Strategos Logo Strategos Site Search

Strategos Book Reviews

Quarterman Lee's Favorites 

Quarterman Lee Photo

Some of these books are outside the usual Lean Manufacturing literature. They often give unique insight or contribute to fundamental theory. Some delve into the history and personalities and thus help us understand the present situation or conventional wisdom. All are works that I have read, sometimes over and over.  I hope you find them as interesting as I have.      --Quarterman Lee

Click On Frames Below For Commentary


Facility Planning and Layout

Lean Book Reviews-Facilities & Workplace Design

Facilities & Workplace Design

Lee /Amundsen /Nelson /Tuttle

Download from Strategos

Facilities & Workplace Design

Q. Lee, A. Amundsen, W. Nelson & H. Tuttle

Lean Book Reviews-Facilities & Workplace Design

Contains important chapters on Site Planning and the design of Workcells. A must-have before re-arranging your factory.--QL

Selected by New Equipment Digest magazine as one of 1998's Best.

Usually a book written by consultants keeps some of the most important aspects of the technique on which they are writing or do not give all the information. This is not the case with this book. Mr. Lee just put everything he knows about facilities design in this book in a way that can be easily followed by any one interested in doing facilities and workplace design. Areas for improvement relate to the quality of some charts that I found a little difficult to read. If you are looking for a "how to do it" in a simple and straightforward way, without any unnecessary material, you need this book. --Migdoel Rodriguez

Lean Book Reviews--Warehouse Modernization

Warehouse Modernization & Layout Planning NAVSUP Pub 529

Sims Consulting Group

Download from Strategos

Warehouse Modernization and Layout Planning Guide NAVSUP Publication 529

Sims Consulting Group

Lean Book Reviews--Warehouse Modernization

This massive sourcebook for warehouse design is packed with over 700 pages of illustrations, procedures and design data. It explains how to analyze, select, design and evaluate warehouse operations, plans and equipment. It contains detailed procedure for analysis of inventory and transaction activity and how to use this analysis for equipment selection.

NAVSUP 529 was prepared by The Sims Consulting Group, a Strategos- International affiliate. It has become the de facto standard for all DoD warehouses. The cost and other data is surprisingly accurate even though several years old.

Lean Book Reviews--Handbook of Facilities

Handbook of Commercial & Industrial Facilities

Q. Lee & W. Wrennall

Amazon Logo

Handbook of Commercial and Industrial Facilities Management

Quarterman Lee & William Wrennall

Lean Book Reviews--Handbook of Facilities

A company's facilities are often its largest single investment and a key to the effectiveness of its operations.

This book is a complete reference for those who design and manage factory buildings, office complexes, hospitals, and other commercial and industrial facilities. Engineers, architects, and building managers will use it for information on various aspects of designing, evaluating, and selecting facilities plans. They will learn about the latest strategies for managing different types of projects, and get solutions to a wide range of problems, such as leasing, contracts, regulatory matters, construction, and maintenance.

Lean Book Reviews--Manufacturing Plant Layout

Manufacturing Plant Layout

Edward J. Phillips

amazon buy book

Manufacturing Plant Layout: Fundamentals & Fine Points of Optimum Facility Design

Edward J. Phillips

Lean Book Reviews--Manufacturing Plant Layout

A step-by-step guide to planning new factories and plant rearrangements by Strategos-International affiliate Ed Phillips. This book has analytical methods for space, activity-pair relationships, materials handling, and alternative layouts. It weaves together layout, cells, JIT, demand-flow and TOC in addition to traditional job shop and line operations.


Accounting and Metrics

Relevance Lost-- A History of Management Accounting

Robert Johnson/Robert Kaplan

amazon buy book

Relevance Lost-- a History of Management Accounting

H. Robert Johnson & Robert S. Kaplan

 

Lean Book Reviews--Relevance Lost

Describes the evolution of accounting in American business, from the early textile mills to present-day computer-automated manufacturers. "Understanding the reasons behind the obsolescence of existing systems should provide improved rationale for organizational change." Johnson and Kaplan argue that outdated accounting undermines American manufacturers' competitiveness. Many accounting systems report highly inaccurate product costs and provide misleading targets for productivity and efficiency efforts.

Lean Book Reviews--Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard

Robert Kaplan/David Norton

Amazon Logo

The Balanced Scorecard

Robert S. Kaplan & David P. Norton

Balanced Scorecard

Running a business for the long term requires more than financial metrics. The Balanced Scorecard shows how to link metrics and strategy. It provides a system for investing in customers, employees, new product development, and in systems-rather than pumping up short-term earnings.

