Increase Personal and Professional Productivity with Methods Explained in New Book, "A Factory of One"

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Innovative book shows professionals and office workers how Lean principles adapted from top manufacturers lighten heavier office workloads and longer hours caused by layoffs and new technologies.

CRC Press / Productivity Press today announced publication of "A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance," which explains how office and knowledge workers can foster a new mindset and improve personal performance by applying Lean methods.

“No matter what kind of work you do, you’re involved in transforming some type of input into a different form of output that a customer wants,” said author Dan Markovitz, a personal performance expert who has pioneered adapting principles from lean manufacturing to office and knowledge work. “That act of transformation makes you, in essence, a factory—and that means that you can benefit from lean tools and concepts.”

Markovitz noted that after the layoffs of the past four years, professionals and office workers face heavier workloads. Even with the help of technology – and sometime because of it --- they work longer hours, attempt to multitask more often, and feel increasingly overwhelmed by their workloads.

"A Factory of One," which is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the publisher’s website, relates powerful Lean manufacturing tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to daily work, revealing how they improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link the individual worker ever more closely to customer value. This practice helps employees develop greater self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and the ability to self-correct errors.

In "A Factory of One," Markovitz, who teaches at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and the Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business, teaches you how to apply lean manufacturing principles to your individual work. Lean is a complete business system developed by Toyota that improves quality and boosts output by eliminating waste. Dan helps you get more high-quality done in less time and with less effort by applying key Lean concepts to the way you work.

Packed with powerful strategies and practical tactics from Dan’s own experience and real-life success stories from the field, you’ll produce more high-quality work in less time, with the innovative methods revealed in "A Factory of One."

Drawing on stories as disparate as a restaurant chef, an emergency room physician, and a NASA aerospace engineer, and grounding them in the latest psychological research, Dan teaches you both what to do and why to do it. His distinctive and irreverent voice will help people of all personalities find a way to dramatically improve their performance in a way that works for them.

The book shows you how to design a personal system that ensures you do the right things to boost personal performance and productivity immediately and sustain it:
-- How to organize your workspace and information flow in a way that clarifies, prioritizes, and eliminates waste.
-- How to build daily reminders and “pull” signals that always trigger you to do your most valuable work when you should do it, rather than when someone yells for it.
-- How to make your repetitive and predictable tasks flow, so that you have more time to do the creative work you love.
-- How to adopt a scientific approach to problem solving that develops your skill at framing problems correctly in the first place and creating enduring solutions that prevent the problem from recurring.

“Dan Markovitz brings a thoughtful and supremely practical perspective to the fundamental scarcity faced by us all: time. His approach blends conceptual frameworks and concrete specifics—a powerful and useful combination—to reduce the noise and clutter in our lives and work. Markovitz can help us all to be more effective!”

  •      Jim Collins, author Good to Great, and co-author Built to Last and Great by Choice

Daniel Markovitz discusses the themes and background for this book in the two videos on the book's webpage:

Daniel Markovitz is president of TimeBack Management, a consulting firm that radically improves individual and team performance by identifying and eliminating root cause impediments to productivity. He is a faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute and teaches at the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program. He also leads a problem-solving workshop at the Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business. Dan blogs at TimeBackManagement. He holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Stanford University. He splits his time between San Francisco and New York City, although his cat always stays on the west coast.


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