2 Second Lean Book Summary

Getting Started With 2 Second Lean

The Best Free Resources, All Right Here!

2 Second Lean Book

Have you read 2 Second Lean or are you interested in implementing it at your organization? Thankfully, there are a TON of free videos and resources available on the internet to help you get started.

However, before now there has been nothing to organize these resources in a step-by-step implementation package.

What we’ve done on this page is bring together the best-of-the-best videos, tips, and instructions to help you get started with 2 Second Lean.

Step 1: Get Familiar with 2 Second Lean

First of all, you need to know that you can download the book in multiple formats for FREE at Paul Akers’ website. Click here to go to the download page. The book is available as a PDF, mp3, eBook, or even YouTube video.

If you want a hardcopy of the book you can get it on Amazon or discounted in bulk at FastCap.

2 Second Lean Company Reference List

It’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with companies practicing 2 Second Lean. Many of them are very active online via YouTube. This provides an amazing look into what happens at these organizations. You can view many YouTube videos at the links below.

Lean Journey
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Cambridge Engineering

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In The Ditch Towing

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Paul Akers

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Pitt-Meadows Plumbing

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Viking Plastics

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Walters & Wolf

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Xylem Design

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Visit a Company via the Lean Hub

There is also the famous “Lean Hub” at paulakers.net where dozens of these companies provide contact information. The purpose of the hub it to allow others to connect with lean organizations. We highly recommend finding one in your area and contacting them for a visit!

Visit the Lean Hub here.

Step 2: Start a Daily Meeting

The daily meeting is the heartbeat of the lean management system Paul created. There are a few great examples of these meetings online. The goal at first is not to make these long. Since the purpose of the meeting is to grow people, it’s best to start simple and short and then build onto it from there.

FastCap Meeting (Short)

FastCap Morning (Long)

Xylem Design 9/19/2017

Xylem Design 9/20/2017

Xylem Design 9/21/2017

Xylem Design 9/22/2017

Note: Xylem Design has published many daily meeting videos to YouTube. You can find more on their channel.

Recommended: Three Months of Daily Meetings

There is no magic number for how long to do daily meetings before building more onto your lean management system. However, we recommend three months of doing daily meetings (only) before moving onto Step 3 below. This is based on FastCap’s own lean journey and other 2 Second Lean companies like Cambridge Engineering.

See what Paul’s comments are about starting the daily meeting from the book:

“The first three months were hard work. It was like pulling teeth to keep everybody enthusiastic or even interested. We didn’t get everybody on-board and some thought maybe we were a little crazy. Why were we “wasting” this first hour of the day not building product? Why were we standing around in a circle in this crazy morning meeting? But after three months, things started to look pretty positive and then after six months, because we didn’t give up (just like a good diet), things really started looking good. After one year, we were on fire” (p. 54).

When Cambridge Engineering started their daily meeting they did it for about three months before doing anything else. They did not have their people do 3S and daily improvement until after they established an effective and engaging daily meeting.

Keep it Simple and Short!

Starting the daily meeting can be very simple and short! When Torre started their meetings they were about 3 minutes long. All they did was watch one or two 2 Second Lean videos on YouTube. Paul recommends you could even read a few pages from the book each day in this video.

Daily Meeting Resources

FastCap Meeting Checklist

FastCap Morning Meeting Checklist

Use this template from FastCap for inspiration or customize it to suit your needs!


Step 3: Start Doing Daily 3S

Once you’ve got your daily meeting rocking and rolling, it’s time to introduce a daily 3S period. Many companies achieve this in only 15 additional minutes prior to the daily meeting. In time, it may grow in duration as it blends into a longer period of daily improvement (step 4).

Training on 3S

3S is simple and fully explained on our page Lean 101: 3S Productivity. The page contains free videos for each practice of 3S (sort, sweep, and standardize) that are highly recommended for training your team. Best of all, they’re fun!

Our first introduction video is shown below. All others can be found at this link.

Start in the Bathroom

If you’ve read the 2 Second Lean book, you know that Paul recommends starting your lean journey in the bathroom! It’s a brilliant move: starting in the bathroom involves every employee every day and combines learning lean with some serious fun.

Here’s four videos that overview the lean bathroom.

FastCap Bathroom 2010

FastCap Bathroom 2012

FastCap Bathroom 2014

Lean Bathroom – Torre

Step 4: Start Doing Daily Improvement

As you make 3S a daily habit you will quickly identify opportunities for improvement. The 3S period can then blend into a longer period dedicated to making these “2 second improvements.” FastCap spends up to an hour doing 3S and 2 second improvements every day. Some other companies spend 30 or 45 minutes every day.

The amount of time you spend is up to you, but one thing is true: dedicating time for everyone to improve their work areas is the fastest way to transforming your organization. This is how lean becomes “everyone, every day, everywhere.”

The 8 Wastes of Lean Training

Just like the training videos on daily 3S, we also have videos that teach the 8 wastes of lean! They are simiilarly fun, simple, and draw upon everyday examples that everyone can relate to.

See below for the introduction video to the 8 wastes of lean. All other videos can be viewed here.

Make a 2 Second Improvement Every Day

The heart and soul of 2 Second Lean involves making a 2 second improvement every day. It’s effective because everyone can do it and, therefore, everyone can participate. It’s a brilliant teaching that engages the creativity and participation of everyone in the entire organization.

See what Paul has to say about making 2 second improvements below.

FastCap 2017 Best Improvements

Why 2 Second Improvements

30+ 2 Second Improvements

Do a Daily Improvement Walk

It’s important that leadership is on the floor when the daily 3S and improvement is taking place. Leaders must participate, encourage, and learn.

For a great example of what this looks like, consider Paul’s “improvement walk” below.

Paul’s Daily Improvement Walk

Step 5: Make Use of Video

Using video is like “pouring gasoline onto a fire” according to Paul. It can dramatically accelerate your lean learning and practice. It’s not uncommon for 100-person companies practicing 2 Second Lean to produce 4,000 videos in their first two years. That comes out to an average of 20 videos per person per year!

Short improvement videos are massively effective because they help to standardize improvements and also train, inspire, and recognize others. It’s a great way to tangibly emplower the workforce to make and document changes.

How to Make a 2SL Video (on iPhone)

Step 6: Start Giving Lean Tours

The last step to take, following the 2 Second Lean model, is to begin offering lean tours to anyone interested in what you are doing (before the conclusion of your first year).

Giving tours creates a spirit of generosity and pride within the organization. It also displays humility as you open yourself up to the input and ideas of visitors who observe your company.

Get Support for the Journey

The resources will address many but not all of your initial questions about starting your lean journey. For additional help–including in-depth video tours, training videos, case studies, interviews, and more–we recommend joining the Lean Smarts Academy. The Academy is where lean maniacs from organizations everywhere gather to grow and to support each other on their lean journeys.

Click here to learn more