Building Lean Beyond Manufacturing

JCC provides strategic Lean guidance, management coaching and training, workshops, kaizen events, and other Lean-based improvement activities. Our goals are to enable clients to tightly integrate their business functions (Lean Business Management, The Lean Office) with Lean operations, reduce waste, and maximize customer and product focus. 


The Value Add Accountant

The Value Add Accountant: an indispensable partner supporting strategic improvement efforts 

(June 2018)

JCC Press, 2018, 192 pages
Jean Cunningham 

Based on Jean Cunningham's insights and experiences as a CFO and 12 years of consulting, this book expands the Real Numbers message of how to proactively partner accounting with the real needs of company decision makers. It provides detailed examples of how to reveal accounting waste, start a personal value add transition, and get buy-in on these pivotal accounting changes. This book also describes how accounting can effectively evaluate corporate waste reduction and improvement activities.

Your Value Add Accountant journey starts here.

Through the 90’s, Jean was creating a Lean Business Management environment in her company with great results and much acclaim. Being a CFO who loved to roam the manufacturing floor, provided her breakthrough insights into how finance, HR, IT, marketing, and other "office"  functions can and should provide value add services throughout the enterprise that mesh with the goals for customers and products.

Why Use JCC?

Building Lean Beyond Manufacturing one client at a time...

See and Hear Jean Talk about Lean


Dear Lean Services Searchers,
I have retired and am happily pursuing the next stage of my life. The services formerly provided by Jean Cunningham Consulting are now part of Lean Enterprise Institute’s (LEI) expanding catalog of services provided by their staff, faculty, coaching partners, and 28 Lean Global Network (LGN) institutes. Thank you for your interest and support over the past 14 years, and please continue to pursue your lean journey. As I observed over and over again during my career, a lean business model will always provide value not achieved or available to many of your competitors. Here’s a link to LEI to get started with your lean solution.
I've left this Home web page in place so you can overview the services we formerly offered. LEI now offers these as well as a wide array of additional lean services.

Best regards,

Jean Cunningham

What We Do

Moving People Around as Key to

Unlocking Financial Outcomes of Lean

A 9 minute video presented by the Lean Enterprise Institute.

Watch the video 


Our books are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online and brick-and-mortar bookstores worldwide. An ebook edition of each is available as wll. Each image has a link to its Amazon page.

Jean Cunningham Consulting is a recognized world leader in the application of Lean Thinking to the functions outside of operations in service, manufacturing, and healthcare firms. Our service solutions are based on Lean principles and utilize Lean waste reduction and process improvement methodologies and tools. 


Jean Cunningham Consulting brings a highly qualified and perhaps unique set of qualifications to the rapidly growing field of Lean Business Management (aka The Lean Office). It is rare to find aptitude, expertise, communications skills, and real world experience in manufacturing process, business management, and accounting all in one place.

"The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize." 

— Shigeo Shingo, engineer, teacher and author on improving manufacturing systems 

Jean Cunningham Consulting is focused on Lean Business Management which concerns non-operations functions. Though there are dependancies and associations with operations in manufacturing, services, and hospitals that cause significant crossover, JCC clients in addition to operations, are building Lean throughout their companies.

Jean’s experiments and experiences are now distilled into a “best practices” set of services honed by her industry experience and over 10 years of consulting with a wide variety of manufacturing, service, and healthcare firms. JCC can show you how you can apply these same “Lean Beyond Manufacturing” techniques in your company.

What is Lean Accounting... in under 10 Minutes

A 10 minute video presented by Lean Frontiers.

Watch the video 

A 30 minute podcast from the Gemba Academy

Listen to blog 

Leveraging Lean as a Business Strategy​

© 2020 Jean Cunningham Consulting. All Right Reserved.

Jean Cunningham on Lean Accounting

A 7 minute interview video by Kevin Meyer from the Gemba Academy

(Part 1 of 7 of a paid training series. See the series here.)

Watch the video 

Lean Accounting

Lean Accounting: Best Practices for Sustainable Integration
(March 2007)

Wiley House
Copyright 2007, 309 pages
Joe Stenzel, Editor

Collection of works by 13 leaders in the emerging field of Lean Accounting.

Jean Cunningham contributed chapter 9, "Lean Application in Accounting Environments" (22 pages), with practical guidance and success stories for bringing Lean into the accounting function as part of the Lean Enterprise.  Three focus areas are outlined and ten sequenced activities are explained which when applied will enable organizations to raise the accounting bar to meet the Lean challenge.

Easier, Simpler, Faster

Easier, Simpler, Faster: Systems Strategy for Lean IT
(February, 2007)

Productivity Press
Copyright 2006, 163 pages
Jean Cunningham and Duane Jones

Awarded the Shingo Prize for Research, 2008.

To enhance and sustain its Lean journey, a company must implement information systems that fully support and enhance the Lean initiative. This book is a case study of an actual Lean implementation involving the IT system of a mid-size manufacturer, highlighting the IT challenges that the manufacturer faced during the Lean transformation. You will gain a broader vision as well as a path to what a Lean system environment will look like for your company.

Jean Cunningham

1992: As CFO, Jean joined the continuous improvement effort at Lantech from their first kaizen

1993: As CFO, eliminated standard cost accounting and created product line (value stream) financial statements.

1993-2005: During CFO period, pioneered Lean Business Management systems at two manufacturing companies.

1997: Began on-request lecturing and advising on Lean Accounting and Operations Management

2003: Co-wrote Real Numbers (Lean Accounting, Shingo Prize)

2006: Co-wrote Easier, Simpler, Faster (Lean IT, Shingo Prize).

2018: Wrote The Value Add Accountant

2006-2019: Principle of Jean Cunningham Consulting taking Lean Beyond Manufacturing and global Lean speaker.

2019-Present: Executive Chair, Lean Enterprise Institute

Real Numbers

Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization 

(April, 2003)

JCC Press, 2003, 180 pages
Jean Cunningham and Orest Fiume

and Emily Adams

Awarded the Shingo Prize for Research, 2004.

Iconic Lean Accounting primer for accountants and non-accountants alike. Written with no "accountingese", it shares real life experiences of two CFOs implementing Lean Accounting at separate manufacturing companies and the resulting implications and opportunities for the finance and accounting organization.

Recommended reference reading for the SME/AME/Shingo Prize/ASQ Lean Certification, Silver Level