Productivity Improvement: Lean Resource Library

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Level 1: Pre-Implementation | Level 2: Beginner | Level 3: Intermediate | Level 4: Sustainability | Manufacturing Insights DVDs: Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) | Additional informational websites





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The Productivity Improvement Team has resources available to agriculture and agri-processing companies. The books, DVDs, and website listings aim to increase readers’ awareness of the benefits, best practices, management approaches and accounting strategies associated with the implementation of lean.

Sign out these resources for 45 days by contacting:
(w) 780-679-1307
or pick them up at the Camrose ARD Field office: 4910 - 52 Street, Camrose T4V 2V4

2015 Lean Library.pdf2015 Lean Library.pdf Printable Document

Resources have been divided into four categories in an effort to aid with selection and to ensure that optimal learning occurs:
  • Level 1: Pre Implementation - Exploration of the lean concept, readers are looking to uncover as much about the process as possible prior to the lean journey commencement.
  • Level 2: Beginner - Familiarity with basic lean concepts and jargon; is a at a point where methods are being applied to current business practices.
  • Level 3: Intermediate - A strong grasp of lean framework and fundamentals, lean methods have been incorporated into business practices; looking to expand the number of areas within a company that lean can affect.
  • Level 4: Sustainability - Company-wide lean implementation has been successful; organizational lean leaders are looking to ensure continuous, progressive and deliberate support of lean
Level 1: Pre-Implementation

Better Thinking, Better Results: Case Study and Analysis of an Enterprise-Wide Lean Transformation (2007)
  • Emiliani, Bob; Grasso, Lawrence; Stec, David; Stodder, James, The Center for Lean Business Management (
  • Chronicles The Wiremold Company’s lean implementation, where lean principles and practices were applied to human resources, fi nance, sales, marketing, engineering, acquisitions, etc. A practical and authoritative lean implementation manual that will help guide senior managers on their lean journey.

The Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround (2005)
  • Balle, Freddy; Balle, Michael, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc. (
  • Through use of engaging and instructive narrative, Freddy Balle and Michael Balle explain the technical and human aspects of implementing lean manufacturing.

Leader’s Study Guide to ‘The Gold Mine’: Moving Lean from Theory to Practice (2006)
  • Ehrenfeld, Tom, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Written to help lean leaders support their work team through the learning of lean and its practices, from the ground up. Provides the perfect complement for those who have started their learn journey withThe Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround (see description above).

Leading the The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc. Transformation (2009)
  • Koenigsaecker, George, Productivity Press Book (
  • At the Danaher Corporation, George Koenigsaecker led the lean transformations of both automotive and tool groups, emphasizing that the implementation of lean is more about an approach than it is about tools.

Lean for Dummies: Eliminate Waste, Add Customer Value and Improve Performance (2007)
  • Sayer, Natalie J.; Williams, Bruce,Wiley Publishing Inc. (
  • In plain language, Lean for Dummies provides a thorough breakdown of the lean framework, the importance of flow and value stream mapping, and the applicability that lean has to your organization.

The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation (2005)
  • Balle, Freddy; Balle, Michael, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Written as a sequel to The Gold Mine, The Lean Manager chronicles the real life story of plant manager, Andrew Ward, growing into his role as lean manager, all the while tackling issues such as sustainability, continual improvement and increased financial benefits.

Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together (2005)
  • Jones, Daniel T.; Womack, James P., Free Press Division – Simon & Schuster Inc.
  • Authors explain how lean principles can be broadened and their scope widened in order to look at how lean business methods would have practical application to the entire customer experience, versus just the manufacturing process.

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation (2003)
  • Womack, James P.; Jones, Daniel T., Free Press Division – Simon & Schuster Inc.
  • Womack and Jones flesh out their value-based business system, which is based on the Toyota model. Product value and value stream mapping are two concepts looked at and analyzed.

Lean and Green: Profit for your Workplace and the Environment (2001)
Green Recovery: Get Lean, Get Smart, and Emerge from the Downturn on Top (2009)
Green Intentions: Creating a Green Value Stream to Compete and Win (2009)

Level 2: Beginner

Creating Level Pull: A Lean Production-System Improvement Guide for Production-control, Operations and Engineering Professionals (2004)
  • Smalley, Art, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Zeroing in on the lean manufacturing transformation, Smalley encourages readers to move away from concentrating on isolated areas for improvement and to instead focus on the entire plant-wide production system.

Getting the Right Things Done: A Leader’s Guide to Planning and Execution (2006)
  • Dennis, Pascal; Womack, Jim, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Getting the Right Things Done explains the concept of “strategy deployment”, which speaks to total company engagement. Leaders who are looking to be successful in their lean implementation must engage workers at all levels of production to commit to lean practices and to enable them to apply lean processes to all areas of their work.

