Practicing Lean: A Comprehensive eBook on Lean Implementation Lessons


Launch anouncement: It's been 20 years now since I graduated from college and started working with the Lean methodology. The first ten years of my career were focused on manufacturing. Then I had the happy detour into healthcare ten years ago this month when I joined Johnson & Johnson and their Lean consulting group, ValuMetrix Services.

With those two big round numbers… 20 years of Lean, and ten years in healthcare, I've been reflecting on that time and what it has meant. Reflection is a good habit for a Lean thinker, whether you call it “hansei” or not (I generally would not use the Japanese word there).

My chapters reflect back on my early days and early understanding of Lean. I made some types of mistakes early on that I might criticize others for today (sometimes on this blog). That's maybe not always a positive thing to do.

I've decided to launch a collaborative eBook titled:

Practicing Lean: Learning How to Learn How to Get Better… Better.

Update: You can now buy this as a Kindle book or paperback via Amazon. Visit to learn more. It's now an Amazon exclusive.

Listen to Mark read this post (subscribe to the podcast):

As I say on the web page for the book:

If we keep practicing, we might get good at it eventually. We all have a starting point in our personal “Lean journeys.” Looking back at our first year of work in Lean or continuous improvement methodologies, we probably weren't very good at it. What are our reflections and lessons learned? What can we share with those who are just starting today? This book will be a compilation of those stories.

For this project, I'm using the platform (listen to my podcasts with the founders here and here).

Some things that are different about this project, compared to Lean Hospitals:


I've written two chapters to share my reflections and to maybe set the tone for the book. But I'm inviting others to contribute an essay or chapter with their own personal stories and reflections. If you'd like to write something, click here. Authors will be listed as contributors on the book's page and can include a short bio in the book.


Proceeds from the book will be donated to a non-profit organization that I'm a board member of, the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. I'll provide an accounting of sales, proceeds, and donations as transparently as possible. So far, I have 22 readers. Some of them are potential contributors who were given free copies through my early “soft launch.” Actual buyers who paid have led to $24.91 in currently unpaid royalties. Unlike traditional publishing, a vast majority of the proceeds go to the author and, therefore, the charity, not the publisher (or retailer).

Continuously Published:

Unlike traditional publishing, I can edit or add to the book at any time, pushing a new updated edition to those who have already purchased the book. I'll generally do this as a monthly batch to avoid too many update emails going out to owners of the book.

Choose Your Price:

I'm using the LeanPub feature that allows buyers to choose their price within a range. There's a recommended price and minimum price. That price is low to provide an incentive to early buyers. A buyer can voluntarily pay more if they choose (or you can donate to the Batz Foundation directly). Again, once you buy the book, you get all future updates for free. As content is added, the recommended price will go up over time.


If you buy the book, you can download it as a PDF to read or print, in Kindle format that you can email to one of your devices or apps, or the more general EPUB format. Update: It's now Kindle only, as an Amazon exclusive.

I hope this is a worthy experiment. We'll see how it goes. There is some risk that those who have talked to me about contributing chapters don't follow through. That's one reason the starting price is low.

To reduce your purchasing risk, there are a few options as a reader and buyer.

For one, LeanPub has a no-questions-asked 30-day return / refund policy.

Secondly, you can read the first chapter of the book online or as a downloaded PDF (links no longer work).

Or, you can just buy it. I'd love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and reactions.

As of August 30, the book has 28 buyers and unpaid royalties of just over $50. When those royalties are paid by Leanpub, I will donate the funds to the Batz Foundation. Click below for a larger view.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 7.01.16 PM

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

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Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

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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. I have the 2nd edition of “Lean Hospitals” and found it to be an excellent ‘transliteration’ of Lean/TPS principles into the healthcare context. Mark Graban has written a concise guide with enough clarification to allow readers to grasp each presented topic. I look forward to edition 3 with his thoughts on strategy deployment – which is the golden thread that runs through an organization and aligns it efforts. show less

  2. I’ve received a royalty payment for $57 that I will be passing along to the Batz Foundation:

    The book now has 63 readers.

    Thanks to all those who have bought and read it so far!

  3. This month’s royalties were about $68, so I rounded up and made a $75 donation to the foundation. Their system has some problems where it didn’t generate a receipt for me yet.

    That’s $700 from this project so far. Thanks for reading!

  4. Rounding up to another up to another $20 donation to the foundation.

    Leanpub sent you $15.57 USD

    Just thought you’d like to know Leanpub sent you $15.57 USD.


    Your donation of* $20 *helps to bring community awareness to patient safety issues, distribute “The Batz Guide for Bedside Advocacy”, and to educate patients, their caregivers and care teams about the importance of working together to create a safe environment. Thank you for being a part of our community in patient safety.

  5. For the end of April, Amazon paid out about $259.78 in February book royalties (converting from various currencies).

    LeanPub royalties look like they will are $40.68.

    So, that’s $300.45 to be donated to the Louise Batz Foundation… I’ll round up to $315, which brings the total raised to date to be $1700 for a very good cause.

    Thanks to everybody who has purchased the book!

  6. $62.54 in Amazon royalties. None this month from LeanPub.

    Rounding up to a $70 donation. $2220 so far.

    With next month’s expected LeanPub payout, we’ll be over $2500 in proceeds to the foundation.

  7. This month’s royalties are in…

    $203.97 from LeanPub:

    And about $27 from early audio book sales through led to a total of $230 in my PayPal account:

    And Amazon sales totaled about $143.

    I rounded up to a $400 donation:

    Bringing the total proceeds to $2620!

    Thanks again to everybody!

  8. Another month’s royalties = $21.97 from LeanPub and $24.98 from Amazon… rounding up to a $50 donation.

    Total donation is now $3750. Thanks to all of the buyers and readers!


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