The Best 11 Books on James P. Womack
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 combines operational excellence with value-based strategies to produce steady growth through a wide range of economic conditions.
In contrast with the crash-and-burn performance of companies trumpeted by business gurus in the 1990s, the firms profiled in Lean Thinking -- from tiny Lantech to midsized Wiremold to niche producer Porsche to gigantic Pratt & Whitney -- have kept on keeping on, largely unnoticed, along a steady upward path through the market turbulence and crushed dreams of the early twenty-first century. Meanwhile, the leader in lean thinking -- Toyota -- has set its sights on leadership of the global motor vehicle industry in this decade.
Instead of constantly reinventing business models, lean thinkers go back to basics by asking what the customer really perceives as value. (It's often not at all what existing organizations and assets would suggest.) The next step is to line up value-creating activities for a specific product along a value stream while eliminating activities (usually the majority) that don't add value. Then the lean thinker creates a flow condition in which the design and the product advance smoothly and rapidly at the pull of the customer (rather than the push of the producer). Finally, as flow and pull are implemented, the lean thinker speeds up the cycle of improvement in pursuit of perfection. The first part of this book describes each of these concepts and makes them come alive with striking examples.
Lean Thinking clearly demonstrates that these simple ideas can breathe new life into any company in any industry in any country. But most managers need guidance on how to make the lean leap in their firm. Part II provides a step-by-step action plan, based on in-depth studies of more than fifty lean companies in a wide range of industries across the world.
Even those readers who believe they have embraced lean thinking will discover in Part III that another dramatic leap is possible by creating an extended lean enterprise for each of their product families that tightly links value-creating activities from raw materials to customer.
In Part IV, an epilogue to the original edition, the story of lean thinking is brought up-to-date with an enhanced action plan based on the experiences of a range of lean firms since the original publication of Lean Thinking.
Lean Thinking does not provide a new management "program" for the one-minute manager. Instead, it offers a new method of thinking, of being, and, above all, of doing for the serious long-term manager -- a method that is changing the world.
When The Machine That Changed the World was first published in 1990, Toyota was half the size of General Motors. Twenty years later Toyota passed GM as the world’s largest auto maker. This management classic was the first book to reveal Toyota’s lean production system that is the basis for its enduring success.
Authors Womack, Jones, and Roos provided a comprehensive description of the entire lean system. They exhaustively documented its advantages over the mass production model pioneered by General Motors and predicted that lean production would eventually triumph. Indeed, they argued that it would triumph not just in manufacturing but in every value-creating activity from health care to retail to distribution.
Today The Machine That Changed the World provides enduring and essential guidance to managers and leaders in every industry seeking to transform traditional enterprises into exemplars of lean success.
With a new introduction by the author, this “erudite and brilliantly readable book” (The Observer, London) astutely dissects the political, economic and social origins of Western civilization to reveal a culture cripplingly enslaved to crude notions of rationality and expertise.
The Western world is full of paradoxes. We talk endlessly of individual freedom, yet we’ve never been under more pressure to conform. Our business leaders describe themselves as capitalists, yet most are corporate employees and financial speculators. We call our governments democracies, yet few of us participate in politics. We complain about invasive government, yet our legal, educational, financial, social, cultural and legislative systems are deteriorating.
All these problems, John Ralston Saul argues, are largely the result of our blind faith in the value of reason. Over the past 400 years, our “rational elites” have turned the modern West into a vast, incomprehensible, directionless machine, run by process-minded experts—“Voltaire’s bastards”—whose cult of scientific management is empty of both sense and morality. Whether in politics, art, business, the military, entertainment, science, finance, academia or journalism, these experts share the same outlook and methods. The result, Saul maintains, is a civilization of immense technological power whose ordinary citizens are increasingly excluded from the decision-making process.
In this wide-ranging anatomy of modern society and its origins—whose “pages explode with insight, style and intellectual rigor” (Camille Paglia, The Washington Post)—Saul presents a shattering critique of the political, economic and cultural establishments of the West.
Winner of the 2003 Shingo Prize!
By identifying all the steps and time required to move a typical product from raw materials to finished goods, the authors show that nearly 90 percent of the actions and 99.99 percent of the time required for the value chain's Current State create no value. In addition, the mapping method clearly shows demand amplification of orders as they travel up the value stream, steadily growing quality problems, and steadily deteriorating shipping performance at every point up stream from the customer.
The mapping methodology takes managers step-by-step through an improvement process that converts the traditional value stream of isolated operations into an ideal future-state value stream in which value flows from raw materials to customer in just 6 percent of the time previously needed. The dramatically improved value stream also eliminates unnecessary transport links, inventories, and handoffs, the key drivers of hidden connectivity costs.
Applying the method to a realistic example, the authors show how four firms sharing a value stream can create a win-win-win-win-win future in which everyone, including the end consumer, can be better off.
He also shares thoughts on how lean thinking and practice can continue to make the world a better place by gaining traction in areas such as government and healthcare, provides practical guidance for how leaders everywhere can realize the full benefits of a lean management system, and shares hope for continued improvement on the path to better work and more value.
Over the past 30 years, Womack has developed a method of going to visit the gemba at countless companies and keenly observing how people work together to create value. He has shared his thoughts and discoveries from these visits with the lean community through a monthly letter. With Gemba Walks second edition, Womack has selected and re-organized his key letters, as well as written 12 new essays.
Gemba Walks shares his insights on topics ranging from the application of specific tools, to the role of management in sustaining lean, as well as the long-term prospects for this fundamental new way of creating value. Reading this book will reveal to readers a range of lean principles, as well as the basis for the critical lean practice of: go see, ask why, and show respect.
• whatever happened to Toyota and what happens next to lean?
• how lean got its name 25 years ago; a special essay co-authored by Jim and John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motors America
• work, management, and leadership -- what is the real work of the lean leader?
• don’t offshore or reshore –leanshore
• why companies need fewer heroes and more farmers (who work daily to improve the processes and systems needed for perfect work and who take the time and effort to produce long-term improvement)
• how “good” people who work in “bad” processes become as “bad” as the process itself
• how the real practice of showing respect comes down to helping workers frame and solve their own problems
• how the short-term gains from lean tools can be translated to enduring change from lean management.
• how the lean manager has a “restless desire to continually rethink the organization’s problems, probe their root causes, and lead experiments to test the best currently known countermeasures”
By sharing his personal path of discovery, Womack sheds new light on the continued adoption and development of the most important new business system of the past fifty years. His journey will provide courage and inspiration for every lean practitioner today.