Monday, October 15, 2018

You're invited! ... to help me write the first Lean book devoted to veterinary practice

I am ready to start the process of publishing my book on the Toyota Production System,  or Lean, for veterinarians and veterinary staff. This process will use Lean methodology, so I invite everyone who is interested to participate by leaving comments and questions as I go forward. This will be the first book about Lean devoted to the veterinary profession.

I have decided to utilize for this book. The book will initially be published in multiple e-book formats with, hopefully, a paper version later. uses the Lean mindset of starting small, then iterating quickly and updating frequently based on reader feedback. 

So, I will start uploading a new chapter every couple of days to a week. At the same time I will update previous chapters and republish them. I will keep everyone updated through LinkedIn and my blog,

With,  a minimum price and a suggested price are listed. You can get the current version of the book, and all future updates, for either of these prices (or more if you would like for me to get paid more). You decide. At the beginning, the minimum price will be free and suggested price will be $4.99. As more chapters and updates are published, both prices to purchase the book will go up slightly. I anticipate the final suggested price to be around $16.00.

My plan is to use the majority of any proceeds to go towards the continued teaching of Lean principles through lecturing at professional veterinary conventions and the development of staff workshops. Maybe, one day in the future, we can all come together for an annual Lean Veterinary Summit. 

The book covers the majority of the Lean methodology that I have learned over the years of study and presents it from a diagnosis and treatment perspective that veterinarians and their staff are familiar with. Just as our patients are composed of different systems, have a defined state of health and can develope problems which require an objective methodology of diagnosis and treatment, so, in actuality, do our practices. The chapters are designed to follow the same path we traveled as students in veterinary school and our daily diagnostic methods. With your help, as knowledgable and respected stakeholders in our profession, we will be successful with this new beginning; a new paradigm of veterinary practice management. 

Here is the working Table Of Contents:

Physiology: Some basics
  1. Systems
  2. Value
  3. Customer
  4. Flow
  5. Value Stream
  6. Just In Time
  7. Push vs Pull
Health: True North
Pathology: The 3 “M’s”
  1. Waste
  2. Overburden
  3. Variance
Physical Exam: Establishing the Current State
  1. Gemba
  2. Value Stream Maps
The Working Diagnosis: Gaps and Root Cause Analysis
  1. Gaps = Problems
  2. 5 Why Root Cause Analysis
Treatment: The Lean “Medical Bag”
  1. Eliminate Wastes
  2. Standardized Work
  3. Kanban
  4. 5S
  5. Visual Management
  6. Poka yoke
  7. Andon Cord
Records: A3 Reports
  1. Scientific Method
  2. SOAP
  3. Deming’s PDCA Cycle
  4. A3 Reports
  5. Nemawashi: The Importance of Consensus Building
Kaizen: The Environment of Continuous Improvement
Process Behavior Charts: The Voice of the System
Where To Start
Continuing Education
  1. Further Reading
  2. On the Web
About the Authors
  1. E. E. “Chip” Ponsford, III, DVM
  2. Mark Graban MS, MBA

So, the first step is choosing a title and sub-title so I can get a couple of book covers designed to choose from.

The current leanpub title is

Lean Veterinary Practice Management (Click here)

Here are my ideas. Notice I have placed a number in front of each title and a letter in front of each sub-title. I have paired a title with a sub-title, but you are welcome to suggest a different combination in the format #/A to make it easy, or an entirely new idea. 

(1) A Strategy of Excellence 
(A) A Lean Guide For Veterinarians 

(2) The Lean Veterinary Practice 
(B)Higher Quality,  Lower Costs, Less Waste, Better Resource Utilization  and Greater Staff Engagement  

(3) Towards Your Ideal Practice 
(C) Making Your Veterinary Practice the Best Your Practice It Can Be

(4) Lean Veterinarians 
(D) The New Science of Veterinary Practice Management 

You can vote by leaving a comment on this post or email me at

Please participate. I value your input, suggestions and questions!

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