Toast Kaizen DVD


Order via Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

Order via Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI)

Order through the GBMP

I received a copy of this DVD through work and just watched it this afternoon. I plan on using it next week to kick off a lean project at a hospital laboratory. I like how the DVD isn't set in a factory, something that will be very helpful for introducing lean concepts to a healthcare audience.

The video shows a “current state” process for making toast, and then walks through an examination of the Seven Types of Waste in context of that current state. There is a point to pause the DVD for a group exercise in brainstorming ways to reduce waste. The next segment shows Bruce Hamilton's streamlined toastmaking process. Bruce then talks about the idea of “practical kaizen.”

The DVD is a bit pricey ($99 or $90 for SME members) for a 30-minute video, but I'm sure you can get more than $99 in value by rallying your workplace around reducing waste.

The production values might remind you more of a Cable Public Access show more so than a Hollywood documentary, but having a super-slick production might have falled into the category of Waste of Overprocessing?? The DVD is pretty effective, as is.

Need Coffee to go with your Toast? Here is my “kitchen kaizen” post on streamlining my coffee making. Want some oatmeal?

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. The Toast video is excellent for a group that hasn’t encountered lean before – Bruce does a good acting job as the bumbling husband. The women watching it start yelling at him to do the dishes.

    He allows the viewers to pause and talk about process improvements, then shows them the principles simply.

    Last time I saw it, the maintenance guys were sitting behind me, grumbling. I told them that they’d like it – it’s funny — and sure enough, they came around.

    Mark, let’s not get too competitive, or I’ll bring out my butter kanban and office coffee replenishment system!


  2. I love using food and cooking examples. *Everybody* has cooked at one point in time, and those who haven’t are at least familiar with the process and the end products. Cooking examples help explain bills of material, standard work, bringing the work to the workplace (mise en place), work processes, process improvement, the cost of defects (burned food) and rework (yuk)… the list goes on.

    I think I’m going to have to get a copy of this for training.

  3. Per Karen’s comment, I think this is probably better for a non-factory environment that’s had zero exposure to lean at this point (admin, healthcare, banking, etc.). I guess if you’re in a factory that hasn’t yet been introduced to lean, I’m surprised you’re even still in business, forget the lean training!

  4. For our Latin America audience, I would not recommend the DVD in its Spanish version…I bought a copy and it has a terrible translator and spelling errors! I sent my formal complaint to GBMP and they said they were going to get back to me months ago. Sorry, stick to the English version until it is improved.

  5. I am happy to say that I can further endorse the DVD after using it in Day 1 of a lean hospital project. We had already done some introductory lean overview training, including talking about the types of waste. The laboratory team liked being able to point out waste in someone else’s process. I encouraged them to do so while the “current state” was playing and we even found some waste in the “future state” toast making.

  6. I want to again further endorse this video as an outstanding training tool. I have used it in many hospital and healthcare settings as a fun and unintimidating way of gaining practice in observing a process and looking for waste.


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