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

© 2018 Jean Cunningham Consulting. All Right Reserved.

Gemba Academy: A wonderful, alive Lean site. It is full of online training modules with free introductions, an active blog, and many free webcasts. Check it out. (Some subscription)

Master of Business Operational Excellence: Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business offers the MBOE for "Industry-Wide" and "Healthcare" which focuses on continuous improvement and is taught by OSU faculty and industry experts. 

Sources of Lean Information

This section is for those who are wanting to learn more about Lean beyond manufacturing. These are excellent resources with which Jean has contributed or otherwise been directly involved. (Disclaimer: This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list.)

Today, there is a booming industry in Lean information of all sorts including books, training, blogs, podcasts, articles, etc. Most is still about Lean Manufacturing, but there is a lot of recent information on Lean Business Management though that phrase or any other phrase is not at all agreed on or used universally. Suffice it to say, if your resource implies management, strategic planning, the office, healthcare, or other service aspect, then it is probably about some aspect of Lean Business Management.


We know, Wikipedia get s a lot of grief in some circles, but in fact, it does have an amazing amount of readily available information. As long as you don't take it as your "end all; be all" resource, there is a large amount of basic Lean information with constant cross-references and cited sources with links. Just search on "Lean" and go from there. The "Lean manufacturing" page drifts into other aspects of Lean near the bottom with links to lots of Lean terms. The "Lean services" page is also a very good starting point.The "Lean Accounting" page is substantial.

JCC Monthly Newsletter

The JCC newsletter includes articles and other Lean tidbits each month that Jean has written, often about recent experience. Important new books and articles are noted.

It also includes a list of upcoming lean conferences, workshops, or other Lean events where Jean will be speaking. (also shown on the Events page)

 Sign up for the newsletter here

​Journals, Periodicals, News
  • Lean Management Journal: This is a Lean-focused bi-monthly journal that is usually 40+ pages and full of articles by managers, consultants, and scholars. The amount of "food for thought" generated by these articles in one place in itself is probably worth the price. (Subscription)

  • Industry Week: Promotes manufacturing, but is very focused on improvement and ventures all around the world of Lean. (Some subscription)
  • AME Target Magazine: AME is very focused on Lean and dives deep into Lean beyond manufacturing. (Subscription)
  • Cost Management Magazine: Focused on accounting, but very supportive of Lean. (Subscription)​

Jean Cunningham, author: See right. 

Productivity Press: The original publisher of all things continuous improvement, their Lean catalog is by far the most extensive anywhere. (Jean's book Easier, Simpler, Faster was published and is distributed by Productivity Press) 

Lean Human Resources: Redesigning HR Processes for a Culture of Continuous Improvement, Cheryl Jekiel: An outline from 20 years of direct experience.

Lean Turnaround: How Business Leaders Use Lean Principles to Create Value and Transform Their Company, Art Byrne: C-suite guide to Lean success by one of the first CEOs to achieve a true Lean Enterprise.

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones: An updated must read. A manager's guide to getting started with Lean Thinking including profiles of five Lean companies.

The Lean CEO: Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence, Jacob Stoller: Based on in-depth interviews with 28 well-known Lean CEO's and leaders, the author includes the good and the bad along with way to establishing a Lean Enterprise.

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

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.

Lean Education Advancement Foundation

LEAF is a non-profit foundation established to help academic faculty and students further their Lean education.

In their own words, LEAF's mission is... "To provide scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and faculty to attend Lean conferences in order to learn the concepts, principles, practices and tools of Lean Strategy. This will include, but not be limited to, Lean Accounting, Lean Human Resources, Lean IT, Lean Production and Lean Logistics.
To provide funding for faculty and practitioner research opportunities that advance Lean Knowledge."

Jean Cunningham Consulting feels strongly about LEAF's mission. Jean is on LEAF's Board of Advisors. Please, be generous if you believe in their mission.


Lean Enterprise Institute: LEI has been providing Lean training in various ways since 1997 not long after LEI's founder, Jim Womack, coined the term "Lean". They're constantly adjusting their offerings to reflect the current state of Lean. 

Lean Frontiers: Founded by Jim Huntzinger, an engineer by trade and a true visionary in the application of Lean beyond manufacturing, they started with the seminal Lean Accounting Summit in 2004. Lean Frontiers now offers an array of annual topic-specific Lean summits, workshops,and webinars.

SME: SME historically has a manufacturing/engineering focus, but their Lean certifications are highly recognized and backed by SME, AME, the Shingo Institute, and ASQ. They do try to cover most of the Lean bases, and Real Numbers is required reading for their Lean Silver Certification.

The Shingo Institute: The Shingo Prize, born in 1988 at Utah State University using the quality ideas of Dr. Shigeo Shingo  is the most recognized honor in the Lean world. The institute offers licensed workshops around the world, a comprehensive annual conference, executive education, study tours, and more.

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

Wiley House
Copyright 2007, 309 pages

Joe Stenzel, Editor

Collection of works by 13 recognized founders and leaders in Lean Accounting.

Lean Accounting

Easier, Simpler, Faster

Real Numbers​

Lean Learning

The application of Lean to accounting, IT, HR, and other non-manufacturing areas (Lean Business Management) is evolving rapidly and something that Jean Cunningham Consulting has proudly helped to establish and lead over the last few years.

The concepts are exactly the same as Lean Manufacturing, and similarly, the application and implementation varies with each company based on their current process flow.

To help you visualize and prepare for your Lean journey beyond manufacturing, this page includes information on Jean's books and links to lean information available online.

We hope you find this information helpful, and, please, contact us if JCC can be of service.​

Jean Cunningham Books

Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online and brick-and-mortar bookstores worldwide. An ebook edition of each is available as well. Each image is linked to its Amazon page.

Lean Business Management ​(aka The Lean Office​)

Building Lean Beyond Manufacturing

In this Q&A interview with Planet Lean, Jean shares her insights on how to gauge the financial impact of Lean improvement. Read the article here

A Recent Article

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: 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.

​Based on real experience at Lantech in developing and applying appropriate information systems for the Lean organization.