Recommended Books for Continuous Improvement in Business

​We’ve published several posts on books that the Management and Strategy Institute recommends for Six Sigma certification and training.  Continuous improvement principles go beyond just Six Sigma however, they also include many other methodologies.  Total Quality Management, Lean, and 5S are just some of the many Continuous Improvement methods that companies are using today.

Listed below are 5 books that we recommend if you’re looking to learn Continuous Improvement methods and apply them within your organization.

The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance
Author:  Jeffrey K. Liker, James K. Franz
ISBN-13: 978-0071477468

Why we like it:  Toyota has been the leader in implementing continuous improvement over the years.  This book likes at the methods that Toyota uses to improve their operations (mostly Lean) and focuses on why so many projects fail.

Mclaughlin And Kaluzny’s Continuous Quality Improvement In Health Care 4th Edition
Authors:  William A. Sollecito, Julie K. Johnson
ISBN-13: 978-0763781545

Why we like it:  Specific to the Healthcare industry, this book looks at continuous improvement as it applies to healthcare professionals.  Focusing primarily on Total Quality Management, it looks at why improvement programs are so important in Healthcare and how organizations are implementing it.  The 4th addition of the book has been updated to focus on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) techniques.
The Management and Strategy Institute’s Quality in Business survey showed that members working in Healthcare consider “Quality” to be a critical aspect of everything they do!

The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed
Author:  Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands, Mark Price
ISBN-13: 978-0071441193

Why we like it:  This book focuses on Six Sigma and Lean principles, but we like it because it looks at combining tools within a “family” and how/when to use them for different purposes.  It makes a great training tool or reference tool for after you’re Lean Black Belt certified.

Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformation
Author:  Karen Martin, Mike Osterling
ISBN-13: 978-0071828918

Why we like it:  As you may have expected, this book focuses on Value Stream Mapping and the benefits it has processes.  VMS is popular in many continuous improvement methodologies and is a central component to Lean.  VSM is worthy of having a book dedicated to it and we feel this book covers the topic nicely.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Author:  Eric Ries
ISBN-13: 978-0307887894

Why we like it:  This book focuses on business formation, not just improving existing processes.  This book looks at Design for Six Sigma principles of designing processes with Lean and Six Sigma in mind.  It talks about having the ability to continually adjust and adapt to changing conditions, something that is critical in business today.