Hopefully you're aware of my book Lean Hospitals. It was first published in 2008 and I was able to do a second, revised edition that was released in 2011. Traditional book publishing doesn't really allow any sense of continuous improvement, other than maybe fixing a spelling error in a new printing of an edition. So, changes get made in big batches. This page highlights the changes between the first two editions.
It's now time for a revised, third edition that I'll have “done” and ready to submit to the publisher by October 1st, if I'm on schedule. Given the batch-and-queue value stream of traditional publishing, the book will probably be printed and on sale by the summer of 2016.
For the 3rd edition, I have been focusing on general improvements to the book, including:
- Clarifying text as needed
- Adding new data and examples
- Adding or expanding coverage of more “advanced” topics, such as strategy deployment and “Lean design”
- Including more recent context around the need for change and the general healthcare environment
If you've read the book and have feedback or ideas for me, please comment on this post or contact me directly. If you have a story or example (or photo) that you think might be a helpful addition, please let me know.
It's been 20 years now since I graduated from college and starting working with the Lean methodology. The first ten years of my career were focused on manufacturing and 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, 10 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).
Part of my reflection is thinking back to my early days and early understanding of Lean. I made some of the types of mistakes, early on, that I might sometimes criticize others for today (sometimes on this blog). That's maybe not always a positive thing to do.
So, 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 www.PracticingLean.com to learn more.
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.
Some things that are different about this project, compared to Lean Hospitals:
Collaborative: 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.
Charity: Proceeds from the book will be donated to a non-profit organization that I'm a board member for, the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. I'll provide an accounting of sales, proceeds, and donations as transparently as I can. 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 so 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.
Flexible: 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.
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 actually 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.
Or, you can just buy it. I'd love to hear your feedback and 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.