Lean Lexicon: A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers, 4th Edition (2008)
  • The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • A lexicon written to address the A to Z terms used in lean, as well as value stream mapping icons and lean acronyms.

Lean Product and Process Development (2007)
  • Ward, Allen C., The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Product development is becoming a necessary task for companies looking to address their need for resources in order to perform core business tasks in new and more effective ways. Ward poses questions that are at the heart of product development, and identifies the wastes that typically stand in the way of successful product development.

Learning to See: Value-Stream Mapping to Create Value and Eliminate MUDA (2003)
  • Rother, Mike; Shook, John, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Learning to See coaches organizations to do just that: see the processing steps for each product, from raw material to completion. This visual aid, in turn, helps managers to determine lag time and eliminate waste from the production cycle.

Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement, Mentor, and Lead (2008)
  • Shook, John, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Shook, a Toyota veteran, outlines how to use the A3 Management Process to identify, frame and act on challenges within one’s organization. This fundamental thinking process is explained through a dialogue that takes place between a fictional manager and his boss.

Seeing the Whole: Mapping the Extended Value Stream (2002)
  • Jones, Dan; Womack, Jim, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Authors Jones and Womack provide readers with a management tool that goes through the step-by-step process of identifying and removing waste from the value stream, from raw material to finished product.
Level 3: Intermediate

Creating Continuous Flow: An Action Guide for Managers, Engineers and Production Associates (2001)
  • Rother, Mike; Harris, Rick, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Using simple terms and step-by-step explanations, Creating a Continuous Flow explains how to introduce and sustain lean systems. Cellularization is taken to the next level, where greater cost and lead time savings are achieved.

Lean Administration 1: How to Make Business Practices Transparent
  • Wiegand, Bodo; Franck, Philip, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • This workbook provides assistance in the area of lean as it applies to administrative tasks. Numerous tables and diagrams are included to help with the analysis of an organization’s current administrative system.

Lean Administration 2: How to Manage Office and Service Processes (2008)
  • Wiegand, Bodo; Katja Nutz, The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • By applying the processes and tools of lean management, administrative practices are optimized through the creation of efficient work flows and the establishment of effective resource use.

Making Materials Flow: A Lean Material-Handling Guide for Operations, Production-Control and Engineering Professionals (2003)
  • Harris, Rick; Harris, Mike; Wilson, Earl
  • The Lean Enterprise Institute Inc.
  • Making Materials Flow introduces another step in implementing a complete lean business system, focusing on supplying purchased parts to the value stream in order to facilitate continuous flow.

Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization (2003)
  • Cunningham, Jean E.; Flume, Orest J., Managing Times Press
  • Described as providing timely and accurate information in an easily understood manner, Real Numbers explains how the application of lean to a company’s accounting practices can begin to reflect the true profit potential of lean.

Practical Lean Accounting: A Proven System for Measuring and Managing the Lean Enterprise (2003)
  • Maskell, Brian; Baggaley, Brian, Productivity Press
  • As a company becomes more and more engaged by the concept and implementation of lean, the lack of support on the accounting end of the operation not only proves to inaccurately report successes of the lean implementation, but can actually hinder the company’s lean process. Practical Lean Accounting is a valuable tool for managers, CFOs, controlling staff and accountants.
Level 4: Sustainability

The Green Intentions: Creating a Green Value Stream to Compete and Win (2009)
  • Willis, Brent, Productivity Press
  • The Green Intentions provides a practical, easy-to-understand and incorporate approach to “going green.” Written from the perspective of a plant manager who struggled with attempting to do as much, this book outlines the green value stream, which will help readers to identify, measure and minimize the seven green wastes.

Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversion
  • Mann, David, Productivity Press
  • Creating a Lean Culture explains how to introduce and implement a foolproof lean transformation program by developing a culture of engagement, on behalf of the stakeholders, employees and managers. David Mann teaches readers how to secure success from the top to bottom, while simultaneously gaining support from the bottom up.

Manufacturing Insights DVDs: Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
  • What Lean Means (25 minutes) - because in every lean journey, what may seem easy to understand isn’t always easy to implement, this video shows you What Lean Means by exploring the visible evidence and promise of lean.
  • Incorporating Lean (25 minutes) - will demonstrate how applying lean techniques helped a global leader increase profits while improving quality, reducing costs and better serving its customers.
  • Building a Lean Culture (20 minutes) - provides an example of how to build a lean culture by fundamentally changing the workplace culture and get buy in from every employee at all levels of the organization.
Additional Informational Websites
2015 Lean Library.pdf2015 Lean Library.pdf - Printable document
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This document is maintained by Rita Splawinski.
This information published to the web on May 12, 2010.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 7, 2018.