Lean Book Reviews--Performance Measurement

Performance Measurement For World Class Manufacturing

Brian H. Maskell

Amazon Logo

Performance Measurement For World Class Manufacturing

Brian H. Maskell

Lean Book Reviews--Performance Measurement

Metrics and measurements are important both as gauges to measure progress and as motivators. People respond to the way they are measured. This book has a good balance of theory and practice with many charts and examples. Chapter 9 on measuring social issues is especially good. -QL


Manufacturing Strategy

Lean Book Reviews--Competing Against Time

Competing Against Time

George Stalk & Thomas M. Hoyt

Amazon Logo

Competing Against Time

George Stalk & Thomas M. Hoyt

Lean Book Reviews--Competing Against Time

This is the FedEx Bible. Absolutely, positively the best piece of work that relates system dynamics to business success. 

  • Stalk and Hout argue that time is the underlying factor of competitive success.
  • Faster product development brings more new products to market ahead of competitors.
  • Faster fulfillment is a direct competitive advantage in most markets.
  • Faster production increases efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Faster administrative processes reduce overhead and costs. Saving time throughout the business increases system stability. -QL
Lean Book Reviews--Restoring Our Competititve Edge

Restoring Our Competitive Edge

Robert Hayes & Stephen C. Wheelwright

Amazon Logo

Restoring Our Competitive Edge

Robert Hayes & Stephen C. Wheelwright

Restoring Our Competitive Edge

Topics include: Manufacturing Strategy, Experience Curves, Manufacturing Focus, and Capacity Strategy.

While this book is a bit dated (1980) it is still an excellent source for Manufacturing Strategy. It is especially good for large multi-site companies. It includes an interesting chapter on German and Japanese approaches to manufacturing. -QL

Lean Book Reviews--Manufacturing Strategy

Manufacturing Strategy

Terry Hill

Manufacturing Strategy

Terry Hill

Manufacturing Strategy

One of the three or four best books on Manufacturing Strategy. How to develop your Manufacturing Strategy  from fundamentals rather than formulae. Hill discovered the mechanism that links manufacturing and marketing strategy: Order-winning criteria. Includes fascinating case studies that bring the subject to life. -QL

Manufacturing: the Formidable Competitive Weapon

Wickham Skinner

Amazon Logo

Manufacturing: The formidable Competitive Weapon

Wickham Skinner

Manufacturing Strategy

Wickham Skinner relates some history of manufacturing from the Manufacturing Strategy perspective and outlines the way forward. In this important book the author discusses focused factories and provides the broad outlines that eventually become the discipline of Manufacturing Strategy. A must-read for top manufacturing managers.


The Human Side

Power & Influence

John P. Kotter

Amazon Logo

Power & Influence

John P. Kotter

Power & Influence

Excellent book on how individuals can function effectively in today's fluid, informal organizations. Well written and very readable.--QL

Influence Without Authority

Influence Without Authority

Allan R. Cohen & David L. Bradford

Amazon Logo

Influence Without Authority

Allan R. Cohen & David L. Bradford

Influence Without Authority

This is an individual's guide to effectiveness in modern organizations which require cooperation across lines of authority. Most of us have known people at mid-levels in organizations who have influence that goes far beyond their official position. Cohen and Bradford explain how to build relationships and have a positive effect in your organization.--QL

Decoding The DNA of Toyota

Decoding The DNA of The Toyota Production System

Steven Spear & H. Kent Bowen

Amazon Logo

Decoding The DNA of The Toyota Production System

Steven Spear & H. Kent Bowen

Decoding The DNA of Toyota

How does Toyota stay on top year after year and decade after decade? This Harvard Business Review reprint compares corporate culture to the DNA of living organisms. The emphasis is on Toyota Motor Company. -QL

Lean Book Reviews--Kaizen The Art of Creative Thinking

Kaizen & The Art of Creative Thinking

Shigeo Shingo

Buy from Enna

Kaizen & The Art of Creative Thinking

Shigeo Shingo

Lean Book Reviews--Kaizen The Art of Creative Thinking

Problem solving--It seems pretty basic. After all, that is what engineers and managers are supposed to do. Yet, most of us are pretty poor at it as individuals and even worse in group settings. Our thinking is haphazard, we rarely use the available tools and our minds return to minor variations of the familiar. In this book, Shingo explores thinking, problem solving and creativity at a fundamental level. He has the Japanese gift for obsessing on a simple concept until it is understood completely. This contrasts with the usual Western approach of snatching a simple concept and complexifying it beyond all comprehension. The translation and editing is superb.


