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The Lean Book of Lean: A Concise Guide to Lean Management for Life and Business



The Lean Book of Lean: A Concise Guide to Lean Management for Life and Business

John Earley

ISBN: 978-1-119-09621-4 April 2016 272 Pages


An essential guide to bringing lean to your business and your life

The Lean Book of Leanprovides a succinct overview of the concepts of Lean, explains them in everyday terms, and shows how the general principles can be applied in any business or personal situation. Disengaging the concept of Lean from any particular industry or sector, this book brings Lean out of the factory to help you apply it anywhere, anytime. You'll learn the major points and ideas along with practical tips and hints, and find additional insight in the illustrative examples. Lean is all about achieving the desired outcome with the minimum amount of fuss and effort, and this book practises what it preaches — concise enough to be read in a couple of sittings, it nonetheless delivers a wealth of information distilled into the essential bits you need to know.

The Lean Book of Lean discards unnecessary specialisation and minute detail, and gets to the point quickly, so you can get started right away.

  • Understand the basic principles of lean
  • Recognise lean behaviours that come naturally
  • Study examples of lean practices, policies, behaviours, and operations
  • Apply lean concepts to both your business and personal life

Lean is about being agile, efficient, responsive, productive, and smart. It applies to any and every aspect of life, from the factory floor to your morning routine. The Lean Book of Lean is the quick, smart guide to employing lean principles every day, so you can start doing more with less.

Acknowledgements xi

Preface xiii

1 Introduction to Lean 1

The definition of Lean 1

Lean – the natural order of living 3

The shopping trip 3

2 The Core Lean Principles 7

Be customer demand-driven 8

Maximise flow 11

Identify and eliminate waste 13

Declare war on variation 16

Organise your people around outcomes you want 19

Equip your people with the right skills 21

Clear and simple measures and controls 22

Defining your “Ideal State” 24

In conclusion 25

3 More About Flow 27

Know your limitations (aka constraints) 28

Take good care of your constraint 31

Feed meeeeeee!!! 31

Keeping going 33

The Whack-a-Mole game of constraints 34

The dish of the day is . . . 35

And our latest offering is . . . 35

Entropy 36

Continuous improvement 36

And the moral of all this . . . 38

Some everyday examples of flow – or the lack of it! 38

Traffic lights vs. roundabouts 39

The DIY enthusiast 41

The airport check-in 44

In conclusion 46

4 Lean Enterprise vs. Lean Manufacturing 47

Planning vs. execution 48

Priorities and decisions 54

Supplier relationships 56

What can we now provide? 57

Getting the best deal 58

Support functions 59

Finance 60

Engineering 61

HR 62

In conclusion 62

5 Organising for Lean 65

Turning tradition upside down 65

Getting ahead in a PCO 70

The football team 73

Theory vs. reality 74

The unfortunate but inevitable consequences 75

In conclusion 76

6 Measuring the Right Stuff and Metrics 79

What’s important? 81

Individual performance vs. team outcomes 85

The balanced scorecard 88

Controls 89

Decision trees 92

In conclusion 98

7 Lean vs. Six Sigma 99

Basis for change 100

Incremental vs. transformational 101

What comes first, Lean or Six Sigma? 103

In conclusion 104

8 The Lean Mindset 107

It’s not just about what you know 107

Lean critical mass 108

Lean leadership 111

Discipline 113

Leadership vs. management 113

Knowing the difference between accountability and responsibility 114

Consistency 114

Engagement 114

Asking the right questions 115

Process thinking 115

Transparency and visibility 116

Certification? 117

5S as a foundation for Lean 119

In conclusion 120

9 The Dreaded Business Case! 121

Business case, benefits case, case for action, best guess, what? 121

The financial justification 122

The kick in the backside 124

The motivational speech 125

Is it worth talking about? 125

Getting management bought in 125

Some business case bear traps 126

The devil’s in the detail 127

Fit for purpose 128

Where are the big fish hiding? 130

The cherry picker 130

In conclusion 131

10 Keys to Success and Sustainability 133

Top reasons for failure 133

How to avoid them 136

Buy-in at all levels 136

Get the fundamentals in place 140

Working on the right stuff 141

Life doesn’t stand still 144

In conclusion 145

11 A Few Key Tools 147

Diagnostic tools 147

5 Whys 148

Value stream mapping 148

Root cause analysis 154

Voice of the Customer 158

Implementation tools 160

Standardisation 160

“IS–IS NOT” thinking 166

Good day vs. bad day 168

Kaizen Events 170

If you don’t have rhythm, you can’t dance! 175

How it works 176

In conclusion 181

12 A Few Words On Technology 183

What’s good, what’s not 184

Closing the gaps 185

In conclusion 190

13 Getting Help 193

We are not alone 193

Partnering with other companies 194

Best practice reference visits 195

Forums, blogs and social media 198

Institutions 199

Don’t try this at home! 200

Reasons to hire and not to hire a consultant 201

Getting the right help 204

In conclusion 207

14 Results, What to Expect and What is Possible 209

Financial benefits 210

Revenue enhancement 210

Cost reduction 211

Cash flow 213

Non-financial benefits 214

Safety 214

Job satisfaction 214

Environment 216

Avoidance of . . . whatever 216

So what’s in it for me? 217

In conclusion 218

15 In Conclusion 221

Appendix – Glossary 223

Afterword 245

Index 247