Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Review: The Work of Management



Lean transformations are challenging and many of those on the journey have struggled to get the performance gains. Sustainable improvement requires daily management approach through kaizen, A3 thinking, and hoshin planning.

Jim Lancaster, CEO of Lantech, and author of The Work of Management, tells the story of how his company initially triumphed with Lean and then stumbled badly, nearly losing its way, before finding the key to sustainable improvement in a daily management system. He’ll reveal how close observations of frontline work, experiments, and improvements, ultimately led to a new companywide system of “daily management” focused on maintaining 
processes before improving them. The system is based on overlapping daily and weekly cycles of standardized work activities performed by Lancaster and managers at every level that resolve frontline operational problems immediately. With a focus on maintaining processes before improving them, and on daily standardized work for manager throughout the company the team at Lantech improved as never before.

Jim’s story is both practical and inspiring. It's a close-up, candid look at his personal transformation as a leader. It's also a practical, in-depth, business case study of Lantech's lean transformation, relapse, and comeback that American manufacturing - and other industries - can use to profitably transform themselves.

The book outlines an 8-step action plan to create your own daily management system. There are plenty of good example of processes and visual boards to help you learn and understand the core principles. The book is well written and a must read for anyone who wants to learn how daily management really works.

As expected this book is only about the journey of Lantech from Jim’s view. It would be nice to have other examples perspectives since not all business face the same challenges. However, this does present a god example on it’s won.

I recommend this book to anyone working to improve their daily management system or trying to figure out how to sustain their gains. It’s easy to understand description with real life examples help to guide understanding of daily management. This is a great action book for anyone who wants to execute change in their company.


Disclosure: The author provided a copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.



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