General Lean

Lean Book Reviews--The Goal

The Goal

Eliyahu Goldratt

Amazon Logo

The Goal

Eliyahu Goldratt

Lean Book Reviews--The Goal

Written as a novel this book will not overshadow Ernest Hemingway's reputation but it is good. Beware of imagining that you know everything

A "must read" for any manufacturing manager. Goldratt takes some sound concepts from queuing theory and presents them in unique ways.

important after reading it. The Theory of Constraints is not manufacturing strategy but is sound, necessary, underlying knowledge. --QL

Lean Book Reviews--Lean Thinking

Lean Thinking

James womack & Daniel Jones

Amazon Logo

Lean Thinking

James womack & Daniel Jones

Lean Book Reviews--Lean Thinking

Excellent management-level introduction to Lean Manufacturing and Lean operations. The explanations are simple, sensible and straightforward. It includes case histories from a variety of firms in the US, Germany and Japan.  -QL

Lean Book Reviews--Zero Inventories

Zero Inventories

Robert W. Hall

Amazon Logo

Zero Inventories

Robert W. Hall

Lean Book Reviews--Zero Inventories

The most readable and complete documentation of Toyota and Japanese manufacturing from the 1980's.

Excellent chapters on setup reduction, Kanban, MRP and production control. Also includes early examples from US manufacturers. -QL


Lean Manufacturing History

Ford The Men & The Machines

Ford the Men & The Machines

Robert Lacey

Amazon Logo

Ford the Men & The Machines

Robert Lacey

Ford The Men & The Machines

Excellent history of the Ford Motor Company and the Ford family through 1985. This book gives perspective to Bill Ford's current struggle to once again transform the company.

Includes Ford's early failures, triumph of the Model T, Edsel's struggle with his father, Sorensen's success at Willow Run and Henry Ford II's rebuilding after WWII.  -QL

Lean Book Reviews--My Life & Work

"My Life & Work" &

"Today & Tomorrow"

Henry Ford & S. Crowther

Amazon Logo

My Life & Work

Today & Tomorrow

Henry Ford with Samuel Crowther

Lean Book Reviews--My Life & WorkMany consider Henry Ford the originator of

Lean Manufacturing. In these two wide-ranging books, Ford discusses manufacturing, business, and other philosophy.

The books are surprisingly well-written thanks to Ford's ghost writer, Samuel Crowther. The manufacturing parts are profound and prophetic. Take the other parts of Mr. Ford's philosophy with a grain of salt.  -QL

Lean Book Reviews--The People's Tycoon

The People's Tycoon

Steven Watts

Amazon Logo

The People's Tycoon

Steven Watts

Lean Book Reviews--The People's Tycoon

A former boss of mine from the mid-1960's had known Henry Ford quite well. He said "The old man wasn't crazy, he just had a damn lousy personality." 

Steven Watts explores, in this book, the many sides of Henry Ford that most of the other works have missed about this complex and eccentric man, his personality, motivations and early life.

There is little in this book about manufacturing or Ford's ideas on manufacturing. It is, however, a great read for those who are mystified by some of his stranger behaviors. -QL

Lean Book Reviews--Willow Run

Willow Run: Colossus of American Industry

Warren B. Kidder

Amazon Logo

Willow Run: Colossus of American Industry

Warren B. Kidder

Lean Book Reviews--Willow Run

By late 1944 the Willow Run Bomber Plant was producing more than 20 B-24 aircraft per day.  Read about the remarkable industrial achievement of Charles E. Sorensen and the people of Ford Motor Company. Pictures, drawings and plant layout. Just In Time Production on a fantastic scale! --QL


Systems Thinking

Lean Book Reviews--The Fifth Discipline

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook

Peter Senge

amazon

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook

Peter Senge

Lean Book Reviews--The Fifth Discipline

Senge presents Systems Thinking and Learning Organizations in a practical format. This book is filled with examples, exercises and discussion on how to use The Fifth Discipline. Highly recommended -QL

Business Dynamics

Business Dynamics

John D. Sterman

Amazon Logo

Business dynamics

John D. Sterman

Business Dynamics

How are innovative products like plagues? Why do new highways fail to ease traffic congestion? Why is linear growth an illusion? The answers to these and many other questions are in this remarkable book.

