Going Lean: How the Best Companies Apply Lean Manufacturing Principles to Shatter Uncertainty, Drive Innovation, and Maximize Profits (AMACOM, 2008)

Going Lean is a groundbreaking book, written by Shingo Prize winning author Stephen A. Ruffa, that explains how corporations across a range of industries sustain powerful results even in the most challenging conditions by applying the principles and practices of lean dynamics.

Drawing on the lessons of today’s most successful companies across diverse industries, this book shows why the real challenge is correcting the underlying disconnects across operations, decision-making, information systems, and in creating innovation—the root causes for waste to occur. Recognizing this can help companies and government agencies regain their footing amid the dynamic circumstances that have engulfed the business world today.

Available in hardcopy, paperback, Kindle, audiobook from Amazon.com


In this extremely well-written book… useful resource for those interested in operations management, business policy, and related topics.    – Choice

With excellent timing… demonstrates how companies use lean principles to help them steer through tough times.    – Houston Business Review

Going Lean should be read by manufacturing executives and their staffs… shows how to introduce innovation during downturns, strive for perfection, and deliver excellent performance.    – Quality Progress

Stephen Ruffa’s new book, titled Going Lean, is very timely. In this time of economic crisis when recession has plagued the world’s economic arena, Going Lean teaches us how to live and adapt with change. This book is a must read.    – Six Sigma

…unique and important insights into entering and sustaining–forever–a journey of waste  reduction and continuous improvement.    – Cutting Tool Engineering



Read the book that started it all–how a team of aerospace professionals uncovered the secret to making lean work!

Breaking the Cost Barrier presents the results of the authors’ global, world-wide study of aerospace manufacturing to learn from its widespread efforts in lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and other business improvement efforts. Their findings–lauded by academics, practitioners, and leaders across the industry–prove that production variation, not the more common targets like inventory turns or even production cycle times, is the chief cause of escalating production costs.  More importantly, it reveals how companies can apply these findings to break what is rapidly becoming a new impediment to innovation and growth: the rapidly approaching cost barrier.


Praise for Breaking the Cost Barrier:

A great antidote to the pervasive ‘kamikaze kaizen’ campaigns going on across the industry.    – Dr. James P. Womack, Founder, Lean Enterprise Institute and coauthor of Lean Thinking and The Machine That Changed the World

Learn how to promote stability, consistency, and innovation and attain the workforce buy-in to create radical improvement.

In Going Lean, author Stephen A. Ruffa introduced the groundbreaking principles of lean dynamics, revealing how leading companies go beyond chasing the most visible outcomes of lean methods to address the disconnects that cause operational waste to accumulate. Illustrated by compelling cases and clear examples, The Going Lean Fieldbook provides a logical structure and practical advice for applying lean principles throughout the organization.

Useful as a stand-alone implementation guide and as a training resource, the book maps out a path toward reaching a series of critical transformation levels, dealing with the activities and the hazards that can derail the journey at each point along the way.


Going Lean as a Solution for Navigating Uncertainty and CrisisIvey Business Journal

By Stephen A. Ruffa

This article explains that by applying lean dynamics — drawing on lean principles to address the forces of uncertainty and change — companies can produce stronger results and adapt to the challenging circumstances of today’s business environment. It describes why following the lead of Toyota and others requires companies to re-structure their activities with a new and different focus — on creating capabilities that are more responsive and business strategies that are more dynamic…

Lean’ Manufacturing Offers Remedy to Spare Parts CrisisNational Defense Magazine

By Stephen A. Ruffa

The principles of “lean manufacturing,” which were adopted by the automotive industry in the 1970s, could prove useful to the Defense Department’s ongoing efforts to obtain spare parts more quickly and at lower prices. For the Pentagon, this could result in improvements to the readiness of the military force…

Downsizing Isn’t Enough to Make Supply Chain ‘Lean’Aviation Week & Space Technology

By Stephen A. Ruffa

Aircraft manufacturing is destined for dramatic change. Responding to relentless customer demands for lower costs and faster response, senior managers are embracing practices that promise to transform their companies. Yet, the path chosen at the start of this journey is critical…

Web-Based Forum Portrays U.S. Industrial Capabilities, National Defense Magazine

By Stephen A. Ruffa

A new approach to evaluating the readiness of the nation’s industrial base is poised to transform the way that the Defense Department views its suppliers. It will enhance the Pentagon’s move toward more efficient business practices and serve as a catalyst to reducing costly inventories…