1st Edition

Far from the Factory Lean for the Information Age

    325 Pages 95 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    326 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    If you currently employ knowledge workers who do most of their work on computers or with computers, access the Internet, utilize internal and external databases, use e-mail or other new messaging technology, then this book is for you. Quite simply, this handbook is for any organization with a lot of Web DNA that wishes to cut costs, improve performance, and stay perpetually competitive. It is for change agents or managers within those organizations who work with information and want to leverage the latest crop of tool sets to deliver on the promise of Lean for the modern, information-rich office.

    … packed with new ideas … breaks new ground in so many directions … .
    — John Bicheno, Director, Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff Business School

    … excellent … on several levels … … teaches us how to visualize the depth of hidden wastes in our complex information flows and the large opportunity for improvement that this suggests.
    — Keith Russell, PhD, Global Continuous Improvement Leader R&D, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

    Very interesting view on operational excellence, helpful to readers without a background in this area of expertise.
    — Bert Nordberg, President and CEO. Sony Ericsson

    Congratulations to all the readers holding this book! ... These Lean ideas must be an integral part of the daily operations of your business. I am going to get each and every one of my management team a copy of this brilliant book at the start for our own Lean journey.
    — Lennart Käll, CEO, Wasa Kredit

    It’s one thing to develop a concept. It’s another to make it sing. This is the hymnal.
    — Dr. Don V. Steward, CEO Problematics, Professor Emeritus, Sacramento State University, inventor of DSM

     … a must read for CIOs everywhere."
    — Julian Amey, Principal Fellow, Warwick University

    1 What Is Knowledge Worker Lean?
    The Role of Lean in the Invisible Office
    Lean and Web 2.0
    Increase Productivity: What You Can Learn from Bricklayers about Lean ImprovementThe Impact of Company Size and the Shift to Knowledge Worker LeanContinuous Improvement: Theory Y, Generation X, and Info Pullers
    How to Implement Lean in the Information Age
    How to Adapt Lean Methodology to Different Environments
    It Came from the Factory: The Origins of Lean
    From Factory Lean to Information Age Lean
       Visualizing Waste: The Factory Process
       Seven Types of Lean Factory Waste
    Paper Office Lean
       Environmental Waste Enablers
       Prosaic Information Wastes
       Information Environment Waste
       Administrative WastesAdministrative Drivers of Waste
       Case Study: Applying Lean to Administrative Support Processes
       Communication and Transportation: Spaghetti Diagrams
       The Sad Fax Facts
    Information Age Lean
    Visible Waste: The Parts We Can See
       Software Waste
       Software Expense
    Invisible Waste: The Parts We Can’t See
    3 The Perfect Information Storm
    The Evolution of Information Systems and the Impact on Lean
    The Recent Past: The Dim Days before the Web
       The Early Days: Longhand–Wang–Printer–Fax
         Case Study: Pre-Lean Communication
       How Information Circuits Create Waste
         Case Study: The Travel Authorization Process
    The Present: The Dawn of the Web
       Information: The Dark Matter of Business Process Analysis
    The Future: What Will Web 2.0 Bring?
       Day-to-Day Collaboration Tools
       Lean Communication Tools: Video and Desktop ConferencingMicroblogging 
       Screencasting and Recording
       Brainstorming and Design Collaboration
       Kaizen Sessions of the Future
    4 The Great Modern Office Wasteland
    The Waste of E-Mail
       Case Study: When Words Are Not Enough
    The Waste of Excess Complexity and Process 
       Case Study: Complexity and Process
       Defining the Process in Information-Intensive Work
    The Waste of Reporting
       Case Study: The Kremlin Effect
       The Green … Green … Red Phenomenon
    The Waste of Multitasking
       Case Study: Theory of Constraints
       Multitasking: The Switching Penalty
       Multitasking: The Lean Waste Penalty
       Multitasking: The Project Penalty
       Multitasking: The Performance Measurement Penalty
         Case Study: Measuring a Process
       Multitasking: The Command and Control Penalty
    The Waste of Time
       Direct Productivity
       Time Management
       Activity Visibility
       Four-Step Program to Eliminate Wasted Time
    The Waste of High Utilization
       SMED and SMEW for the Information Age Office
       Overly High Utilization
    The Waste of Parallel Project Management
    5 The I in CIO: Information Transformation
    IT Tool Selection and Approval
    Automatic Process Discovery
       The As-Is Phase That Never Was: Why the Process Often Fails
       How Automatic Process Discovery Can Increase the Success Rate
    High-Level Design Principles for Information Lean
       Case History: The Boss and the Rock
       Case Study: The Spiral Model
       Case Study: Waterfall Requirements
       Lessons Learned
    Knowledge Management
    Lean Code Management: Lean by IT for IT
       Business Model Wastes
       Development Wastes

