The Lean Playbook

One more book to read as a product of my visit to New York this March. But will do with pleasure since this is no regular book. You won’t get tired of it since it’s not the regular book where the authors overturn all of their ideas and theories over pages and pages with no end.

It’s not that I don’t like those kind of books too, but this one is different. It’s built to be a tool: concise, straight to the point, highlighting the basic challenges, quick examples and even tools for those cases where you need something to help you succeed in your way up making your enterprise as lean as you can.

The book is presented in “quick cards” by subject, which are accompanied by the case that better fits into that problem, followed by a “How did we engaged them” section (for each challenge this is), showing the strategy, the vision, the logistics, the tools. Great approach!

As a sneak peek, I will leave you with the introduction letter written by one of the authors of the book, Manjit Singh, whom I had the pleasure to meet in New York a week before the Business Agility Conference, on another great event called Leading Business Agility, where Barry O’Reilly (co-author of The Lean Enterprise) and Josh Seiden (co-author of Sense&Respond) presented their thought and tools towards achieving real Business Agility. On this abstract you will get to see Manjit’s mindset who strives for an organic, incremental, people-based, holistic transformation instead of a “one shoot”, “big bang” disruptive restructure and deployment, which is one of the two lines of thought on so far: one big & quick pain vs. incremental cultural change (high vs. loose structured approach).

Welcome Letter

(excerpt for The Lean PlayBook, by Manjit Singh)

Every business leader desires and strives for their organization to have the highest form of business agility. They have a vision of their state of business agility. They endeavor to make agility their organization’s culture and wish it would get infused into the organization’s DNA. However attaining this end state is hard and even harder to sustain.

An Agile organization, in my view, is a dynamic, constantly learning, obsessively customer-focused enterprise that delivers superior value and results that delight its customers. Transforming into this organization rests upon:

Having an unshakeable commitment to
Deliver value provided by
ONLY doing the work that delivers value
In the right way with a culture of continuous improvement
By applying empirical process control at all levels of the organization work.

Truly agile organizations don’t so much make a commitment to a change or transformation “initiative” per se as they build agility into the way they operate on an ongoing basis, every day. They have a relentless, focused commitment to practice and improvement. They see excellence as a journey without a finish line.

Embracing agility means every individual in te organization has the responsibility to improve the way the work is done. Conversely, adopting a change management strategy – based on large-scale changes for dramatic improvements – is most likely to end in disappointment and frustration.

Leaders have to develop the organizational muscles required for business agility through small steps. Small changes make it easier for people to adopt and accept a new way of thinking about their work. This book provides a collection of “recipes” based on lean and agile techniques that can be employed to introduce small changes within a team, department, business unit or an entire organization. I hope you will use these recipes to embark on a journey that will accelerate your organization’s business agility!.

Manjit Singh

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