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Mark Graban

Mark Graban

President, Constancy, Inc. & Senior Advisor, KaiNexus

Mark Graban is author of the Shingo-Award winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. Mark is also co-author, with Joe Swartz, of Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements (also a Shingo recipient) and The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is titled Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is also the founder of www.LeanBlog.org.

Mark’s passion is to apply Lean and Toyota Production System principles to improve quality of care and patient safety, to improve the customer/patient experience, to help the development of medical professionals and employees, and to help build better workplaces and stronger organizations for the long term.

He serves as a consultant to healthcare organizations through his company, Constancy, Inc. and is also a senior advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He has focused on healthcare improvement since 2005, after starting his career at General Motors, Dell, and Honeywell. Mark is a faculty member for the Lean Enterprise Institute, Catalysis, and Studer Group.

Mark has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Leaders for Global Operations Program. Mark and his wife live in Texas. He serves on the board of the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation

Articles by Mark Graban
"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the same as internal-combustion engine vehicles. We can play that “one of these things is not like the other” game all day long. A better use of time, perhaps, is to think about how TPS concepts and high-level Lean management principles can be adapted to your own setting, argues Mark Graban. More »
Take Baby Steps Towards Improvement
As you think about your 2019 resolutions, ask yourself if you’re making the change too big and, therefore, too scary, suggests Mark Graban. Instead of feeling dejected, take the “kaizen” advice of making the change small. More »
React Less and Improve More by Using SPC More Effectively
When we stop reacting to “noise” in a metric, we can better focus our improvement efforts, waste less time, and improve more, says Mark Graban. That should all be a core principle of Lean management that can help leaders in any setting. More »
Lean Talks: Are You Making Excuses or Solving Problems?
In his "lean talk" at the Lean Transformation Summit this past March, lean coach and author Mark Graban shared his perspective on what a culture of continuous improvement really means and requires of us as hopeful change agents. The video concludes with a Q&A with Jim Womack. More »
Standardization is a Countermeasure, Never the Goal
"If you're excited about standardized work and standardization, especially if you're new to Lean, please stop and think about the problem that's being solved and confirm that there is one before you move forward," writes Mark Graban. Read more. More »
Reducing Wasted Motion at a Conference: Collaborative Note Taking
Mark Graban reflects on the pros and cons of collaborative note-taking at conferences and offers up an invitation/experiment to Lean Transformation Summit attendees. More »
The Question All Healthcare Leaders Should be Asking Themselves
Lean healthcare expert Mark Graban takes a common problem he sees again and again in hospitals (errors with hourly rounds or inconsistent hourly rounds) and explains how this problem is a symptom of a larger systems issue. More »
Lean Startups Should Be Lean Cultures, From the Start
Mark Graban reflects on John Shook's talk, "Lean Startup--From Toyota City to Fremont to You," at this week's Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. Read why Graban believes the broader Lean community and lean startup community have a lot to learn from each other. More »
Lean & ACOs at ThedaCare with Dr. Dean Gruner
Dean Gruner, M.  D.  , president and CEO of ThedaCare, tells the LeanBlog podcaster Mark Graban how the Wisconsin healthcare system is using Accountable Care Organizations with Lean methods to improve the coordination of care for patients. More »
Podcast #116 – Jim Womack, His New Book “Gemba Walks”
Jim Womack, LEI founder and saenior advisor, sat down wit Mark Graban at the Lean Blog for a 2-part interview, covering gemba walking, lean management, lean healthcare, the future of the Lean Community, and more.    More »
Lean Product Development at Ford
Jim Morgan, director, Global Body Exterior and Stamping Business Unit Engineering at Ford, discusses lean product development methods in this Lean Blog podcast. He will give a presentation on the subject at LEI’s Lean Transformation Summit, Dallas, March 9-10. Click the Education tab and go to Summits for more information. More »
Books by Mark Graban
Lean Hospitals, 2nd Ed. Lean Hospitals, 2nd Ed.
Drawing on his years of working with hospitals, Mark Graban explains why and how lean can be used to improve safety, quality, and efficiency in a healthcare setting. A unique guide for healthcare professionals, this book clearly elaborates the steps they can take to begin the proactive process of lean implementation. More »
Workshops Taught by Mark Graban
Key Concepts of Lean in Healthcare This two-day workshop, incorporating examples from many healthcare settings, is designed to gain a better understanding of the components and underlying philosophy of lean, and how the elements and philosophy work together to create a lean healthcare organization.  Special emphasis is placed on balancing Toyota’s equally-important core principles of continuous improvement and “respect for people.  ” Practical steps will be presented for starting with lean immediately upon returning to your healthcare organization, as well as a way of thinking through a longer-term lean strategy for your organization. More »