Reading List


General operations management books about improving processes:

Operations management, Slack Chambers Harrison Harland Harrison and Johnstone, 2nd Edition FT Pitman publishing, ISBN 0273-626688-4. (The text that the majority of business students use. Packed with case studies and worked examples).

Factory Physics by Wallace Hopp, Mark Spearman. Hopp presents the concepts of manufacturing processes and controls with a physics or laws of nature perspective in a factory. There is enough quantitative material for an engineer’s course, as well as narrative that is easy to understand and apply.  However you have to bear in mind that in service industries we make appointments, i.e. units of time with resources attached and therefore they have no shelf life.

The 80 20 Principle, Richard Koch, The secret of achieving more with less, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 1 st edition 2000, ISBN 1-85788-168-0

Theory of constraints, Eliyahu M Goldratt The Goal, Eliyahu M Goldratt and Jeff Cox, Gower Press, Second Edition 1999 ISBN 0-566-07418–4 (Theory of constraints is an important and significant way of thinking about process bottlenecks in relation to variation in flow. The Goal is a novel that explains it.)

“Three wins…” Simon Dodds Simon Dodds is a vascular surgeon at Good Hope Hospital UK who has redesigned outpatient and inpatient services to benefit patients, staff and managers ‘3 wins’. He explains the process for problem solving that prevents the ‘win loose’ scenario’ and how to go about it. This involves helping every one in the service to understand and manage the constraints in the system.

Lean thinking:

Lean thinking is the philosophy by which processes are redesigned to meet the customer demand exactly without the need for ‘stock’, inventory, work in process or waiting lists. This is about looking for the waste in the process that makes or processes stuff that the customer or patient doesn’t want. Useful web page

Lean Thinking, James Womack and Daniel Jones, Touchstone Books, ISBN 0-684-81976-7

The Toyota Way Jeffrey K Liker, McGraw Hill, ISBN 007 139 231 -9

Lean Lexicon – Lean Enterprise Institute (defines all the terms used to describe processes in Lean Thinking)

Learning to See – Mike Rother and John Shook. ISBN: 0-9667843-0-8 This book is a working guide to process mapping, value stream mapping and exposing the waste in processes.

Breaking the constraints to world class performance, H William Dettmer, American Association for Quality, 1 st edition 1998, ISBN 0-87389-437-5

Fourth Generation Management, Brian L Joiner, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-032715-7

Lean Accounting

 The major reason why Lean initiatives are blocked is in the current financial processes.  These two books explain why and the change required to simplify the financial processes.

Who’s Counting? A Lean Accounting Business Novel  (Winner of the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence) by Jerrold M. Solomon This is an easy read but it makes the point.

Best Practices for Sustainable Integration by Joe Stenzel This book goes into detail as to the actual accounting changes required.

Books about systems theory applied to social systems:

The 5th Discipline and The 5th Discipline Field Guide, Peter Senge, Nicholas Brealey publishing, ISBN 1-85788-069-9

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, Abacus, ISBN 0-349-11346-7

Queuing theory:

Queuing Methods for Services and Manufacturing, Randall Hall

Statistical Process Control Books:

“Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos (2nd Edition)”, Donald J. Wheeler; SPC Press. ISBN 00-945320-35-3 A good introducion for anyone wanting to understand the basics of performance management and the impact it has on human behaviour.

Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control, Walter A. Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming (the original text)

“Understanding Statistical Process Control”, Donald J. Wheeler, David S. Chambers; SPC Press, ISBN 0-945320-13-2 (the big textbook…)

“Statistical Process Control In The Office”, Mal Owen & John Morgan, Greenfield Publishing, ISBN 0-9523328-4-1

Measuring quality improvement in healthcare: A guide to statistical process control applications (1995), Raymond G Carey PhD and Robert C. Lloyd PhD, ISBN 0-527-76293-8

Statistical process control for healthcare (2002), Marilyn K Hart , Robert K Hart Duxbury Thompson Learning,, ISB 0-534-37865-X

Quality Improvement: Practical application for medical group practice second edition. Davis Balustracci Jr MA and Jeanine L Barlow MPH, published by Centre of Research in Ambulatory Healh care Administracion 104 Inverness Terrace east Englewood, Colorado, ISBN 1-56829-015-2

Improving healthcare with control charts: Basic and advanced SPC methods and case studies. (2003)  Raymond G Carey. ASQ Quality Press ISBN 0-87389-562-2

Data Sanity – a quantum leap to unprecedented results by Davis Balestracci Jr Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) publications ISBN 978-1-56829-295-3

Human Dimensions

Leading physicians through change: How to achieve and sustain results (2000) Silversin J and Kornacki MJ ISBN 0-924674-81-4 ACPE publication

Getting to Yes – Negotiating agreement without giving in. Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton. Penguin Books, ISBN 0140157352


The Balanced Score Card ‘Harvard Business Review’ Kaplan & Norton, Ref: 974XBN 1st March 2002 ISBN 0875846513


Decoding the DNA of the Toyota production system: Steven Spear and H Kent Bowen, Harvard Business Review 1999, reprint 99505

Going Lean in Healthcare , Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2005 reprints from

Hospitals get serious about operations, The McKinsey Quarterly 2001 No.2 Paul D Mango and Louis A Shapiro

Enhancement of Care: A Tool to Optimize Patient Flow Patterns in a Community Hospital The Joint Commission Journal on Quality.Improvement Volume 28 p.31, John D. Rozich, MD, PhD, MBA and Roger K. Resar, MD, Address for Correspondence and Reprints: John D. Rozich, Luther Midelfort, Mayo Health System, Eau Claire, WI 54703 (715)-838-3311,

Modernising the NHS: Patient care: access. Mark Murray, EDUCATION AND DEBATE, BMJ 2000; 320: 1594-1596. [Full text]

Reducing waiting times in the NHS: is lack of capacity the problem? Silvester, Bevan, Lendon, Walley, Steyn, Clinician in Management Dec 2004

Why variation reduction is not everything: a new paradigm for service operations, 1995 Curtis P Mc Laughlin, Key note presentation for International Research Symposium on Services management Dorset Business School, Kenan-Flager Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Designed for Deficits? Kate Silvester, Healthcare Finance, April 2005

Understanding the deficit , Kate Silvester and Paul Walley, Healthcare Finance, June 2005

Breaking the rules: Is capacity the problem? H Bevan, N edwards, M Lee. R Lendon, K Silvester, R Steyn, P Walley. The Leading Edge 2004, 21.

Emergency admissions and hospital beds Rod Jones British Journal of Healthcare Management 2009 Vol 15 No 6


Please also go to the websites on the links page

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