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Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation
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Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,113 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Expanded, updated, and more relevant than ever, this bestselling business classic by two internationally renowned management analysts describes a business system for the twenty-first century that supersedes the mass production system of Ford, the financial control system of Sloan, and the strategic system of Welch and GE. It is based on the Toyota (lean) model, which combi ...more
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published (first published September 1996)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,113 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Caroline Gordon
So glad I finally got onto reading some classic 'lean' texts. Much of the Agile literature talks about lean and what Toyota achieved, so reading this is going to fill out my understanding of the origins of the ideas. It's hard to believe how exactly the description of 'pre-lean' manufacturing in the 60s describes the current state of the IT industry. The waste involved in functional silos, queueing and batching, lack of visibility of the value stream. Music to my ears!
Yet another 5 star rating,
Steven Peterson
Aug 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lean is a specific management technique to make an organization more efficient (and a private sector company more profitable). This book is a well written introduction to the subject. The authors, James Womack and Daniel Jones, provide lots of examples to illustrate their basic points. Thus, this is a very useful introduction to the subject, for those of us who are not experts on this matter.

To start at the beginning. . . . The enemy is "Muda," a Japanese word that means "waste," in all of its
Gerard Chiva
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fundamental read for anyone in the Agile or Lean industry. Although it is difficult to read and could have been written in a more user-friendly way, the ideas and experiences in this book are key.
Bob Wallner
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lean, audible
The quintessential text on how to apply the Toyota production system to your facility!

Lean Thinking was one of the first texts I read when I started my lean journey in 2004. The five guiding principles to creating a Lean Enterprise where groundbreaking. I remember reading this book initially and being so excited about applying what I learned. I quickly realized the company I was with saw lean as a problem-solving tool only. They did not embrace the core principles taught by the authors. For many
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-finance
It is based on the Toyota (lean) model, which combines operational excellence with value-based strategies to produce steady growth through a wide range of economic conditions. This had been on my "to read" list for a long time. In retrospect, it was a waste to go back to a book on business originally written in 1996. Too much time has passed.
Angie McCain Crees
Most of the book was how to evaluate and implement Lean in a factory type setting. The process of and result from using a factory setting provides clear results and is statistically easier to measure the results. I would have liked more examples of lean processes in an environment that is more difficult to statistically measure before and after lean implementation. Still, it is a good book if you are interested in understanding what Lean is and how Lean might be useful in your business.
Jack Vinson
Good overview and lots of similarities to TOC. And differences, such as intense focus on waste instead of optimizing the constraint.
A blog post and review of the book:
A blog post about the heavy use of Japanese terms:
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: management interested in making their organization lean
Great book on a few basic concepts:
- Continuous process improvement.
- Eliminate muda (wasteful activities or parts of processes) to continually optimize performance, save on cost, make everything run more smoothly and efficiently and scale.
- Have a digital clock were everyone can see it -- pay attention to time management to eliminate time wasted.
- Don't start a second task until you've finished the first.

"Lean Thinking" inspired by Toyota, brings Eastern ideas of striving toward efficiency to
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though this is a pivotal book on lean thinking, I found chapter 2 a really heavy read. We get several study cases on companies that improved processes dramatically through lean thinking but, do we really need to understand everything that was wrong with such processes when so little about how these were improved is deployed? I kept costantly thinking, I get it, they eliminated all those muda but who? when? how much it costed? what was done first? However, if you are able to go past this chapter, ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: managers, change agents
Shelves: blog-shelf
I listened to the audiobook on audible during a drive across Florida. His voice is very soothing so don't listen and drive when you're tired! I found this book to be very accessible and gave me some deeper points to consider further. I really wish there were this exact book but with businesses not creating physical product. But, that's nothing wrong with this book! Great book. Would definitely recommend.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm biased. I really like the way these men think. Lean thinking should always be holistic, and look at the total value stream and not some simple part cost calculation. I found this work very clear and direct, and has helped me in my thinking regarding work process and optimization. Again, spot optimization can be great fun, but may not be what's needed for the whole value stream. This also points to the need for deep cultural change in many companies.
Bill Shavce
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a follow-on to "The Machine that Changed the World." It provides several case studies of corporations that transitioned from mass production methods to lean production. In these cases, the companies demonstrated success in challenging economic environments. The authors also lay out an action plan that can help corporations transition to lean production.
A fine introduction and explanation on the Lean methodology.

