1st Edition

The Lean Innovation Cycle A Multi-Disciplinary Framework for Designing Value with Lean and Human-Centered Design

By Michael Parent Copyright 2022
    210 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    210 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    210 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    Currently, businesses are forced to be more innovative than ever before. Organizations must be sensitive to global trends -- such as digitization, globalization, and automation -- and at the same time build resilience and flexibility to combat unexpected changes in customer demand. The coronavirus pandemic is just the most recent and pronounced example of this new-normal business necessity. Amidst the disruption, many businesses are caught not knowing how to proceed. How ought one pursue or achieve innovation for the company? Are there different innovation strategies? Why might a business leader choose one over the other?

    The Lean Innovation Cycle addresses these concerns by introducing a new multidisciplinary framework for both thinking about and pursing innovation. By taking key concepts from the quality management practices of Lean and Six Sigma, the framework augments these tools and disciplines by incorporating other problem-solving and design techniques, including Human-Centered Design. The result is a view of innovation that many business leaders will find fits nicely into their existing paradigm of strategy and operational discipline.

    After the introduction of the framework, the book turns to understanding the differences, advantages, and tradeoffs in pursuing Lean Innovation in lieu of traditional, technologically driven innovation approaches. To this end, the book considers issues of sustainability, organizational strategy, and competitive advantage. The result is a thought-provoking dialogue that informs the reader about the key considerations of how best to pursue innovation within their business and the business environment, as well as the circumstances that might make one innovation strategy more congruent to an organization’s culture, goals, and objectives than the other.


    Chapter 1: Lean Innovation and the Lean Innovation Cycle

    Chapter 2: Hoshin Kanri

    Chapter 3: The Gemba

    Chapter 4: Customer Driven Analysis

    Chapter 5: Ideation

    Chapter 6: Kaizen

    Chapter 7: Differences between Innovation Approaches

    Chapter 8: Sustainable Innovation

    Chapter 9: Innovation and Organizational Strategy

    Chapter 10: Innovation and Competitive Advantage


    Michael Parent is a management consultant and Managing Director of Right Brain Consulting. Throughout his career, Michael has coached executives through strategic problem solving, operational excellence, and execution and has led continuous improvement projects in a myriad of industries and disciplines such as Manufacturing, Insurance, Product Development, and Human Resources.

    Michael has written several articles that have been published in industry journals and websites. Likewise, Michael has participated as a guest and expert on podcasts such as “The Gemba Academy Podcast” and “The Lean Blog Podcast with Mark Graban”.

    Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an MBA from the College of William and Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business in Williamsburg VA. Michael is in pursuit of a Master Black Belt from Lawrence Technical University in Southfield, Michigan, and is expected to be certified in February 2021.

    Michael Parent has taken a the general logos associated with Lean and Six Sigma and transformed it into a narrative fit for the individual, with robust examples, essential take-aways, and -- above all -- sensible connections that make a disparate canon more portable, referenceable, and actionable. 

    • Dr. Ben Benson, MBB,  Founder of Coax Business Solutions, Inc


    If you want to develop and pursue successful innovation strategy for your organization, this is a must-read book. Through the application of Lean principles, sustainable value is delivered to the customers; this is the avenue to success. I recommend this book because it is a compelling presentation for delivering the greatest possible value to customers in alignment with an organization’s mission and strategy. This book carefully curates and references industry examples of successes and learnings; supporting the reader to benchmark, apply practices and translate into higher success rates across industries and business activities.

    • David D. Larsen, PSP, PMP, LSSMBB, Performance Excellence Specialist, Lee Health


    This book should be required reading for any lean practitioner who wants to expand their lean toolkit to include growth and innovation. The roadmap from the traditional lean cost savings process to lean innovation is spelled out clearly with a sprinkling of real-world examples to learn from. Lean isn’t just for manufacturing anymore. I highly recommend it.  

    • Randall Scheps, Business Unit President, Howmet Aerospace