1st Edition

A Factory of One Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance

By Daniel Markovitz Copyright 2011
    177 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    184 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    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.

    Winner of a 2013 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award!

    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 book's website at www.afactoryofone.com.

    View the author’s website at www.timebackmanagement.com.

    What’s Your Job?
    Why Is It So Tough to Create Value?
    What the Heck Is Your Work, Anyway?
    Going to the Gemba
    What’s It All About?
    Next Steps

    Spotting Value, Spotting Waste
    Allison’s Story
    Introducing 5S
    What Is Information 5S?
    A Lesson from the Chefs
    Applying 5S to Information
    The $14 Million Check
    The Desktop
    The Absurdity of Out of Sight, Out of Mind
    Frequency-Based Organization
    But First
    Translating the Concept to Electronics
    E-mail: The Problem Child
    Back to Allison
    Systemic Information 5S
    Remember, It’s a Means to an End
    Next Steps

    Daily Work Processes
    Routine Work: Your Job Requires More than Just Creative Genius (Unfortunately)
    Transforming the Creative into the Transactional
    Next Steps

    Visual Management
    What Is Visual Management?
    The Irony of Out of Sight, Out of Mind
    Why All Those To-Do Lists Don’t Work
    Living in the Calendar
    The Calendar as Kanban
    The Calendar and the Task Pad
    Caution: Don’t Treat Your Calendar Like Your Gas Tank
    The Old Movies Had It Right
    Sometimes a Little Inventory Is Okay
    Of Course, Life Never Goes According to Plan
    Assessing Personal Production Capacity
    But, What If You’re Allergic to Calendars?
    The Simpler Method: The Personal Kanban
    Four Easy Steps
    The Incredibly Flexible Kanban
    Other Types of Visual Management
    Reflexive versus Cognitive Systems
    Reducing Ambiguity
    Next Steps

    From Bad to Good, and From Good to Great
    Like an Air Traffic Controller
    The Twin Pillars of Kaizen
    Standardized Work
    Creative Types Need Standard Work, Too
    Creating Mental Capacity for Improvement
    Now, It’s Your Turn: Step 1
    What Is Your Problem? Your Real Problem?
    Five Whys
    Your Turn: Step 2
    Implementing Improvement: A3 Thinking
    Continuous Improvement



    Daniel Markovitz

    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

    No matter what your role is in your company, or whether you're an independent consultant or even unemployed, you will love Dan Markovitz's new book, A Factory of One. This gem will improve even the most efficient person's work life in powerful ways. The introduction alone got me motivated to adopt those practices that he writes and aren't yet part of my standard work. ... It's short, sweet, and to the point. You're never left wanting more, but you never wish the author would get on with it. ... relates powerful Lean manufacturing tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to daily work, revealing how they improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link the individual worker ever more closely to customer value. This practice helps business professionals develop greater self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and a heightened ability to self-correct errors.Read Dan's book--and then apply the tips he gives.
    —Karen Martin, Principal, Karen Martin & Associates; and keynote speaker, ASQ Lean and Six Sigma Conference 2012