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Elyssa Pallai

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Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with Playbook's amazing clients.

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Best Books on Lean 2019

Elyssa Pallai- 02/28/19 03:35 PM

Here is our definitive list of the best books on Lean. The practices and methods discussed in these books include Lean product development, Lean project management, Agile project management, Critical Chain project management, risk management, Theory of Constraints and others. If we had to pick a favorite book though, we'd recommend you read Donald Reinertsen's, Managing the Design Factory. It will fundamentally change your approach to product development. 

Best Books on Lean 2019

Lean product development and Lean project management

  • Managing the Design Factory, by Donald G. Reinertsen 

    "Managing the Design Factory combines the powerful analytical tools of queuing, information, and system theories with the proven ideas of organization design and risk management. The result: a methodical approach to consistently hit the "sweet spot" of quality, cost, and time in developing any product..."
  • The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development, by Donald G. Reinertsen 

    "At Accuer, our business depends on helping successful product developers become even better. We need to provide real results, quickly, in lots of different areas. Because we need to stay at the leading edge, I've studied and read almost every book on lean product development; this one is better than the rest of them combined! Why? It's a unique combination of practical methods and clear explanations of the science that makes them work. If you've enjoyed Don's previous books as much as I have, you're guaranteed like this one."  --David W. Paulson, President Accuer, Inc."
  • The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries 

    "Eric shows us how to cut through the fog of uncertainty that surrounds start-ups. His approach is rigorous: His prescriptions are practical and proven in the field. The Lean Startup will change the way we think about entrepreneurship. As startup success rates improve, it could do more to boost global economic growth than any management book written in years."  --Tom Eisenmann, professor of entrepreneurship, Harvard Business School
  • Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by General Stanley McChrystal 

    "In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small."
  • The Lean Product Development Guidebook: Everything Your Design Team Needs to Improve Efficiency and Slash Time to Market, by Ronald Mascitelli

    "The Lean Product Development Guidebook describes over two dozen powerful and practical methods for slashing development waste and improving resource utilization, spanning the full spectrum from inception to successful product launch. An integrated methodology for slashing time to market is presented, based on best in class practices gathered from Toyota Motor Company and many other leading firms."

Agile project management

Theory of Constraints and Critical Chain project management

  • Goldratt's Theory of Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement, by H William Dettmer 

    "An interpretation of Elkiyahu M. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints (TOC), a system improvement philosophy focusing on logic and identifying the weakest link in an organization in order to, as the author states, "manage the living daylights" out of it. Dettmer introduces TOC, defining the concepts of categories of legitimate reservation and TOC thinking processes while illustrating current, future, transition, and prerequisite trees depicting the system."
  • Critical Chain: A Business Novel, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt 

    "Powerful yet simple techniques to solve project management's toughest problems. This book teaches companies to drastically cut project development times resulting in early completion within budget and without compromising quality or specifications."
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

    "Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors. Alex Rogo is a harried plant manager working ever more desperately to try improve performance. His factory is rapidly heading for disaster. So is his marriage. He has ninety days to save his plant - or it will be closed by corporate HQ, with hundreds of job losses. It takes a chance meeting with a professor from student days - Jonah - to help him break out of conventional ways of thinking to see what needs to be done. The story of Alex's fight to save his plant is more than compulsive reading. It contains a serious message for all managers in industry and explains the ideas, which underline the Theory of Constraints (TOC), developed by Eli Goldratt."
  • Critical Chain Project Management, Second Edition, by Lawrence P. Leach 

    "EThe Artech House bestseller Critical Chain Project Management now builds on its own success in a second edition packed with fresh, field-tested insights on how to plan, lead, and complete projects with unprecedented efficiency. It provides project managers with expanded coverage on critical chain planning, multiple project selection and management, critical change project networks, new Agile and Lean techniques related to critical chain project management (CCPM), and effective strategies for bringing about the organizational change required to succeed with this breakthrough method. "
  • Thinking for a Change: Putting the TOC Thinking Processes to Use (The CRC Press Series on Constraints Management), by Lisa J. Scheinkopf

    "This book can be used as a field guide to learning the five thinking process application tools as needed, based on their own particular issues. You will have a full understanding of the theory and practical application of these powerful processes, including when and when not to use each tool. The total benefit is not just to apply the thinking process, but to develop intuition and have the ability to combine logic and intuition in the same thinking process."

Risk Management

Value Stream Mapping

  • Value Stream Mapping for Lean Development: A How-To Guide for Streamlining Time to Market, by Drew Locher 

    "Written by one of the world’s most respected consultants on Lean, this work presents a methodology for value stream mapping that is appropriate for any organization, whether it be service or product oriented. Over the past 25 years, Locher has proven just how powerful this process is, having employed it in healthcare, transportation, distribution, education, financial services, and manufacturing environments. Illustrating his methodology through the example of the imaginary DevelopTek company, he explains how to:

    - Identify development waste
    - Assess an organization’s current state and develop a Current State Map
    - Apply Lean principles to create a Future State Map"