Posted by: JC Gatlin | August 1, 2010

Suggested Lean Reading: Books by Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis is the President of Lean Pathways Inc., a Lean consultation firm, and has worked personally with our company since 2003. He is the author of four books on Lean management and has been awarded the coveted Shingo Prize for outstanding research in the field of operational excellence. Mr. Dennis learned the Toyota Production System in leadership positions at Toyota Cambridge, one of Toyota’s best plants, and has worked with leading Toyota senseis in North America and Japan.

Getting the Right Things Done: A Leader’s Guide to Planning and Execution” by Pascal Dennis (2006)

In Getting the Right Things Done, Pascal Dennis outlines the nuts and bolts of strategy deployment, answering two tough questions that ultimately can make or break a lean transformation: What kind of planning system is required to inspire meaningful company-wide continuous improvement? How might we change existing mental models that do not support a culture of continuous improvement?

Getting the Right Things Done tells the story of a fictional midsized company, Atlas Industries, that needs to dramatically improve to compete with emerging rivals and meet new customer demands. While Atlas had already applied some basic lean principles, it had not really connected the people and business processes so that the company could dramatically improve. Something was missing: a way of focusing and aligning the efforts of good people, and a delivery system, something that would direct the tools to the right places.

The book provides readers with a framework for understanding the key components of strategy deployment: agreeing on True North for the company, working within the PDCA cycle, getting consensus through catchball, the deployment leader concept, and A3 thinking. It links action to theory and reminds us that lean tools are only the means to an end, not ends in themselves. It takes a step-by-step instructional approach to the strategy deployment process. Through this unique combination, Getting the Right Things Done balances the human and technical dimensions of making strategy deployment a vital part of the daily culture of any company.

This is a great introduction to the A3 strategy.

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“Lean Production Simplified” by Pascal Dennis (2007)

2006 SHINGO PRIZE WINNER for EXCELLENCE in MANUFACTURING RESEARCH Lean Production Simplified, 2nd Edition is a plain language guide to the lean production system written for the practitioner by a practitioner. It delivers a comprehensive insider’s view of lean manufacturing. The author helps the reader to grasp the system as a whole and the factors that animate it by organizing the book around an image of a “house of lean production”.

Highlights include:

  • A comprehensive view of Toyota’s lean manufacturing system
  • A look at the origins and underlying principles of lean
  • Identifying the goals of lean production
  • Practical problem solving for lean production
  • Activities that support involvement – Kaizen circles, suggestion systems, and problem solving

This 2nd Edition has been updated with expanded information on the Lean Improvement Process; “Production Physics” and Little’s Law – the fundamental equation for both manufacturing and service industries (cycle time = work in process/throughput); Value Stream Thinking – combining processes required to bring the product or service to the customer; Hoshin Planning — using the Planning and Execution Tree diagram and Problem Solving — including the “Five Why” method and how to use it.

Lean Production Simplified, 2nd Edition covers each of the components of lean within the context of the entire lean production system. The author’s straightforward common sense approach makes this book an easily accessible on the floor resource for every operator.

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“Andy & Me: Crisis And Transformation On The Lean Journey” by Pascal Dennis (2005)

Based on the author’s personal experience with Toyota senseis and with companies in the midst of great change, Andy & Me is a business novel set in a failing New Jersey auto plant focusing on the tribulations of Tom Pappas, the plant manager. The situations, characters and plant “politics” will ring true with many readers.

In a cool, readable style, Andy & Me follows Tom’s relationship with Andy Saito, a reclusive, retired Toyota guru whom Tom persuades to help save his plant through the “teaching” of legendary Toyota Production System (TPS).

On this journey, the reader learns that TPS is more than just a collection of tools; it entails a new way of thinking and behaving. Though Tom finds success — both in his plant and in his personal life — he learns from Andy that successful improvement is “endless and eternal.”

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“The Remedy: Bringing Lean Thinking Out of the Factory to Transform the Entire Organization” by Pascal Dennis

This is Pascal’s follow-up to Andy and Me. (2010)

Are you wondering how to do more with less by pushing “Lean thinking” beyond manufacturing into every area of your company? Meet Tom Papas, the hero of Pascal Dennis’s enlightening Lean business novel The Remedy. As plant manager for New Jersey Motors Manufacturing (NJMM), Tom has used Lean methodologies and processes to make his manufacturing operation a bright spot for otherwise limping automaker Taylor Motors. Now Tom has been called to company headquarters near Detroit to meet with Senior Vice President Rachel Armstrong. Will she offer Tom a promotion? Or will the shortsighted CFO J. Ed Morgan cut NJMM to the bone and negate all Tom’s hard work?

A powerful story for today’s challenging economy, The Remedy doubles as a highly readable playbook for taking your Lean practices into marketing, service, and other parts of the organization where Lean hasn’t typically been applied. Bringing back characters from Dennis’s Shingo Prize–winning Lean novel Andy & Me, including the reclusive quality sensei Andy Saito, this new tale demonstrates how you can bring Lean processes to your entire enterprise.

Follow Tom, Rachel, and Andy as they embark on a mission to revitalize Taylor Motors in the face of theU.S. auto industry’s devastating meltdown. Along the way, you’ll discover illuminating new ways to:

  • Apply Lean concepts and methods beyond manufacturing to corporate functions such as marketing, supply chain, and design
  • Overcome the politics of large organizations as you create change
  • Define your True North—your strategic and philosophical objective
  • Apply Lean to knowledge-based workflows
  • Understand and strengthen the Four Rules and the Four Capabilities in your organization
  • Reduce waste and build value in different kinds of enterprises such as health care and retail

Do you want to improve your business, but haven’t considered Lean processes as a possible approach? The Remedy offers a vibrant, entertaining look at how today’s Lean techniques can be applied far beyond the factory floor.

© August 2010 Homebuilding Partners, Inc.   twitter-logo

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