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Sustainable Lean: The Story of Cultural Transformation

PM World Book Review

pmwj14-sep2013-Barash-Sustainable - BOOK IMAGEBook Title:     Sustainable Lean: The Story of Cultural Transformation
Author:           Robert B. Camp
Publisher:      CRC Press – Productivity Press Book
List Price:       US$29.95
Format:  Soft Cover; 175 Pages
Publication Date:     2013
ISBN: 978-1-4665-7168-6
Reviewer:      Ira Barash
Review Date:              July 2013


Introduction to the Book

Jim, the general manager for a manufacturing facility of Freedom Electronics, a fictional company, narrated the story of his desire to improve profitability in the manufacturing facility through Lean manufacturing.  The plant produced $200 million in revenue per year.  The first attempt at Lean was to hire consultants.  The consultants implemented Lean and saved the company $1.6 million in a six month timeframe while they were on-site.  The team of consultants’ involvement was terminated.  Over the next couple of years without the consultants being in place, the plant reverted to its old ways of not satisfying the customer, sloppy performance and low earnings.

Jim meets Frank, a Lean Manufacturing Consultant, who was hired after he convinced Jim through hard work and a change in culture that Lean would work.  Frank told Jim on their first meeting that most Lean efforts fail because the firms were not able to sustain the effort.  He promised Jim if he was hired that he would provide the necessary tools and knowledge to sustain the Lean environment after he left.  Jim and Frank worked together with his staff to incorporate lean in a compressed timeframe of three and one-half months.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book outlines the processes that Frank as the consultant introduced.  In response, Jim and his staff took the necessary steps to change the business.  First, Frank has Jim and the departmental directors build a paper airplane using a long conference table to mimic the manufacturing facility.  Mistakes of over-production, poor quality, over-and-under utilization of people along the assembly line, poor inventory control, too long of a production line and working above the allotted time were made during the first attempt.  The second attempt is much more successful after Frank worked with the group of managers and introduced Lean concepts.

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About the Reviewer

pmwj14-sep2013-Barash-Project- AUTHOR IMAGEflag-usaIra Barash

Plano, Texas, USA

Ira Barash is married and employed by VisionIT in a contractor role working at HP as a project manager. Previously, he worked for two years as a contractor at Capital One Financial through Strategic Staffing in the mortgage application and infrastructure areas.   Barash received his PMP® from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) (2012), a certificate in Project Management from the Graduate School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas (2007), a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from Wright State University (1989) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati – Carl H. Lindner School of Business (1976).

From 2010 to 2012, Barash was Volunteer Commissioner for the City of Plano on Community Relations Committee.   He and his wife actively support the Plano (Texas) Symphony Orchestra through volunteering and financially as a Virtuoso Member. He is a member of PMI, the PMI Dallas Chapter and Toastmasters.   He recently presented a paper, Use of Agile with XP and Kanban Methodologies in the Same Project, at the 7th Annual University of Texas Dallas Project Management Symposium on August 15, 2013 in Richardson, Texas.

Ira’s passions are to be a terrific husband, have challenging work assignments, live a healthy lifestyle including traveling, exercise, writing and supporting of non-profits financially, and by volunteering.

Ira is on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/irabarashmba and may be contacted by email at [email protected]

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].