The 15 Best Lean Books Curated by Lean Construction Institute

Lean Books

Lean Books of Interest

From LCI publications to recommended reading, explore these Lean books for further exploration of the value, benefits, and best practices in Lean design and Lean construction.

LCI Publications

Transforming Design and Construction: A Framework for Change

William R. (Bill) Seed, Executive Editor

A diverse set of practitioners collaborated to create the Transforming Design and Construction: A Framework for Change book based on the transformative projects and experiences of their Lean practices.

The papers, presented in short chapter format, are intended to encourage discussion, learning and experimentation individually or with a team.


Target Value Delivery: Practitioner Guidebook to Implementation

Executive Editors: Kristin Hill, Katherine Copeland and Christian Pikel

Target Value Delivery: Practitioner Guidebook to Implementation was collaboratively written by a team of more than 20 Target Value Delivery (TVD) practitioners to provide current state practical guidance to implementing TVD with a project team.

This guidebook portrays TVD as an umbrella over Target Value Production for construction and Target Value Design by taking a broader approach rather than focusing only on the design phase.

Read LCI’s second book in the Transforming Design and Construction series to gain practical insight to current practices for implementing Target Value Delivery on any project.


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Additional Lean Books

2 Second Lean

By Paul A. Akers

2 Second Lean will flip your world right-side up. It’s a practical way to improve your life every day by making a simple 2 second improvement. Join author, business expert, radio show host, and international speaker, Paul A. Akers, as he takes you on a LEAN journey that will transform every aspect of your life… from your home to the office.


Better Building

By Klaus Lemke

Better Building provides a practical model for putting lean thinking into action and improving the experience of project work. Based on years of experience shifting mindsets and behaviors, this model answers the most often asked questions and provides a roadmap for navigating the toughest parts of a lean transformation journey in the project-driven environment.

Whether exploring lean for the first time, or sharpening skills of leadership and continuous improvement, every individual, team or organization will benefit from these insights.


Choosing By Advantages: How to Make Sound Decisions

By Rebecca Snelling

Choosing By Advantages Sound Decisionmaking is a gamechanger in people’s lives. It is something that is useful in both home life and work life. It helps families align on decisions. It enables project teams to think through and align on better decisions and work products for their customers, delivering increased value. It helps organizations make better decisions for their employees and for their customers. When CBA is executed properly, along with good facilitation skills, it results in better decisions where all stakeholders can understand why those decisions were made, even if the results are not the same as their personal preference.

This book is a clear, concise explanation of how to use Choosing By Advantages Sound Decisionmaking. It explains the underlying concepts, the vocabulary, the most frequently used methods, as well as shares some of the keys to successful facilitation of group decisions. This book should be on everyone’s shelf!


Construction Scrum: How to Deliver Projects Easier, Better, and Faster

By Felipe Engineer-Manriquez; Foreword: Dr. Jeff Southerland

Construction Scrum: How to Deliver Projects Easier, Better, and Faster is the first practical guide for construction professionals to implement the Scrum framework in the construction industry.

“My vision for this book is to bust the myths and assumptions around Scrum and to simplify the life of construction project managers, superintendents, and field engineers. This book is dedicated to all the people in our industry who take action and make project delivery easier and better for construction today,” Felipe Engineer-Manriquez said.


Integrating Project Delivery

By Martin Fischer, Howard W. Ashcraft, Dean Reed and Atul Khanzode

Every project can benefit from integration; integration creates synergies that lead to higher performing buildings and happier building users, clients, and project teams. Integrating Project Delivery offers the first comprehensive look at the emergent integrated project delivery (IPD) system. It uses the Simple Framework to organize the essential steps for integration and combines the key structural, process, technology, and behavioral components necessary to drive the behavioral change required to achieve high performance projects.


The Lean Builder: A Builder’s Guide to Applying Lean Tools in the Field

By Joe Donarumo and Keyan Zandy

Written especially for Last Planners, The Lean Builder: A Builder’s Guide to Applying Lean Tools in the Field offers a highly-relatable and field-friendly story that clearly articulates the benefits of seven primary Lean concepts, and provides a logical, simplified blueprint for their sequential implementation. Readers of The Lean Builder will understand why they should—and how they can—immediately apply these tools and processes to their own projects, and ultimately improve their teams and workflow via daily huddles, visual communication, the “eight wastes”, managing constraints, pull planning, the last planner system™, percent plan complete.


Lean Construction Leaders: A Trade Partner’s Guide

By George Trachilis and Perry Thompson

This book follows training that has been by trade partners and general contractors alike. Anyone wanting to learn about Lean in the construction industry should learn the topics shared within, such as Creating a Lean Culture, the Five Principles of Lean Thinking, the 5S System, The Last Planner System®, and the P⁴ Planning System developed by the authors. With access to a coach from the website, you can connect to other students around the globe. You also get access to over 300 videos through QR codes, which represent interviews from 20 leaders in the industry. Finally, access to the online course and assignments make this amazing book your passport to Lean construction learning and development as a Lean leader.


Lean Project Delivery: Building Championship Project Teams

By David Umstot and Dan Fauchier

This book was inspired by the need for an integrated resource for those in the design and construction industry wanting to better understand how Lean can improve project performance and outcomes. Whether you are a design professional, site superintendent, project manager, or C-suite executive, this book will help all understand how Lean can make your team perform at a championship level.


Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process

By John Shook

Managing to Learn by Toyota veteran John Shook, reveals the thinking underlying the vital A3 management process at the heart of lean management and lean leadership. Constructed as a dialogue between a manager and his boss, the book explains how A3 thinking helps managers and executives identify, frame, and then act on problems and challenges.


Seven Principles Creating your Success in the Construction Industry

By Henry Nutt

Creating Your Success in the Construction Industry is an essential tool to help you achieve your goals. The author shares relatable, relevant, engaging principles that can be life-changing. He believes that if readers can understand and practice these principles with consistency and the appropriate mindset towards specific challenges, they can obtain their desired careers and aspirations.


The Pull Planning Playbook

By Rich Seiler

This book is a great hands-on application of a tried and true planning process that will significantly improve daily predictability. It is written for the people leading the day-to-day craft of the construction trade. We hope it will add value, please let us know.


This is Lean: Resolving the Efficiency Paradox

By Niklas Modig & Pär Åhlström

This is Lean gives an easily accessible, structured, and inspiring account and description of Lean. Most important perhaps is the value and effect of the joint development of the whole organization, and the structured way of working from co-workers to executives. Here are enormous benefits to gain both for co-workers, for the company and organization, and not the least for the customer.


Your Guide to Lean Design and Construction

By Julie Glassmeyer

Your Guide to Lean Design and Construction is a handbook for lean project implementation, specifically focusing on the Last Planner System® and Target Value Delivery. It is an “instruction manual” for understanding the principles and executing the tools of Lean Design and Construction and would be a useful text for a first-time student, as well as a handy reference for an experienced practitioner.


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