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Productivity Press

Quality Insider

A Framework for Continual Lean Improvement

William Levinson’s new book Lean Management System LMS: 2012

Published: Monday, August 6, 2012 - 12:09

(Productivity Press: Boca Raton, FL) -- The success of a lean manufacturing program depends far more on organizationwide leverage of lean manufacturing tools than it does on the tools themselves. To this the organization must add the human relations aspects that earn buy-in and engagement by all members of the workforce, to the extent that workers will react immediately and decisively to the presence of waste.

The synergy of the human and technological aspects of lean from what Henry Ford called a universal code for the achievement of world-class results in any enterprise, and which he put into practice to deliver unprecedented bottom-line results. The book, Lean Management System LMS: 2012, by William A. Levinson (Productivity Press, 2012) expands upon and systemizes this universal code into a structure or framework that promotes organizational self-audits and continuous improvement.

The book’s first section offers a foundation of four simple but comprehensive lean key performance indicators: waste of the time of things (as in cycle time), waste of the time of people, waste of energy, and waste of materials. The Toyota Production System’s seven wastes are all measurable in terms of these four key performance indicators, which also cover the key metrics of Eliyahu Goldratt’s theory of constraints: throughput, inventory, and operating expense.

The first section then adds a proactive improvement cycle that looks for trouble by isolating processes for analytical purposes and measuring, and then balances inputs and outputs to force all wastes to become visible. It is in fact technically impossible for any waste of material or energy to hide from what chemical engineers call a material and energy balance. Application of this book’s content should therefore satisfy most provisions of the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard and the new ISO 50001 energy management system standard.

The second section consists of an unofficial (and therefore customizable) standard against which the organization can audit its lean management system. The unofficial standard is designed to be compatible with ISO 9001:2008 so internal auditors can assess both systems simultaneously. Each provision includes numerous examples of questions that promote audits in a narrative form as opposed to yes/no checklists or Likert scale ratings. The unofficial standard can also be downloaded (without the assessment questions) from the publisher’s website. The third section elaborates in detail on the second section and provides numerous real-world examples of applications.


• Provides examples and explanations of topics
• Contains an appendix with ancillary material
• Offers a foundation of four simple but comprehensive lean key performance indicators
• Outlines an unofficial and customizable standard (compatible with ISO 9001:2008) against which an organization can audit its lean management system


The Need for a Lean Management Standard
Lean Key Performance Indicators
Integrated Lean Assessment

Lean Management System Requirements
Organizational Responsibility
Lean System Infrastructure and Resources
Product or Service Realization
Measurement and Continuous Improvement

Lean Management System: Details
Organizational Responsibility: Details
Infrastructure and Resources: Details
Product or Service Realization: Details
Measurement and Continuous Improvement: Details
Additional Lean Environmental and Energy Practices

About William A. Levinson

William A. Levinson is the principal at Levinson Productivity Systems in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.


About The Author

Productivity Press’s picture

Productivity Press

For more than 25 years, Productivity Press has developed the largest catalog available anywhere of publications and learning tools about lean methodology, continuous improvement, and operational excellence. It is currently the premier source of authoritative information on organizational transformation. Productivity Press is an imprint of CRC Press, a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.