    6 How to Launch Your Lean Journey
    Alternate Routes to the Lean Roadmap
       The Benchmarking and Best Practice Adoption Hop
       The Business Process Reengineering Leap
       The Statistical Process Control and Six Sigma Turn
       Case Study: Higher Quality, Lower Cost
    Creating the Lean Roadmap
    Preparing the Road for Knowledge Worker Lean
    Selling Your Organization on Going Lean
       Argument 1: The Good Idea
       Argument 2: The Consensus Approach
       Argument 3: The Expert Opinion
       Argument 4: The Analysis
    7 Model Information Flow: The Information Element and the Information Matrix
    The Difference between Information Flow and Process Flow
       The Impact of Modern Communications on Product Development
    High-Level Process Design and Its Implications for Information Flow
    How to Represent Information Flow: The Matrix
       Sequential Flow
       Parallel Flow
       Circuit Flow
       Multicircuit Flow
    How to Read the Information Matrix
       The Uses and Benefits of Infel Design
       Situational Visibility
       Task Resequencing
       Cost Reduction through Task Elimination or Exporting
       Identification of Independent Tasks
       Reduction of Rework
       Simulation Friendly
       Earned Value Analysis
       Organizational Design
    Using the Information Flow Matrix to Identify Lean Wastes
       Infels and Therbligs
    8 How to Implement Knowledge Worker Lean
       Lean Methodology: A Snapshot
       Information Matrix
    Process Improvement Maturity Model
       States of Maturity: Where We Are Now
    Practical Applications of the Lean Toolset
    Starting Off on Your Lean Journey: Your Charter, Your Customer, and Your Plan
       Lean Team Formation
       Team Process
       Risk Management Techniques
    Fact Finding and Discovery
       How to Retrieve Low-Level Process Performance Data
    Early Change Management
    Doing the Analysis: Developing an Understanding of the Process
       Measuring Performance via Cumulative Flow
       Discovering Root Cause through Aggregate Data
    Creating and Working with the Information Matrix View
    Kaizen Phase 1
    Kaizen Phase 2
       Selecting Kaizen Phase 2 Ideas
       Implementing Kaizen Phase 2 Ideas
    Special Cases: Variable Dependencies, the Desire Path Approach, and Decision Bottlenecks
       Variable Dependency
       The Desire Path
       Decision Bottlenecks
    9 How to Sustain Knowledge Worker Lean
    Overview of 5S
       Case Study
    Sustaining Information Age Lean Using a Visual Management System
       Short-Range Management
       Long-Range Management
    The Mechanics of a Visual Management System
       Approach 1: Excel and SharePoint
       Approach 2: Intranet Status Board
       Approach 3: Customized-off-the-Shelf (COTS)
    The Lean Journal
    10 Change Management: Practical Lessons from Monks, Generals, and Fashion Models
    Three Ways to Lead Lean
    The Rules of Success: People, People, People
       Performance Management
       Process Tip: Use the Socratic Approach
       Change Management: The Soft Part Is the Hard Part
       Case Study: The Reengineer, His Mother, and the Coffee
       Information Lean Is A Man-Machine System
    Overcoming Resistance to Lean
       Nonlinear Risk Aversion
       Case Study: Nonlinear Risk Aversion
    Turning Your Lean Project into a Lean Culture: Measuring Performance 57
       Don’t Rely on the 100th Monkey: Planning for Lean
       The PDCA Cycle
    11 Knowledge Worker Lean: The Takeaway
    Challenge 1: Getting Up and Getting Going
       Step 1: Meet the Boss; Obtain Buy-in 
       Step 2: Meet the Process Owner; Assess Commitment
       Step 3: Get a Feel for the Process and the People
       The Takeaway: How to Begin
       What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 2: Creating a Lean Team
       Preparing Your Team
       The Takeaway: How to Build a Lean Team
       What Can Go Wrong Challenge
    3: How to See What You See; Fact Finding
       Searching for Clues Indicating Waste
       The Takeaway: Dig Deep
       What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 4: How to Build the Lean Case; Doing the Analysis
       Breaking the News: How to Report Your Findings
       The Takeaway: If You Build It, They Will Come Around
       What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 5: How to Evaluate Information Flow
       Reporting Your Findings
       The Takeaway: How to Get Your Message Across
       What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 6: Turning Lean Ideas into Results
       How to Create a Plan
         The Takeaway: Moving Forward
         What Can Go Wrong
       Start with the Quick Win: Low Hanging Opportunities
         What Can Go Wrong
       Scoping and Prioritizing Projects
         What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 7: Sustaining Lean; Communications and Collaboration
       During the Lean Discovery Phase: Team Talk
       The Takeaway: Fundamentals of Early Success
       During the Sustain Phase: Ongoing Communication
       The Takeaway: Use Your Web Site to Sustain Lean Culture
       What Can Go Wrong
    Challenge 8: Sustaining Lean; Policies, Procedures, and Metrics
       Sustaining Lean with Visual Management Systems
       The Takeaway: Use Policies, Procedures, and Metrics to Sustain Lean
       What Can Go Wrong


