1st Edition

Continuous Improvement
Seek Perfection, Assure Quality at its Source, Embrace Scientific Thinking, Focus on Process, and Improve Flow & Pull

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 2, 2021
ISBN 9781032105536
November 2, 2021 Forthcoming by Productivity Press
200 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

In this third book of the Shingo Model series, Continuous Improvement focuses on five of the Shingo Guiding Principles: seek perfection, embrace scientific thinking, focus on process, assure quality at the source, and improve flow and pull.

Each chapter in Continuous Improvement is designed to enhance your comprehension of one or more aspects of the Continuous Improvement dimension of the Shingo Model and to increase your understanding of how the dimension interrelates with and complements the other principles in the Shingo Model. Ultimately, this explanation grounds the technical science of continuous improvement with a powerful social science that focuses on people development. It is this combination that creates the opportunity for improvement to be truly continuous.

Because tacit learning is critical to deepening your continuous improvement knowledge, "Reader Challenges" are included throughout the text to encourage you to apply what you have read within the context of your own organization. This hands-on practice is necessary to understand the interrelatedness of principles, systems, and tools that are inherent in the Shingo Model.

The Shingo Institute recognizes that "the transformation from traditional philosophy and practices to organizational excellence does not occur without the courage, creativity, and persistence of everyone in the organization—from executives to managers to team members on the frontline."

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Continuous Improvement and the Shingo Institute

Back to the Basics

The Shingo Institute

The Shingo Model and the Shingo Prize

The Shingo Model Workshops

The Shingo Institute’s Book Series

Chapter 2: The Continuous Improvement Dimension

Continuous Improvement in a Nutshell

The Principles

The Supporting Concepts

Chapter 3: Seek Perfection

Business Case for Seek Perfection

Fundamental Truth

Key Supporting Concepts

Seek Perfection Is the Flywheel

Elaboration on Behavioral Benchmarks

The Supporting Concepts


Chapter 4: Embrace Scientific Thinking

Business Case for Embrace Scientific Thinking
What is a Fundamental Truth?
The Supporting Concepts
Behavioral Benchmarks and Related Context
Key Systems to Support Embrace Scientific Thinking
Tools to Support Embrace Scientific Thinking

Chapter 5: Focus on Process

Business Case for Focus on Process
Fundamental Truth
Develop Great Processes
Don’t Blame Others
Who is Responsible?
Processes Versus Operations
Process First, Then Operations
The Supporting Concepts
Behavioral Benchmarks

Chapter 6: Assure Quality at the Source

Business Case for Assure Quality at the Source

Fundamental Truth

The Supporting Concepts

Behavioral Benchmarks
Key Systems to Assure Quality at the Source

Chapter 7: Improve Flow and Pull

Business Case for Improve Flow & Pull
Fundamental Truth
The Supporting Concepts
Behavioral Benchmarks
Improve Flow
Improve Pull, Stop the Push
The Goal in Improving Flow and Pull
Flow Processing as an Alternative
Do You Really Understand Pull?
The Bottom Line on Improving Flow and Pull
The Role of Systems and Tools
Real Demand
Key Systems to Support Improving Flow & Pull

Chapter 8: Theory in Practice

Chapter 9: Improvement Systems and Behaviors

What Does Ideal Look Like?
The Shingo Behavioral Assessment Scale

Chapter 10: Where Do I Go From Here?

What Is Your Current Condition?

What Is Your Burning Platform?
What Are Your Accelerators and Inhibitors?
What Is Your Proof-of-Concept Project?
How Will You Measure and Promote?
How Will You Develop Internal Capability?
How Will You Expand the Improvement Boundary?

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Larry Anderson is a bronze, silver, and gold certified lean practitioner (AME, Shingo, SME) with more than forty years of operational excellence experience. Larry is certified as a facilitator for all Shingo Institute workshops. He has a deep understanding of Shingo Model principles and application gained through more than eighteen years of work with the model. He has conducted more than twenty assessment site visits, many as the senior examiner/team lead and has performed numerous application desktop assessments. He has also participated in the Shingo publication review process and assisted two Shingo Institute Medallion recipients. Larry earned a BSME degree from Texas Tech University, is a registered professional engineer, serves as a Shingo representative on the lean certification oversight and appeals committee, and is president of the AME Southwest region.

Dan Fleming, director of consulting services at GBMP, is a Shingo Prize recipient and a certified Shingo Institute workshop facilitator. He is Lean silver certified and brings more than thirty years of experience in operations and engineering to GBMP, including more than twenty-five years of hands-on experience learning, leading, and teaching the principles and tools of the Toyota Production Systems and continuous improvement. He was the lead developer of GBMP’s highly regarded Lean in Healthcare Certificate course, a comprehensive program that was one of the first of its kind in healthcare. Dan has been a valued speaker at regional and national conferences. Prior to becoming director of consulting services, Dan was a continuous improvement manager at GBMP for fourteen years, working with a wide range of organizations including healthcare, electronics, medical device, pharmaceutical, equipment manufacturers, food processing, machine shops, contract manufacturers, and warehouse and distribution. Dan holds a BS in electrical engineering technology from Northeastern University.


Bruce Hamilton, president of GBMP, is also a director emeritus for the Shingo Institute, a senior Prize examiner, and a certified Shingo Institute workshop facilitator. Bruce is a past recipient of the Shingo Prize in both the business and academic categories and is an inductee into the Shingo Academy (with five awards in all). In 2015, he was also inducted into the AME Manufacturing Hall of Fame. A sought-after speaker on management’s role in Lean transformation, Bruce’s clients have included Raytheon, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, OC Tanner, New Balance, as well as many smaller organizations. He is the creator of the well-known Toast Kaizen video, as well as numerous other award-winning Lean training videos including Single Patient Flow and, most recently, Improvement Kata. Bruce is co-author of e2 Continuous Improvement System, a comprehensive learn-by-doing guide for Lean transformation. He also publishes the blog, OldLeanDude, which is about understanding the Toyota Production System and gaining its full benefits, and he hosts the free monthly webinar, "Tea Time with the Toast Dude." Before joining GBMP, Bruce held management positions in marketing, IT, operations management, and general management, and, in 1990, he led his organization to a Shingo Prize. He is equally at home in administrative, operational, and healthcare environments. As an early adopter of Lean, his factory was visited by Shigeo Shingo, Shigihiro Nakamura, and Ryuji Fukuda, among others. From 1994 to 1998, he was coached by Hajime Ohba and TSSC. Bruce holds a BA and attended Bowdoin College and the University of Arizona.

Pat Wardwell is a bronze, silver, and gold certified lean practitioner (AME, Shingo, SME) with more than thirty years of operational excellence experience. She is a certified Shingo Institute workshop facilitator as well as a Shingo Prize examiner. In 2011, Pat was a co-recipient of a Shingo Prize in the research and professional publication category. She is also the co-author of e2 Continuous Improvement System, a comprehensive learn-by-doing guide for Lean transformation. Pat has served in a variety of operational and management roles, including vice president of operations at a company that was a 1990 Shingo Prize recipient. Involved with continuous improvement efforts on the shop floor and in support areas since 1987, Pat has trained and coached many companies, some of whom have received recognition through the Shingo Prize process. Pat earned a BA from the University of Maine and an MBA from Bentley University. She serves as an AME representative on the lean certification oversight and appeals committee, and is a lead examiner and Awards Council member for the AME Excellence Award and long-time AME volunteer.