The Kanban Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guideline for the Lean Practitioner, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Kanban Playbook

A Step-by-Step Guideline for the Lean Practitioner, 1st Edition

By Chris A. Ortiz

Productivity Press

75 pages | 65 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781498741750
pub: 2015-09-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429255151
pub: 2015-09-11
from $20.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


A scheduling system for Lean and just-in-time production, Kanban is a proven tool for reducing waste, inventory, and lead times. The implementation of Kanban, however, is a manually intensive action and conducting Kanban projects properly takes experience and direction.

Until now, there has been a need for a book with detailed step-by-step guidelines on how to properly implement Kanban. Complete with color images, The Kanban Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guideline for the Lean Practitioner fills this need.

This new book in The LEAN Playbook Series is your guide to proper Kanban implementation. It is ideal for Lean practitioners and facilitators looking for a training tool and guideline that can be used in the work area while improvements are being made.

Like a football coach, you can use this playbook for quick reference to convey what’s needed to facilitate effective Kanban projects. If for some reason you forget a "play" during the implementation, you can easily reference the playbook. You can follow page by page and use the playbook to facilitate successful Kanban projects, or you can go directly to certain topics and use it to help you implement that particular "play."

The playbook includes color images from actual Kanban implementations. In addition to the images, a combination of short paragraphs and bulleted points walk you step by step through the process of implementing Kanban to reduce waste and bring about remarkable changes in your organization.

Wasting little time on high-level theory, the book explains how to implement Kanban Card Systems, Two-Bin Systems, and In-Process Kanban (IPK).

Looking for supplemental information or Lean coaching from Chris Ortiz? Go to to receive ongoing support and advice on how to use The LEAN Playbook Series for training and implementation.

Table of Contents

Cycle Counting and Baseline


Creating a Kanban Sizing Report

Cycle Counting, Part Identification, Vendors, and On-Hand Inventory

Identification of New Inventory Quantities

Calculating New On-Hand Costs

Creating a Kanban Sizing Report

5S and New Maximum Quantities


Location Designations

Kanban Cards


Benefits of Kanban

Kanban Defined

Creating a Kanban Card System

Break Down Items into Categories

Establish Maximum Quantity: Usage Is Key

Pros and Cons of Higher Maximum Quantities

Pros and Cons of Lower Maximum Quantities

Maximum Quantity Examples

Establish the Minimum Quantity

Establish Reorder Signal or Quantity

Reorder Signal

Kanban System for Supplies

Supplies Are Delivered and Card Returned

Maintenance Kanban Cards

Two-Bin Systems and Material Handling

Two-Bin Systems

Material Handling

Communication Lights

Kanban Card or Bin Drop Point

In-Process Kanban

What Is a Pull System?

External and Internal Customers

Process Based (Push)

In-Process Kanban (Pull)

Pull System from Assembly to Paint

Items Have Location on Rack

Information and Signal

How It Works

Welding into Powder Coating

IPK into Powder Coating Department

Writable In-Process Kanban (IPK)

Saw Operation


Definition of Terms


About the Author

Chris Ortiz is the founder and president of Kaizen Assembly, a Lean manufacturing training and implementation firm in Bellingham, Washington. Kaizen Assembly’s clients include industry leaders in aerospace, composites, processing, automotive, rope-manufacturing, restoration equipment, food processing, and fish-processing industries.

Chris has been featured on CNN Headline News on the show "Inside Business with Fred Thompson." He is the author of six books on Lean manufacturing. Chris is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at conferences around North America. He has been interviewed on KGMI radio and the American Innovator and has written numerous articles on Lean manufacturing and business improvement for various regional and national publications.

Chris is considered to be an expert in the field in Lean manufacturing implementation and has over 15 years of experience in his field of expertise.

Watch Fred Thompson talk about Kaizen Assembly and Chris Ortiz on "Inside Business with Fred Thompson" at:

About the Series

The LEAN Playbook Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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