Books by Karen

Karen is a two-time Shingo Research Award winning author who’s known for breaking complex content into digestible, practical bites.


Clarity First

Clarity First takes a deep look at individual and organizational clarity: why you need it, why you don’t have it, and what you can do to get it. You’ll learn how to determine if individuals, work teams, and organization-at-large are clarity pursuers, clarity avoiders, or clarity blind and how to create the type of clarity-driven culture that produces outstanding business performance and a work environment that allows everyone to thrive. […]


Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM), The first of its kind—a Value Stream Mapping book written for those in service and office environments who want to improve their operations.

Value Stream Mapping is a practical, how-to guide that helps decision-makers improve value stream performance in virtually any setting, including construction, energy, financial service, government, healthcare, R&D, retail, and technology. It gives you the tools to address a wider range of important VSM issues than any other such book, including the psychology of change, leadership, creating teams, building consensus, and charter development. […]


The Outstanding Organization

After two decades in the trenches of helping companies design and build better, more efficient operations, Karen Martin has pinpointed why performance improvement programs often fail: chaos, the sneaky but powerful force that frustrates customers, keeps business leaders awake at night, and saps company morale. […]


Metrics-Based Process Mapping

Metrics-Based Process Mapping (MBPM), developed by Mike Osterling and Karen Martin, is a tactical-level, visual mapping approach that enables improvement teams to make effective, data-based decisions regarding waste elimination and measure ongoing process performance. The mapping technique, typically used to drill down from a value stream map, integrates the functional orientation of traditional swim lane process maps with time and quality metrics that are essential for designing improved processes.

The Excel-based tool provides a user-friendly way to electronically archive manually created maps in team settings for easier storage and distribution across an organization. The electronic maps serve as standard work documentation for the improved process, enabling training and process monitoring activities. […]


The Kaizen Event Planner

The Kaizen Event Planner is a practical how-to guide for planning, executing, and sustaining rapid improvements in office, service, and technical environments.

Geared to continuous improvement professionals and leadership teams, this book provides the methodology and practical tools for generating measurable results, while building a motivated workforce and creating a culture with an integrated focus on customer value, quality, cost, and service.

The Kaizen Event Planner includes 15 Excel-based standard work tools for planning, executing, and sustaining rapid improvements. […]


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