There’s no better place to read than at the beach! And, with so many great books on Lean manufacturing, you could spend many leisurely seaside days studying this topic alone. In fact, when you search “Lean” on amazon.com, you get over 16 thousand results. That’s a lot of books!
The sheer volume of materials available often overwhelms new students to Lean concepts and it’s difficult to know where to begin when you’re just starting out.
Two of the best books for entry-level Lean management practitioners that I have found are Lean for Dummies by Natalie Sayer and Bruce Williams, and Level One Lean by Kevin R. Wack.
1. Lean for Dummies (Natalie Sayer & Bruce Williams)
Lean for Dummies takes the reader through the basic philosophies of Lean manufacturing and management, exploring the concepts of customer value and the fundamental tools for optimizing the value stream, standardizing activities, and managing a Lean organization. The language is straightforward and easy to read, and also to relate to others when introducing and implementing Lean principles in your workplace.
2. Level One Lean (Kevin R. Wack)
Level One Lean is written by a Master Black Belt Lean practitioner. Kevin R. Wrack draws on both personal and professional real life examples to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of “living Lean”. This Lean book focuses on customer value, determining what waste is, and how to identify and eliminate waste. The book includes a thorough description of the basic Lean tools. Finally, a brief section explains how management can champion and develop a Lean culture.
Both of these books are great for someone just starting out and wanting to learn Lean principles, or as a teaching tool to introduce others to Lean concepts. See also our interview with lean expert Bonnie Wall.