Beyond the Lean Office: A Novel on Progressing from Lean Tools to Operational Excellence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Beyond the Lean Office

A Novel on Progressing from Lean Tools to Operational Excellence, 1st Edition

By Kevin J. Duggan

Productivity Press

124 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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While more and more companies are aggressively pursuing Operational Excellence by employing Six Sigma, Lean, and other continuous improvement methods, the concept has yet to be defined in a way that can be easily taught and applied, especially in industries other than manufacturing. This book fills that need.

Beyond the Lean Office uses a compelling novel format to illustrate what it takes to create and sustain flow and Operational Excellence in the office. Readers learn as they follow the main character through initial attempts to correct late responses to a primary customer and the evolution to an approach based on Operational Excellence. The story illustrates the day-to-day issues that most organizations face in their pursuit of Operational Excellence.

To achieve Operational Excellence, it takes more than just a strong leader with passion and drive. The key ingredient is practical knowledge that can be applied quickly and easily by following a process. This book supplies step-by-step guidance on how to move your office services from point A to point B. The practical insights and guidance presented here create a road map that can be shared with each employee to rapidly move your organization forward. All chapters also include a From the Author section that shares authoritative insights on the topic at hand.

After reading this book, you will understand how to design and create self-healing flow that provides reliable, predictable output in the office and operates without the need for management intervention to deliver the services provided by the office. Instead, management focuses on the activities that grow your enterprise.

Table of Contents


The Hornet’s Nest

The Investigation

The Game Plan

The Plan


The Old Friend

The Fateful Day

The Education, Part I

Takt and Takt Capability

Continuous Flow

FIFO (First In, First Out)

Workflow Cycles

Integration Events

Standard Work

The Education, Part II

Single-Point Initialization


Changes in Demand

The Tour

Sharing the Knowledge



About the Author


Kevin J. Duggan has more than 30 years’ experience applying advanced Lean techniques to achieve Operational Excellence and is the author of three books on the subject: Design for Operational Excellence: A Breakthrough Strategy for Business Growth; Creating Mixed Model Value Streams; and The Office That Grows Your Business: Achieving Operational Excellence in Your Business Processes. A recognized authority on Operational Excellence, Kevin has contributed to publications such as Industry Week, Aviation Week, Food Engineering, Flow Control, Assembly, Lean Management Journal, and Plant Services and has appeared on CNN and the Fox Business Network. He is a frequent keynote speaker, master of ceremonies, and panelist at both public and private conferences globally and lectures graduate students in colleges throughout the United States.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control