"Lean Office" Book Recommendations?


Dear Blog Readers — I received an email from a blog reader and I'll pass this question along to you, since I don't have a recommendation one way or another:

There are numerous books out there on “Lean Office.” Do you have a recommendation as to which is the “best” one for the money and the material presented in it? Much thanks on any advice you can offer. Again, there are a lot of “Lean office” books out there, I want to get the book that provides the best “how to” and “hands on” case studies.

Any advice? Use the “comments” feature to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to any book you've used or read. There are many books in this category available on Amazon.


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Brandon says

    I started Lean office Demystified and couldn’t finish it because it was so basic, and didn’t have the best systems of principles viewpoint. I wouldn’t recommend that one.

  2. richcary says

    The book “Practical Lean Accounting” by Brian Maskell is one of the best I’ve read. While it still ties into the factory and hits on some basics of lean and visual systems, it does so in the context of being able to eliminate the transactional waste in traditional accounting. Beware, if your accountants aren’t on board it could get you fired…the resistance I have faced in the office far outweighs resistance in most factories. There is also an excellent Webcast archived at Industry Week with Brian. Good luck!

  3. Rick Foreman says

    I’ve reviewed several of the books on lean office and they range from very sporadic help to being a little more realistic. It seems to me a compilation of useful material in each book would comprise one that is user friendly and makes the most sense. For us it really just boils down on going to the “Gemba” in the office, reviewing the processes and flow of information within a cross functional team and focus on eliminating the major wastes. Back to the book review. I’ve not found what I would consider the David Mann type book for offices.

  4. William says

    I read Lean Office Demystified and I found to be very informational and to-the-point.  This book bridges the Lean concepts to the office. I also heard Lean Office
    Demsytified II will soon be released that has Destkop and networking examples.  I think that will be a great enhancement to an already great book!

  5. micounselors says

    I also found Lean Office Demystified very informative and useful. We use many of the concepts in our training sessions. The examples are across all types of industries. We found the chapter on File Management to relate directly to some of our issues regarding process control. The methods described in Chapter 8 has defintely improved our office producitity as well as made our governmental audits a less-dreaded scenario. Great book will great ideas that apply universally. We also recently purchased The New Lean Office Pocket Guide..again, the enhancements of Lean to the desktop and networking is the first in the market and very useful.

  6. Craig says

    I have found http://www.theleanstore.com book The Lean Office Demystified to be of great value in applying lean tools and concept to the office environment. Also working with The Lean Store I have found to be a pleasant experience, they are friendly and generous. The books arrive quick and in perfect shape. Also, great deals on bulk discounts!

  7. Liz says

    What about the book, “The Office That Grows Your Business: Achieving Operational Excellence in Your Business Processes.” It’s a short narrative, easy read but talks you through a step by step process. Check out the reviews on Amazon or the publisher’s website http://www.instituteopex.org. Happy reading!

  8. scott eislel says

    I found Lean Office Demystified one of the best books for understanding how Lean can be applied in an office environment. It’s simple approach was great for our company. We bought these for all our managers and have implemented many of the concepts. We re-organized our electronic file system based on the concepts and ideas contained in one of the chapters. Great book for its value!

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