Though intimidating at first, if only because of its size, Sterman's book is readable and does not require higher math. He explains the behavior of complex business and other Socio-Technical systems clearly, explicitly and briefly.--QL

Factory PhysicsFactory Physics

Wallace Hopp & Mark Spearman

Amazon Logo

Factory Physics

Wallace Hopp & Mark Spearman

Factory Physics

The Japanese inventors of Lean Manufacturing were pragmatists. They did not seem to understand, or at least, could not explain why the system worked from a fundamental level. Hopp and Spear offer those explanations.

From the fundamental laws and sciences of physics, systems and queuing theory, they take a quantitative and rigorous approach to factory systems. This book offers many insights. It can be read at a descriptive level or the reader can delve into the detailed math. --QL

ChaosChaos- Making A New Science

James Gleick

Amazon Logo

Chaos- Making A New Science

James Gleick

Chaos

Probably the best layman's introduction to the science of Chaos. Topics include dynamical systems and fractals. Includes history and personalities prominent in the field, fascinating images. Manufacturing systems are highly subject to chaotic effects and knowledge of their behavior is important to manufacturing managers and strategists. -QL


Logistics and Supply Chain

Lean Book Reviews--Lean Logistics

Lean Logistics

Michel Baudin

Amazon Logo

Lean Logistics

Michel Baudin

Lean Book Reviews--Lean Logistics

Michel Baudin has written a very complete but very readable book on Lean Logistics and suppliers.

Perhaps the most important part of this book is Part V where he discusses business relationships, an oft neglected part of the Lean Supplier equation. There is far more to the business of Lean Logistics than many have imagined. 

Improving The Extended Value Stream

Improving the Extended Value Stream

Darren Dolcemascolo

Amazon Logo

Improving the Extended Value Stream

Darren Dolcemascolo

Improving The Extended Value Stream

Darren Dolcemascolo presents a step-by-step plan for extending lean manufacturing across the entire supply chain. He makes the case for improving the extended value stream by demonstrating the benefits: increased profitability, reduced lead times and inventory, and better quality. Well written and complete.


Cellular Mfg., Workcells and Workstations

Handbook of Cellular Systems

Handbook of Cellular Manufacturing Systems

Sharukh Irani

Amazon Logo

Handbook of Cellular Manufacturing Systems

Sharukh Irani

Handbook of Cellular Systems

This is an edited book with many authors. I contributed several chapters. It covers the entire range of Cellular Manufacturing and offers different viewpoints.

The book is well balanced between theory and practice. some chapters are academic and others practical; a complete source on Cellular Manufacturing. --QL

Lean Assembly

Lean Assembly

Michel Baudin

Amazon Logo

Lean Assembly

Michel Baudin

Lean Assembly

Excellent management-level introduction to Lean Manufacturing and Lean operations. The explanations are simple, sensible and straightforward. It includes case histories from a variety of firms in the US, Germany and Japan.  -QL

Facilities & Workplace Design

Facilities & Workplace Design

Lee/Amundsen /Nelson/Tuttle

Download from Strategos

Facilities & Workplace Design

Q. Lee, A. Amundsen, W. Nelson & H. Tuttle

Facilities & Workplace Design

Contains important chapters on Site Planning and the design of Workcells. A must-have before re-arranging your factory.--QL Selected by New Equipment Digest magazine as one of 1998's Best.

Usually a book written by consultants keeps some of the most important aspects of the technique on which they are writing or do not give all the information. This is not the case with this book. Mr. Lee just put everything he knows about facilities design in this book in a way that can be easily followed by any one interested in doing facilities and workplace design. Areas for improvement relate to the quality of some charts that I found a little difficult to read. If you are looking for a "how to do it" in a simple and straightforward way, without any unnecessary material, you need this book. --Migdoel Rodriguez

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Value Stream & Process Mapping

The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader how to do it and what to do with it.

Buy Book

Lean Briefing Newsletter

The free newsletter of Lean strategy

Subscribe to Lean Briefing Newsletter
Strategos Books & Videos
Books & Videos

Facilities & Workplace Design 

Cycle Counting Guide

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video

Contact Webmaster

©_Permissions

PUB FEB 2016