    Linus Larsson, George Gonzalez-Rivas

    This is one of the best books I’ve seen on Lean for knowledge and project workers. Most books on Lean implicitly focus on repetitive processes—doing the same thing over and over—whereas this book recognizes many of the challenges of understanding and improving a process that might only occur the same way once. This book will certainly help project workers eliminate the waste from their process improvement efforts.
    —Tyson R. Browning, Associate Professor of Operations Management, Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University

    ... a must read. Filled with examples, diagrams, and other tips for success, the authors have captured the power of process and updated it for a global, diverse, and technology driven economy. It’s a great learning tool that takes you from the origins of Lean and brings it into modern day applications.
    —Lisa W. Hershman, CEO, Hammer and Co., co-author of Faster, Cheaper, Better: The 9 Levers for Transforming How Work Gets Done.

    Wow! What a book! Welcome to the new age of Lean! This is a long overdue book of the impact of web 2 on Lean thinking. As I said when I received this book for the publisher, 'This book is packed with new ideas, and breaks new ground in so many directions, for a traditional Lean thinker like me! I have been continually surprised, amazed, and delighted at your many new insights. It truly breaks new ground in areas as IT, knowledge management, project management, office lean, and more that have been very much under-thought-out in transferring thinking from the factory to the office.' ... Even if you are skepticalor a 'traditional' Lean thinker you will enjoy the many entertaining observations and sideline comments. My Lean 'Book of the Year'. Easily.
    — John Bicheno, Director MSc in Lean Operations at Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff Business School, in the Lean Management Journal, October 2010

    ...an excellent book that I experienced and enjoyed reading on several levels. It is very useful - filled with good practical advice and tools adapted and designed to suit Business improvement in information-oriented areas such as Research & Development. I look forward to experimenting with some of the novel approaches described. It is thought provoking - rich in new ideas and concepts bringing together classical Lean principles with the tools and capabilities of a modern Web 2.0 environment. It teaches us how to visualize the depth of hidden wastes in our complex information flows and the large opportunity for improvement that this suggests. Finally it was fun to read a book that so creatively integrates and weaves together such a diversity of ideas and approaches and instructive stories into a much needed fresh adaption of Lean for knowledge workers.... just like me and everyone I work with in Research & Development.
    — Keith Russell PhD, Global Continuous Improvement Leader R&D, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

    Very interesting view on operational excellence, helpful to readers without a background in the area of expertise.
    — Bert Nordberg, President & CEO of Sony Ericsson

