Book Review

Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean
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Kaikaku: The Power and Magic of Lean

By: Norman Bodek

Paperback: 408 pages
Published by: PCS Press
Publication Date: March 2004
ISBN: 0971243662


  • Chapter 1 - The Journey Begins
  • Chapter 2 - Introducing Dr Shigeo Shingo
  • Chapter 3 - Taiichi Ohno
  • Chapter 4 - Defining Waste
  • Chapter 5 - Dr Shigo asking Five Whys at Granville Phillips
  • Chapter 6 - My First Trip to Japan: A Thriller
  • Chapter 7 - Discovering Shingo: A Magic Moment
  • Chapter 8 - The Lobster Feast and the First Changeover by Dr. Shingo
  • Chapter 9 - The Study Mission Process
  • Chapter 10 - SMED - Quick Changeovers: the Heart of JIT
  • Chapter 11 - My Mental Transformation: There are "Gems" Scateered All over Japan
  • Chapter 12 - Developing an Understanding of Japan
  • Chapter 13 - Factory Tours: A Feast for the Eyes
  • Chapter 14 - The Gemba Walk
  • Chapter 15 - 5S
  • Chapter 16 - Discovering Books in Japan
  • Chapter 17 - Fire the Quality Manager!
  • Chapter 18 - The Best Factory in the World
  • Chapter 19 - Getting to Know Dr Shingo
  • Chapter 20 - The Birth of the Kaizen Blitz
  • Chapter 21 - Finding Books and Meeting Kazuhiro Uchiyama
  • Chapter 22 - Shingo the Teacher
  • Chapter 23 - Never Take No for an Answer
  • Chapter 24 - Introduction to TPM - Another Billion Dollar Idea
  • Chapter 25 - Shigehiro Nakamura
  • Chapter 26 - Kaoru Ishikawa
  • Chapter 27 - Iwao Kobayashi - 20 Keys
  • Chapter 28 - Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE)
  • Chapter 29 - Dr W. Edwards Deming
  • Chapter 30 - The Impact of Dr Joseph Duran
  • Chapter 31 - Life Time Employment System
  • Chapter 32 - Quick and Easy Kaizen
  • Chapter 33 - A Gallery of Great Geniuses
  • Chapter 34 - Professor Louis E. Davis and Socio-Technical Systems
  • Chapter 35 - Failure to Change is a Vice
  • Chapter 36 - Summary
  • Chapter 37 - Gary Convis - President Toyota (TMMK)
  • Chapter 38 - Gary Smuda - Technicolor Corporation
  • Chapter 39 - Professor Doc - Robert Hall
  • Chapter 40 - Don Dewar - President QCI International
  • Chapter 41 - Richard Schonberger
  • Chapter 42 - Vision Statements

Our Review

Don't let the above chapter listing disturb you - this book is not as long as you might think! A compact 393 pages - this book is relatively easy reading.

In his introduction to this book, Norman Bodek states:

You may know most of the tools and techniques discussed in this book but my goal here is to deliver this information in a way that will give you a fresh perspective on the importance of implementing a total system of continuous improvement

He succeeds admirably in achieving this aim. This is not a "how to" book that will tell you, in detail, how to go about implementing the various Lean Manufacturing techniques that are discussed in this book - there are other books that will give you that detail. Rather, this is part-autobiographical (for Norman Bodek is best known as the founder of Productivity Press, and the one person most responsible for bringing these techniques from Japan to the Western World), and part motivational (aimed specifically at managers and decision makers in manufacturing plants).

The style is conversational, and easy to read. It follows, in chronological order, how Bodek first came aware of the techniques that were being used in Japan, and how, through study missions, book publishing, and brining experts from Japan to the USA, these techniques were brought to the attention of Western managers, and some of the improvements that have resulted from using them. The chronological timeline helps to bring a sense of history to the field, and adds an extra, valuable perspective.

You will find, in this book, brief summaries of techniques such as SMED, 5S, Poka-Yoke (mistake-proofing) and TPM, and concepts such as Takt Time and Kaizen. You will find also, some fascinating insights into the personalities of some of the leading experts in these fields, such as Shingo, Crosby, Ohno and others - as well as into Bodek's own personality. This gives this whole book a pleasant, personal touch that adds extra enjoyment.

There are case studies from Japanese and American companies dotted throughout the book, which add to the motivation to try these techniques, and achieve similar successes.

Overall, this is a very good inttroduction to Leam Manufacturing techniques for those that may not be familiar with these. It is a useful refresher, and motivator, for those who may have "lost their way" in implementing these techniques within their organisations - and all presented in a very readable, and personal style.

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