The cover of The Machine That Changed the World

The Machine That Changed the World

by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos

This is one of the religious texts of lean manufacturing, and I’m a nut for lean production methodology. As you can tell from my reviews of The Goal and The Phoenix Project, I think knowledge workers in general and designers in particular can learn a lot from lean.

In recent years, lean manufacturing has gotten a lot of criticism. Rightly so: the reduction of buffers between supply and demand meant that sudden, extreme changes to either can have catastrophic ripple effects. But at its heart lean still represents a way to reduce waste, reduce cost, and put the right goods in the hands of the right consumer. Whatever comes next for lean production, I guarantee the contents of this book will be at its foundation.