Synopses & Reviews
This clever and highly engaging graphic novel details a story about one organization's Lean journey with inspiration from the Toyota Way.
Over the years, common misunderstandings about what Lean is, what the journey is like, and how to advance have proliferated. Often these misunderstandings come from the way people simplistically talk and think about Lean. It is as if it is some concrete thing that you insert into an organization and step back to watch the results.
The authors, however, view the organization as a living system with interacting parts and constant exposure to the environment. It is dynamic so it's hard to predict what obstacles you will face next. Just when you think you have it solved new challenges arise from the market, competitors, government regulations, and every direction you turn to. When you look at your organization in this way you see Lean through a different lens. The goal is to make your processes and people into a more adaptive system so you can navigate through all the complexity and uncertainty to continually achieve your goals. This is how Toyota view things and they summarize the Toyota Way as continuous improvement and respect for people. Each person becomes a partner in struggling to learn and adapt, and specific tools are used in very different ways throughout the company to accomplish their goals.
The story presented here focuses on small company called Zingerman's Mail Order (ZMO). Tom Root was one of the founders of this spin-off of the Zingerman's delicatessen. The deli was founded to bring high-quality artisanal food to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The purpose of this book is not to provide a "recipe for implementation" - The authors want you to get a feeling for the struggle, for the learning process. They explain and demonstrate many Lean tools within the context of the journey and how they were adapted for this particular business.