10.26.2015

So Why Did Pascal Dennis Update a Classic Book?


I spoke with Pascal Dennis this past week and had the chance to ask him a few questions about the recent publication of his new book Lean Production Simplified, Third Edition: A Plain-Language Guide to the World's Most Powerful Production System.The two previous editions of this book have been very successful with Lean practitioners at all levels within organizations, and these books have proven to be the best introductory texts to Lean methodology on the market. Here are a few of the questions I asked him and his answers follow.



What motivated you to originally write the book Lean Production Simplified?
I wrote the first edition of Lean Production Simplified hoping to share what I’d learned at Toyota. It had been my blind luck to work with patient senseis. I felt that if I could explain things simply, then perhaps I had gained a certain level of understanding. During the past 20 years, I’ve been the sensei helping companies apply the Toyota system or Lean. My practice has taken me far from the Toyota shop floor – into hospitals, power plants, container terminals, and research laboratories.  I’m certain that I learn as much as I teach. And the more I learn, the more I think of Socrates -- "The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know."


Why did you write the 3rd edition? 
We must learn the Toyota system – and not just in manufacturing.  Hospitals, banks, universities, software developers, government agencies and other service providers are also hungry for Lean thinking and methods. Customers will no longer accept substandard safety, quality, delivery, or cost performance. 


Who composes the audience for this book?

Leaders and learners at all levels in manufacturing and in the ‘undiscovered countries’ – healthcare, financial services, the process industries, software development, construction, universities and the public service.


What’s different about the 3rd edition?

I’ve added many more examples from outside the factory (e.g. design, engineering, administration, etc.) and from the industry sectors I previously mentioned. I’ve also included study questions at the end of each chapter.  My hope is that this third edition will be a working book, and that I’ll continue to find in the gemba, filled with highlights and notes in the margin. My study of aikido had prepared me for the Toyota “way.” I understood that it was a "do" or path, and that the Toyota shop floor was a dojo -- a place where you practiced a profound art or worked on your technique and on yourself.  Indeed, before stepping on to the shop floor, I felt like bowing -- a sign of respect for my team, organization, and the art of management. I still feel that way.  

What are your thoughts on Pascal's book Lean Production Simplified? Did it help you understand the objectives of a Lean initiative and enhance a successful journey?

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