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The Amazingly Awesome List of Lean Six Sigma Books -

What’s a good book to read if you want to succeed at process improvement? Is Lean Six Sigma all about manufacturing? Are there any about the service industry? Healthcare? Government?

What If I’m only interested in Lean? What if I need help with statistics? And how about soft skills? What’s a good book on change management? Are there any books that help you present improvement ideas to leadership? Do people have favorites?

These lists provide answers to those questions. We’ve included oldies but goodies along with some some brave new texts. Books in this field are being published daily so we’ll update these lists and links on a continual basis. We review at least one book each month on the Just-In-Time Café podcast and we publish condensed, informative, companion book reviews for your reference.

Featured eBook: The Problem-Solver's Toolkit

The Problem-Solver's Toolkit -
This month’s featured book is The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit: A Surprisingly Simple Guide to Your Lean Six Sigma Journey by Elisabeth Swan and Tracy O’Rourke. Start your Lean Six Sigma road trip right now!

Did you know top business leaders spend five hours per week deliberately learning and reading?


Recommended Resources List

As you begin to build a problem-solving culture you can enhance your knowledge base and educate your co-workers by tapping into a boundless collection of supporting materials on our website.

Featured Books List

Behavior Change:

  • The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right – Atul Gawande (Buy on Amazon)

Change Management:


Inquiry Skills:


Lean Overview:

  • The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production – James Womack (Buy on Amazon)

Lean Techniques:

Office Improvement:

  • The Kaizen Event Planner: Achieving Rapid Improvement in Office, Service and Technical Environments – Karen Martin and Mike Osterling (Buy on Amazon)

Office Value Stream:

  • Value Stream Management for the Lean Office – Don Tapping and Tom Shuker (Buy on Amazon)

Pocket Guide:

Six Sigma How-To:

  • The Six Sigma Way Fieldbook: An Implementation Guide for Process Improvement Teams – Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman and Roland R. Cavanaugh (Buy on Amazon)

Lean Six Sigma Awesome Book List -

Change Management

Coaching & Leadership


Lean Six Sigma Awesome Book List -


  • Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement – Mark Graban (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Nun and the Bureaucrat: How They Found an Unlikely Cure for America’s Sick Hospitals – Louis M. Savary and Clare Crawford-Mason (Buy on Amazon)
  • On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry – John Toussaint, MD and Roger A. Gerard, PhD With Emily Adams (Buy on Amazon)
  • Value Stream Management for Lean Healthcare – Don Tapping and Sue Kozlowski (Buy on Amazon)


  • The Elegant Solution: Toyota’s Formula for Mastering Innovation – Mathew E. May (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback – Dan Olsen (Buy on Amazon)

Lean Specific

Personal Success

Pocket Guides


  • The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas With Pictures – Dan Roam (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently – Sunni Brown (Buy on Amazon)
  • Present Yourself: Transforming Fear, Knowing Your Audience, Setting the Stage, Making Them Remember – Micheal J. Gelb (Buy on Amazon)
  • Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery – Garr Reynolds (Buy on Amazon)
  • Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations – Dan Roam (Buy on Amazon)
  • Storytelling With Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (Buy on Amazon)
  • Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo (Buy on Amazon)

Lean Six Sigma Awesome Book List -

Specific Tools & Techniques


  • Cartoon Guide to Statistics – Larry Gonick and Woolcott Smith (Buy on Amazon)
  • Lean Six Sigma the StatStuff Way: A Practical Reference Guide for Lean Six Sigma – Matt Hansen (Buy on Amazon)
  • Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement – Hitoshi Kume (Buy on Amazon)
  • Statistical Process Control – Leonard A. Doty (Buy on Amazon)
  • Statistics: A Self-Teaching Guide – Donald Koosis (Buy on Amazon)

Thought Leadership

  • Beyond Reengineering: How the Process-Centered Organization Is Changing Our Work and Our Lives – Michael Hammer (Buy on Amazon)
  • Building the Fit Organization: Six Core Principles for Making Your Company Stronger, Faster, and More Competitive – Daniel Markovitz (Buy on Amazon)
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement – Eli Goldratt (Buy on Amazon)
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t – Jim Collins (Buy on Amazon)
  • Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together – James Womack and Daniel T. Jones (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production – James Womack (Buy on Amazon)
  • Out of Crisis – W. Edwards Deming (Buy on Amazon)
  • Six Sigma for Financial Services: How Leading Companies Are Driving Results With Lean, Six Sigma, and Process Management – Rowland Hayler and Michael D. Nichols (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Six Sigma Revolution: How General Electric and Others Turned Process Into Profits – George Eckes (Buy on Amazon)
  • The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola, and Other Top Companies Are Honing Their Performance – Peter S. Pande, Robert P. Neuman and Roland R. Cavanaugh (Buy on Amazon)

Transactional / Service

What are your favorites? Do you have your own lists? Tell us all about it (so we can read all about it and share them with the world)!

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.