    Do you have access to better web-based productivity tools at home than you do at the office? Is your corporate email inbox polluted with well-meaning but productivity-draining administrative emails? Is corporate IT a help or a hindrance to serving your customers? Do your internal projects spend more time competing for resources and attention than serving the organization? If any of these apply to you, then you must read this book! Far from the factory: Lean for the Information Age is a lively and fascinating read containing several lifetimes of wisdom, experience, and insights. This book is a must-read for today's knowledge worker, IT manager, project manager, Lean neophyte, or Lean guru. It is filled with thought-provoking and entertaining anecdotes, illustrations, and tips that highlight the problem of waste in information-intensive processes. The book is filled with many practical tools and ideas from the Lean Body of Knowledge and expertly outlines how they can be put to use in driving out waste and improving information flow. While earlier texts have done a good job of explaining how Lean techniques can be adapted from shop floor to office floor, this book is the first to truly make the leap to the knowledge-intensive, email-filled, and utterly chaotic Information Age.
    — Tim McLaren, MBA, PhD Assoc. Professor of IT and Supply Chain Management, Ryerson University and Project Leader, Korva Consulting Ltd.

    It’s one thing to develop a concept. It’s another to make it sing. This is the hymnal.
    — Dr. Don V. Steward, CEO Problematics, Professor Emeritus Sacramento State University, inventor of DSM.

    A very inspiring and thoughtful reading for me as a knowledge worker. It is addressing the lean principles for the Web 2.0 in a quest for higher value efficiency of our time, in a work context of overflow of email, RSS, Facebook etc. It is describing among others a Lean process in 5 steps for the Knowledge worker, as well as describing how to get to a Lean Culture and Lean time metrics.
    — Leif Edvinsson The world´s First Director of Intellectual Capital The World´s First Professor of Intellectual Capital

    Congratulations to all the readers holding this book! It is not only well written and entertaining, it confirms some of my own experiences as well as offering important new insights that give you, the reader, many new ideas to consider to drive success in your business. These Lean ideas must be an integral part of the daily operations of your business. I am going to get each and every one of my management team a copy of this brilliant book at the start for our own Lean journey.
    — Lennart Käll, CEO Wasa Kredit. Former CEO of Ticket Travel Group, ICA Bank and SEB Finans.

    I really enjoyed reading Far from the Factory: Lean for the Information Age. This is a book that I did not even know we needed, but we do. The book addresses the needs of modern companies in a way that no other Lean handbook does. It takes a fresh attempt to ineffective office practices that has evolved in most companies and it suggests methods, tools and inspirations to tackle the challenges. Thevbook gives a good mix of proven lean thinking and modern tools like collaboration software etc. to help restore your competitiveness.
    — Gert Moelgaard, VP, Innovation & Business Development, NNE Pharmaplan

    Applying Lean to the office has long been the missing link for consultants and practitioners alike. This book fills that void with well thought out, coherent and provocative prescriptions. In an environment full of armchair Lean experts who peddle dubious wisdom, this book is a bright light, showing how good thinking can advance best practices.
    — Jorge A. Colazo Professor of Operations Management at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina Former Toyota Production and Maintenance Manager Founder and CEO - Lean Specialists - Consultants in Process Improvement

    This is a beautiful book knitting together the concepts of Lean for the white collar knowledge worker to a practical guide of how to really get the benefits out of your Lean-project. The authors has proved a very deep understanding of how to make a difference In applying the Lean philosophy in the information age and also the importance to involve all parts of the organization on the change journey. I certainly recommend all my CIO colleagues to read the book.
    — Ulf Tingström, former CIO for several financial institutions in Nordic, Skandia/Old Mutual and SBAB

    We have used Value Stream Mapping as the primary tool for making process improvements in the office, but the business of applying lean thinking in this environment is relatively new. I find it encouraging to see that the authors have developed additional tools and methods and are leveraging new applications that can be used to identify and eliminate waste for the purpose of improving process performance.
    — Lou Farinola - Manufacturing Engineering Director - Global Industrial Engineering and GM Global Manufacturing System

    George Gonzalez-Rivas and Linus Larsson describe the challenge of working in the knowledge economy: knowledge workers wrestling with data and information overload, offices and projects working in traditional ways and failing to keep pace with the information revolution; IT departments lagging behind the shift to a Web 2.0 world. Far from the Factory: Lean for the Information Age provides timely insight into how Lean can be applied in the knowledge environment. Practical tools and approaches are given that take Lean out of its traditional manufacturing setting and apply it the Knowledge world. Excellent guidance for leaders and workers in office and project environments, and a 'must read' for CIOs everywhere.
    — Julian Amey, Principal Fellow Warwick University, former Vice President Global Supply Chain at AstraZeneca