To Flow

Breaking Through To Flow
Ian Glenday
Lean Enterprise Academy

Breaking Through to Flow helps practitioners go beyond the fire-fighting associated with constant change. There is a lot more to lean than simply eliminating waste from current processes. This workbook introduces a new pathway that is helping many organizations overcome this hurdle and launch them on to the next phase of their lean journey – breaking through to flow. The workbook describes how it is possible to move step-by-step toward leveled production and later on to produce in-line with customer demand. Breaking Through to Flow also introduces a tool and management system, called the Glenday Sieve, which enables organizations to quickly create a stable flow and replenishment pull system for the few products that account for a significant part of their output, while managing separately the tail of build-to-order products with low volume and unpredictable demand. This pathway will help people make a fundamental change in their thinking and working that is at the heart of lean – moving from batch to flow logic.



Research Award Recipients

Click the links below to view additional recipients:

The Shingo Prize Recipients

Silver Medallion Recipients

Bronze Medallion Recipients