Most books about continuous and process improvement are written in a textbook format with straightforward information and plenty of graphs and charts to convey the points being made. Sometimes, even the best step-by-step instructions can escape even the most adamant of followers for an improvement method in determining exactly how to apply what they’ve learned.
Taking a different approach, Focus and Leverage is presented in an engaging business-novel format and is a sequel to the authors’ bestselling book, Epiphanized, Second Edition. The primary characters remain the same, but this time the storyline features two different industries: Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) and Healthcare (hospital) environments.
This book expands and highlights the two improvement methods first introduced in the appendix section of Epiphanized: the Interference Diagram (ID)/Intermediate Objectives (IO) map (ID/IO Simplified Strategy) and Multiple-Drum-Buffer-Rope (M-DBR).
Both of these innovative methods are the result of some much-focused thinking that allows for multiple improvement methods, and steps, to be combined into a single thinking process tool. This groundbreaking new method is designed to save time and money and allows faster and better results to be achieved.
The two storylines move the reader through the necessary system analysis, problem identification, and solution implementation. The novel format aids in presenting several realistic situational discussions as well as a multitude of graphs and figures to explain the step-by-step process for success.
The storyline of this book weaves some well-known and some not-so-well-known thinking tools into the problem-solving sphere to provide you with an understanding of how to first discover and then overcome issues not readily known or expected at the start of any project.
"This book, Focus and Leverage, discusses the powerful results that can be obtained when observing and analyzing a business from a holistic, systemic point of view, and then explains how Lean-Six Sigma initiatives are substantially improved with the system focusing mechanism, provided by Theory of Constraints (TOC). … This book defines two very practical and robust applications that I consider the most powerful planning tool available today: the Interference Diagram (ID) combined with the Intermediate Objective (IO) map, or the ID/IO simplified strategy concept. … In the book, Bruce Nelson and Bob Sproull use the business situation from two seemingly different business environments, and yet illustrate the commonality between the two. First is the situation from a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, and second is the situation of a Hospital Emergency Room. Using this innovative method they show how significant leaps in business performance can be obtained in a very short period of time.
This book also introduces an interesting and innovative concept for system planning and scheduling. It is a scheduling concept that the authors refer to as M-DBR (Multiple-Drum-Buffer-Rope), which is a valid refinement of the traditional DBR proposed by TOC."
—David Poveda, M.A.Sc., CDDP Instructor; Owner & Director, FLOWING Consultoria
"Wow… what a great book and sequel to Epiphanized. A detailed, step-by-step guide to problem solving in any industry, not only covering the technical problems a company may face while running an improvement project and the mechanics of improvement, but also detailing the human and cultural changes a company will need to address when undertaking the journey to improvement. I was there… while reading the book, I felt as though you put me in the story working side by side with Conner, Sam and Joe as they took Aviation Dynamics and Saint Luke’s from near failure to success. I especially liked seeing this book written from Conner's perspective and seeing his genius come out in the story while guiding Sam, Joe and their clients to succeed in their efforts. Bottom line is that this is a great how-to book with a fantastic real life story line."
—Mark Rader, Lean Six Sigma Master Blackbelt
"Some authors write revolutionary business management books that question industry practices and propose a truly different new and convincing approach. That is true of Bruce Nelson and Bob Sproull’s books. Some books are so enticing that you are torn between finishing the book and starting to apply the ideas it presents. This is such a book. … The authors are passionate and experienced ‘changers’ or ‘improvers.’ You will sense this throughout the novel. … I have been mixing Lean, TOC, and Six Sigma together for more than 25 years. I know it works; it works well. Don’t just buy this book … read it, think about it, adapt it to your context, and try to apply at least some of it."
—Philip Marris, CEO Marris Consulting, Paris, France, Founder and Administrator of the LinkedIn "TLS—TOC, Lean & Six Sigma" Group
Preliminary Strategy Session
Aviation Dynamics—The First Visit
The Plant Tour
Aviation Dynamics—Day 2
The Hospital Visit
Aviation Dynamics—The Strategy
Becky Leaves the Hospital
MRO Strategy—Day 1
MRO Strategy—Day 2: Morning
MRO Strategy—Day 2: Afternoon
The Hospital—Preliminary Strategy
Hospital Improvement Team
Aviation Dynamics—The Return Visit
Follow-Up Meeting—Hospital Executives
MRO Scheduling Rollout
MRO Review and Training
Hospital Wait Times
Emergency Room—Wait Time Reduction
MRO—Unscheduled Maintenance Strategy