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Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense Approach to a Continuous Improvement Strategy, Second Edition Hardcover – June 13, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0071790352 ISBN-10: 0071790357 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2 edition (June 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071790357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071790352
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

More than any other business authority in the world, Masaaki Imai has championed the concept of kaizen over the past three decades in thought, word, and action. He is considered one of the leaders of the quality movement and a pioneer of modern business operational excellence. Mr. Imai is an international lecturer, consultant, and founder of the Kaizen Institute, a leading continuous improvement consultancy with offices worldwide. Mr. Imai's first book, Kaizen--translated into 14 languages--is the authoritative reference on the subject. In 2010 he was honored for his lifetime of achievement with the first ever Fellowship of Quality Council of India.

Customer Reviews

It took a bit of reading though for a tired mind.
Amazon Customer
We are implementing this Gemba Kaizen at work and I can clearly see the benefits of this strategy.
Joseph W. Watts
I am currently reading this book and it is very interesting!
san diego user

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Abrams on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found Gemba Kaizen 2nd Edition, provided a refreshing perspective of the technical side of Lean for those who use the tools and simultaneously present them in an easy to understand manner for those looking for something to "try". Students of Lean, who are being taught what Lean is, will have a better understanding of the "Why" and the "How" in the application of the tools - something that may not be readily apparent in some training classes. Interestingly enough, the author addresses how management can / should use Lean in daily operations and what it means for them. This is certainly an interesting perspective of how Lean "should be" led on a daily basis as (at least in my experience) I've rarely seen any lean training programs address this.

The second half of the book focuses on more than 20 different case studies of successful lean projects led by the Kaizen Institute. I found this very interesting as I'm constantly hearing from different people that Lean is useful only in manufacturing and cannot be applied to any other industry, the standard "we're different from them" response. However, the selections in the book dispel that myth as they highlight a wide range of industries where Lean has been applied successfully including: Medical, Logistics, Electronics and even Transportation (airports.) Some case studies were brief while others were more in depth. I appreciated the author's intent to highlight that Lean can be applied almost universally and successfully too. As someone who's implemented Lean before in various settings, I found myself wanting to learn more about the details of the projects, to see what worked and what didn't work. A drawback indeed but the case studies were definitely useful and intriguing enough to make me reconsider how I might better apply Lean in my job.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jenelle Smith on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Overall it is a great introduction to kaizen and the fundamentals of lean management. About half of the book is case studies so it was a quick read for 400+ pages. The variety of case studies are great. It dispels any myth that kaizen only works in Japan or is for only manufacturing. A smaller number of case studies with more details in each of how they got started would be my kaizen idea. Does kaizen ever fail? Maybe the 2nd edition could have included some case studies of unsuccessful examples and what we can learn from them. I'm sure not everybody succeeds with kaizen. In the book maybe there are a few too many Japanese words but I can see the need to learn the technical lingo to make things easier in some cases. Footnote explanations of each new vocabulary word would be my kaizen idea. It's hard to believe more companies aren't doing kaizen already when it is so commonsense and effective! I'm glad I picked this up, now only if I can get my boss to read it! An executive summary version would be useful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Graban on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After reading Mr. Imai's work a decade or longer ago, I revisited his books over the past year and found that the insights and ideas about Kaizen are still timeless and powerful. Mr. Imai learned directly from Taiichi Ohno, one of the famed creators of the Toyota Production System.

The book "Gemba Kaizen" talks about moving beyond kaizen (continuous improvement) to an approach that is also "gemba" focused (gemba meaning the "actual place" or the place where the work is actually done). These are fundamental concepts in the Lean management approach. While the book's title may make one think the book is only about kaizen methods, Mr. Imai uses the term kaizen to refer to the broader Toyota Production System, so the book covers other topics like 5S, standard work, and 3P (lean design).

The updated version has new case studies from around the world, including more from healthcare settings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy F McMahon on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Gemba Kaizen, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2012) is an in-depth revision of Imai's best-selling work explaining how to implement cost-effective, incremental improvements in the most critical business processes. Masaaki Imai

Gemba Kaizen has two parts. The first half is a general theory where Masaaki describes all the tools necessary for any type of business to implement a lean strategy. Readers will have a better understanding of the "Why" and the "How" in the application of the tools. Imai lays out the lean philosophy and tools in a very simple way so that business leaders no only understand them but more importantly so they can apply them.

The second half of the book focuses on more than 20 different case studies of successful lean projects led by the Kaizen Institute. They highlight a wide range of industries where Lean has been applied successfully including: Medical, Logistics, Electronics and even Transportation (airports.)

While the book's title may make one think the book is only about kaizen methods, The book "Gemba Kaizen" talks about moving beyond kaizen (continuous improvement) to an approach that is also "gemba" focused (gemba meaning the "actual place" or the place where the work is actually done). These are fundamental concepts in the Lean management approach.

Imai's perspective is that Kaizen is the umbrella concept encompassing all efforts to improve not just factories but all businesses. In his view, TQC/TQM, the Toyota Production System, TPM, Hoshin planning, suggestion systems and small-group activities are all "Kaizen Systems. I don't know if I buy into his all-encompassing view of Kaizen but that doesn't change the impact of the book. It is still a powerful resource to improving your organization.
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Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense Approach to a Continuous Improvement Strategy, Second Edition
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