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A Factory of One

New or Used: 5 copies from $45.00
Most business readers have heard of the Lean principles developed for factories--a set of tools and ideas that have enabled companies to dramatically boost quality by reducing waste and errors--producing more while using less. Yet until now, few have recognized how relevant these powerful ideas are to individuals and their daily work. Every person at a desk, drafting table, workstation, or operating table must (like a factory) deal with the challenge of reducing the waste that creeps into their work. The same Lean principles that have improved efficiencies on the factory floor can be just as powerful--in fact, far more so--in helping individuals boost personal performance. A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance describes how you can foster a new mindset and improve your performance by applying Lean methods to your work. It translates powerful Lean tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to your daily work, revealing how they can help to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link you ever more closely to customer value. This practice will help you develop better self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and the ability to self-correct errors. This book not only provides the tools, but also teaches you how to find the root causes underlying your inefficiencies so you can eliminate them permanently. It will enable you to immediately improve personal productivity while developing the skills needed for continuous improvement. It includes real-world examples that illustrate how these principles have been successfully applied across a range of industries. Providing the perfect mix of what-to-do with why-to-do it, the text details a step-by-step approach to applying Lean principles to your work. Listen to what Daniel Markovitz has to say about his new book, A Factory of One. Part One -- Part Two View the author's website at
Product Details

Table of Contents

What's Your Job?Why Is It So Tough to Create Value?What the Heck Is Your Work, Anyway?Going to the GembaWhat's It All About?Next StepsNotes Spotting Value, Spotting WasteAllison's StoryIntroducing 5SWhat Is Information 5S?A Lesson from the ChefsApplying 5S to InformationThe $14 Million CheckThe DesktopThe Absurdity of Out of Sight, Out of MindFrequency-Based OrganizationBut First Translating the Concept to ElectronicsE-mail: The Problem ChildBack to AllisonSystemic Information 5SRemember, It's a Means to an EndNext StepsNotes FlowFlowDaily Work ProcessesRoutine Work: Your Job Requires More than Just Creative Genius (Unfortunately)Transforming the Creative into the TransactionalNext StepsNotes Visual ManagementIntroductionWhat Is Visual Management?The Irony of Out of Sight, Out of MindWhy All Those To-Do Lists Don't WorkLiving in the CalendarThe Calendar as KanbanThe Calendar and the Task PadCaution: Don't Treat Your Calendar Like Your Gas TankThe Old Movies Had It RightSometimes a Little Inventory Is OkayOf Course, Life Never Goes According to PlanAssessing Personal Production CapacityBut, What If You're Allergic to Calendars?The Simpler Method: The Personal KanbanFour Easy StepsThe Incredibly Flexible KanbanOther Types of Visual ManagementReflexive versus Cognitive SystemsReducing AmbiguityNext StepsNotes From Bad to Good, and From Good to GreatLike an Air Traffic ControllerThe Twin Pillars of KaizenStandardized WorkCreative Types Need Standard Work, TooCreating Mental Capacity for ImprovementNow, It's Your Turn: Step 1What Is Your Problem? Your Real Problem?Five WhysYour Turn: Step 2Implementing Improvement: A3 ThinkingContinuous ImprovementNotesConclusionEndnotes Index

About the Author

Daniel Markovitz is president of TimeBack Management, a consulting firm that radically improves individuals and team performances by identifying and eliminating root cause impediments to productivity.


Dan Markovitz brings a thoughtful and supremely practical perspective to the fundamental scarcity faced by us all: time. His approach blends conceptual frameworks and concrete specifics--a powerful and useful combination--to reduce the noise and clutter in our lives and work. Markovitz can help us all to be more effective! --Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last and Great by Choice

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