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The Lean Toolbox for Service Systems

John Bicheno

Publisher: PICSIE, 2008 , 294 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9541244-4-1

Keywords: Operations, Lean


Toggle Synopsis

'Service' is an exloding area for Lean concepts. Service here means not only office support systems for lean manufacturing, but also the full spectrum of activities from transactional office systems through customer intensive systems such as hotels and on to government and professional service systems such as a solicitor's practice.

The Lean Toolbox for Service Systems is the first book that attempts to assemble a comprehensive set of tools for Lean service and administration.

The book is written in the same direct, down-to-earth style that has made Hohn Bicheno's books amongst the biggest selling books in the UK on Lean topics.

This book is a result of several years' work in Lean Service at the Lean Enterprise Research Centrem Cardiff Business School, and the service management programme at the University of Buckingham. It also builds upon the best-selling and general text on Lean — The New Lean Toolbox, but of course takes a service viewpoint. All material in the book has been 'field tested' by exposure to service professionals and executive programmes.

Attention is given to general Lean service concepts and frameworks, to mapping and understanding different types of service system, and to a range of tools that have been found to be useful in a variety of service environments.

Initial reaction ot the draft version of the book drew favourable comment from several countries and the book is already being translated and adapted for them.

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  • About Lean Service and the Toolbox
  • Part 1: Lean in Service
    • What is Lean?
    • Thoughts on Customers and Lean
    • Seddon's Six Stages of 'Check'
    • Systems Thinking
    • Five Lean Principles, Lean Solutions, and Systems Questions
    • Value
    • Waste (Muda)
    • Ohno's Seven Wastes
    • The New Wastes
    • Seven Service Customer Wastes
    • Fourteen Office Wastes
    • Variability
    • Gemba and Learning to See
    • The Four Toyota Rules applied to Service
    • We are all Beginners at Lean Service
    • Concepts of Lean Service
  • Part 2: Service Mapping
    • A Service Mapping Framework
    • Overview of the Lean Service Approach
    • Level 1: System Considerations and Macro Maps
    • Level 2: Process Maps
    • Level 2: Interactive Mapping
    • Level 2: Custom Process Mapping
    • Level 2: System Design Mapping
    • Level 3: Detailed Mapping
  • Part 3: Tools for Lean Service
    • 5S
    • Total Productive Administration, OEE, and OPE
    • Inventory (and Information Inventory) in Services
    • A Framework for Lean Service Quality
    • Kaizen and Knowledge Management
    • Kaizen Events
    • Standard Work and Standard Operating Procedures in Service
    • Control Charts for Service
    • The Opportunity Box and Traction Box
    • A3 Problem Solving and Reports
    • Variation, Queues, and Perishability of Service
    • Capacity Management in Service
    • Heijunka in the Office
    • Layout, Spaghetti Diagrams, Touches
    • The Kano Model
    • Loyalty and Retention
    • Activity Sampling
    • Communications Board
    • The RATER Dimensions and Service Gaps
    • Mapping the Flow of Customer Feedback and Complaints
    • Goldratt Analysis: The Evaporating Cloud and Current Reality Tree
    • Policy Deployment


The Lean Toolbox for Service Systems

by Roland Buresund last modified 2010-02-17 00:16

Rating: ******* (Good)

A try to adapt the Lean concepts to Services. To date, it is supposed to be one of the best adaptions, but it more reads like a collection of tools that may or may not be used in Services. The authors insistence on always refering to Strickland and the systems view, warms an old MBA-students heart :-). In fact, he manages to refer to a lot of authors that I like and thereby make me investigate more closely what is "Lean" in this concept (services). Unfortunately, it is an imperfect match, but that doesn't mean that a lot of the tools and checklists the author describes can't be used, on the contrary!

The approaches that are descibed in the book can be used, with slight alterations, by most service companies, but to call it Lean, is a bit of a misnomer (even though the classical Lean concepts, like S5, A3, Kaizen, etc., are in there).

All in all, a worthwhile book to have handy, but not something you read from cover to cover.

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