booksI’m a reader. There, I said it. I feel better. And not Kindle or Nook reading either. I like books. I like the way they feel, the way the smell, the heft, the comfort, and having a bunch of texts at my disposal to make me look educated. Appearances are everything.

I’m always looking for great resources for transactional process improvement, so I thought it a good time to make a list to share.

Transactional Six Sigma for Green Belts: Maximizing Service And Manufacturing Processes – Windsor
No, you don’t have to be a Green Belt to read it. It’s a great overview of Six Sigma tools and how they can be applied outside of the manufacturing world. Real world applications, calculations and improvement strategies are included at no extra charge. I keep a few copies of this on the shelf to hand out.

Bare Bones Project Management: What you can’t not do– Lewis
A great primer on project management. Charters, goals, tools. 50 pages. More a pamphlet than a book, but you know everything in there is important.

Retooling HR: Using Proven Business Tools to Make Better Decisions About Talent– Boudreau
Looks at classic metrics and tools from other disciplines (marketing, supply chain, finance) to help translate the “soft” world of HR into data driven decisions that your leadership can get their heads around.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean: Lessons from the Road – Finchbaugh, Carlino, Pawley
A retrospective look at learning and living Lean. Real life examples of implementations, failures and lessons.

Office Kaizen: Transforming Office Operations into a Strategic Competitive Advantage – Lareau
A look at rebuilding office functions through Lean strategies and tools.

Lean Six Sigma Demystified, Second Edition – Arthur
A great self-teaching tool if you are new to the world of LSS and want to get up to speed. Not scary.

Lean Six Sigma for Service : How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions– George
Bigger of his two books on the list. Case studies, ideas and tools to get you going.

The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed – George
The shortcut version. This book is an index of tools, templates and methods. It is less geared toward the transactional environment, more toward manufacturing, and is not a linear read. But a nice reference to have around.

Here are some additional texts that, while not about Lean, have earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

Confessions of a Public Speaker – Berkun
Great tips on building and preparing for a presentation, along with some really great stories from several professional speakers.  Have you ever had someone in the secret service storm your session and remove someone at gunpoint?  No?  Would you like to read the story?

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience – Gallo
Jobs is a great speaker.  There are some invaluable tips in this book on getting better.  Not as good as Jobs, but better.

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success – Gallo
The man thinks a little different than other people.  This is a great look at the driving force behind Apple’s development.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant – Kim, Mauborgne. A great overview for seeing the world differently, then planning make it work for you.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t – Collins.  The much read and much loved story of companies that excelled by getting out of their own way.  A lot of discussion has followed on how true some of the lessons are, but you should read it and take it for what it is worth.