The book delivers a lot of good examples of what is needed to identify and adjust to make processes more streamlined.

Found the style rather dry and "dull". I dont expect to be able to quote much from this book.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good business book I guess. The general plot is remove waste and unneeded steps in delivering your product to the consumer. If there are areas where the product or consumer is sitting their waiting you might have an area that could be improved.
Niels Philbert
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book to expand on basic knowledge of Lean. I would recommend 2 second Lean as a starter book and for applying Lean in more general areas. This is good, presents solid points and pitfalls, and keeps the pace throughout shit getting too technical.
Mike Thelen
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another of the early books. Really focused on tools, perhaps why it took so long for outsiders to figure out TPS was more about beliefs, culture and respect.

Still, an early insight to TPS, and a pioneer in that sense.
Michael Kopinsky
Read on audiobook. Good content and thought-provoking, but felt very disjointed, like it was a series of essays lumped together rather than a coherent book.
Niels Bergervoet
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives a good basic understanding of Lean thinking, and is really convincing why it is a good ideology to adopt in organizations.
Anders Gränfors
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives Good exempels how LEAN Venedigs bussiness
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux
Eh. I agree with the principles of lean thinking, but overall I found this book to be really boring.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: specialized
I didn’t see the adding value of the book. the slow rythm makes it difficult not to skip multiple pages or just scan others.
Melanie Walker
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that introduces Lean Thinking concepts and uses real-world examples from around the globe.
Andrea Gazzaniga
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must read for anyone who wants to understand what lean thinking really is and how it evolved, even if it shows its age for some parts.
Matthew Praino
Exciting concept and great real life examples. Gets bogged down in the technical/mechanical aspects in parts.
Denis Scholokov
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Книга очень схожа на Дао Тойота, которая мне понравилась больше.
Но последние страницы о планировании и отношение к нему полностью перевернули мое мнение о ней. Однозначно к прочтению.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
A lot of really great information swapped by example after example that are completely unnecessary. Really hard to read just to get the few bits of good stuff.
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a long effort. I am not enthusiastic about reading books regarding the subjects of manufacturing, business, or leadership (aside from awesome military leadership of course). As our rise in position increases, so must our understanding of various subjects. So I gave this one a whirl. Manufacturing concepts are always difficult since I find I must inherently understand all aspects of the process. Now after that understanding, must come optimization which is one area I fully embrace. Just- ...more
Philip Boling
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the better insight into the manufacturing transformation which I witnessed in the 90's: the introduction of U shaped manufacturing cells, the emphasis on the concepts: value, flow and pull and the identification of huge automated manufacturing monstrosities as monuments.

Some of the competitive advantage of the Japanese was identified, but I was also left with questions: Denso for instance in my experience was never portrayed as a competitor on price, so if Denso had huge cost advantag
Feb 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan recommended I read this for work as a part of the all the lean thinking stuff at work. Many of the ideas and theories made sense and were mostly common sense and applied more to manufacturing than an office setting.

The parts that did apply to us are already in practice. Breaking down a process to see where you could apply processes to speed it up. Applying immediate action to put changes in place right away is another idea we have been implementing. One thing that was in the book that I had
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“Converting a classic batch-and-queue production system to continuous flow with effective pull by the customer will double labor productivity all the way through the system (for direct, managerial, and technical workers, from raw materials to delivered product) while cutting production throughput times by 90 percent and reducing inventories in the system by 90 percent as well.” 2 likes
“Dedicated product teams in direct dialogue with customers always find ways to specify value more accurately and often learn of ways to enhance flow and pull as well.” 1 likes
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