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A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Markovitz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Most business readers have heard of the Lean principles developed for factories—a set of tools and ideas that have enabled companies to dramatically boost quality by reducing waste and errors—producing more while using less. Yet until now, few have recognized how relevant these powerful ideas are to individuals and their daily work. Every person at a desk, drafting table, workstation, or operating table must (like a factory) deal with the challenge of reducing the waste that creeps into their work. The same Lean principles that have improved efficiencies on the factory floor can be just as powerful—in fact, far more so—in helping individuals boost personal performance.

Winner of a 2013 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award!

A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance describes how you can foster a new mindset and improve your performance by applying Lean methods to your work. It translates powerful Lean tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to your daily work, revealing how they can help to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link you ever more closely to customer value. This practice will help you develop better self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and the ability to self-correct errors.

This book not only provides the tools, but also teaches you how to find the root causes underlying your inefficiencies so you can eliminate them permanently. It will enable you to immediately improve personal productivity while developing the skills needed for continuous improvement. It includes real-world examples that illustrate how these principles have been successfully applied across a range of industries. Providing the perfect mix of what-to-do with why-to-do it, the text details a step-by-step approach to applying Lean principles to your work.

Listen to what Daniel Markovitz has to say about his new book, A Factory of One.

Part One — Part Two

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Product Description


Dan Markovitz brings a thoughtful and supremely practical perspective to the fundamental scarcity faced by us all: time. His approach blends conceptual frameworks and concrete specifics—a powerful and useful combination—to reduce the noise and clutter in our lives and work. Markovitz can help us all to be more effective!
—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last and Great by Choice

No matter what your role is in your company, or whether you're an independent consultant or even unemployed, you will love Dan Markovitz's new book, A Factory of One. This gem will improve even the most efficient person's work life in powerful ways. The introduction alone got me motivated to adopt those practices that he writes and aren't yet part of my standard work. ... It's short, sweet, and to the point. You're never left wanting more, but you never wish the author would get on with it. ... relates powerful Lean manufacturing tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to daily work, revealing how they improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link the individual worker ever more closely to customer value. This practice helps business professionals develop greater self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and a heightened ability to self-correct errors.Read Dan's book--and then apply the tips he gives.
—Karen Martin, Principal, Karen Martin & Associates; and keynote speaker, ASQ Lean and Six Sigma Conference 2012

About the Author

Daniel Markovitz is president of TimeBack Management (, a consulting firm that radically improves individual and team performance by identifying and eliminating root cause impediments to productivity. He is a faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute and teaches at the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program. He also leads a problem solving workshop at the Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business.

Dan lived in Japan for four years and is fluent in Japanese. He’s also an avid distance runner, an enthusiastic (but somewhat tentative) cyclist, and a determined (if slow) swimmer. He holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. You can reach him at or via Twitter @timeback.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1557 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (24 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071ARSVG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #286,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Mar. 2013
There are many books about lean production, but not so much on how to apply the lean principles on self-management. There are many similarities with David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system in this book, which is perhaps somewhat natural as GTD can easily be interpreted as personal lean management. But, there is more than that. The book is not only about planning and evaluating actions, it is also about designing personal work processes in cost-optimal ways. Most of the ideas come directly from the theory and practice of lean management, so there is not necessarily all that much that is new here, but the context to which it is being put to use is highly interesting. It is also written in a very excessible and sometimes humours style, which makes the reading quite pleasant, and it is also a good way of learning about lean by first applying the principles to oneself before trying to revolutionise the work place.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had come across Lean at work only as a peripheral influence where other departments were using it. I knew that it could be very useful, but had never had the time or circumstances where I could test out my theories.

This book shows you how you can use the techniques of Lean in almost any circumstances.

I found it to be not only an excellent introduction, but also a good reference source and go back to it from time to time to keep me on the right track.

I recommend this to all those who think they can still improve how they do things at work (although the principals are not limited to the working environment).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lean: simple explanation and applied to yourself 12 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, it is just a few of the concepts found in Lean, but the way it is presented, the great examples and the simplicity of using lean to create a different way of doing things is coupled with an enjoyable writing approach. Try it and have fun!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 24 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read a few books on continuous improvement and this book explains the topic in a very straightforward manner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars thumbs up..! 10 May 2015
By joshua
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book, great seller, would definitely recommend both!
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