Professor John Bicheno

Professor of Lean Enterprise

BSc (Eng), GDE (Witwatersrand), MA (Lancaster), MBA (Bradford), PrEng, CFPIM (APICS), FSAPICS

John BichenoJohn was born in South Africa. He graduated with Engineering degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and spent 12 years in industry and local government in South Africa in the areas of project and design engineering, management services, operations research, and operations management.

John began learning about Lean in 1982 with Toyota in South Africa.

In 1987 he came with his British wife and three boys to live in England and took up a position as Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at the University of Buckingham. He became a Reader in 1990 and was Dean in 1992. His interests are in lean operations, both in service and manufacturing. Becoming ‘lean’, he believes, should be a priority for all operations-led organisations. John is the author of several best-selling books including The Lean Toolbox (sales exceeding 100k)

He has developed several participative games in Lean and in Service, including The Buckingham Lean Game which is used in many organisations, universities, and consultancies in several countries.

He is the founding Director of MSc in Lean Operations, Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC), 1999-2012. During his period at LERC he supervised over 80 Masters dissertations.

He has been a Shingo examiner. In 2013 he joined the APICS CPIM ECO certification committee.  On the Buckingham University MSc Lean Enterprise website, a continually updated list of ‘Bicheno’s 100 Top Books on Lean’ is maintained. This site attracts several hundred hits every month. He has been a mentor to numerous organisations

He has been a regular participant on programmes at University of Witwatersrand, Vlerick School of Management, Swansea University, The Manufacturing Institute, Antwerp School of Management, PLAN (Sweden), and Effektivitet (Denmark).

He is an enthusiastic participant and speaker at the European Lean Educator (ELEC) annual conferences since their inception in 2014. In 2016 the ELEC conference was held in Buckingham.



John Bicheno, The Lean Games and Simulations Book, PICSIE Books, Buckingham, 2015, ISBN 0-978-0-9568307-2-2, 342 pages

Bicheno, John and Holweg, Matthias, The Lean Toolbox (5th edition), PICSIE Books, 2016, ISBN 978 0 9568307 5 3, 335 pages

Bicheno, John and Thurnes, Christian, Lean-Simulation und –Spiele, Synnovating, Kaiserslautern, 2016, ISBN 978-3-9815493-3-1, 344 pages.

Bicheno, John; Wijers, Gijs; Feringa, Marjolijn, De Toolbox Voor Diienstverlening, LCB, 2018, ISBN 978 90 829 0080 4, 470 pages

John Bicheno and Matthias Holweg, The Lean Toolbox (5th edition) Chinese translation. China Machine Press, 2017, ISBN 978-7-111-53172-2, 440 pages

Bicheno, J. The Service Systems Toolbox: Integrating Lean Thinking, Systems Thinking and Design Thinking (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2012). 341 pp.  ISBN: 978-0-9568307-0-8.

Brophy, A. & J. Bicheno, Innovative Lean: A Guide (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2010). 230 pp.  ISBN: 978-0-9541244-8-9.

Bicheno, J.  The Lean Games Book (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2010). 203 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9541244-7-2.

Bicheno, J. & A. Portioli Staudacher, Metodologie e Tecniche per la Lean [in Italian] (Bologna: Pitagora Editrice, 2009).  308 pp. ISBN: 88-371-1774-4.

Bicheno, J. & M. Holweg, The Lean Toolbox (4th ed., Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2009).  290 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9541244-5-8.

Note: In November 2013, cumulative sales of the four editions of The Lean Toolbox exceeded 100,000 copies.

Bicheno, J. (tr. J. Austad), Lean Vaertkojskassen 2.0 [in Danish] (Hedensted, Denmark: Leanteam, 2008).  297 pp. ISBN: 978-87-990316-2-7.

Bicheno, J. The Lean Toolbox for Service Systems (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2008). 300 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9541244-4-1.

Bicheno, J. Fishbone Flow (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2006). 122 pp. ISBN: 0-9541-2443-X.

Bicheno, J. & P. Catherwood. Six Sigma and the Quality Toolbox (Buckingham, PICSIE Books, 2005). 152 pp. ISBN: 0-9541-2442-1.

Bicheno, J. with J. Austad and B. Bloland, Den Nye Lean Vaerktojskasse [in Danish] (Lean Team Denmark, 2004). ISBN: 87-990316-0-4.

Bicheno, J. The New Lean Toolbox (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2005).  211 pp. ISBN: 0-9541-2441-3.

Bicheno, J. with B. Otto, Die Excellence Box [in German] (Ostfildern: Otto Consult, 2002). 152 pp. ISBN: 3-00-009531-4.

Bicheno, J. The Quality 75: Towards Six Sigma Performance in Service and Manufacturing (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2002).  124 pp. ISBN: 0-9541244-0-5.

Bicheno, J. & M.R. Gopalan, A Management Guide to Quality and Productivity (New Delhi, Wheeler, 2000).  168 pp. ISBN: 81-7544-220-4.

Bicheno, J. Cause and Effect Lean: Lean Operations, Six Sigma and Supply Chain Essentials (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2000). 88 pp. ISBN: 0-9513-8301-9.

Bicheno, J. The Lean Toolbox (2nd ed.) (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 2000). 203 pp.  ISBN: 0-9513-829-9-3.

Bicheno, J. The Lean Toolbox (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 1998).  165 pp.  ISBN: 0-9513-829-8-5.

Bicheno, J. The Quality 60: A Guide for Service and Manufacturing (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 1998). 115 pp. ISBN: 0- 9513-829-7-7.

Bicheno, J. & B. Elliott, Operations Management (Oxford:  Open Learning Foundation / Blackwell, 1997).  633 pp. ISBN: 0-631-201815.

The Quality 50: A Guide to Gurus, Tools, Wastes, Techniques, and Systems (Buckingham, 1994)  (2nd edition of the 1991 book)

34 for Quality: A Guide to Gurus, Tools, Wastes and Techniques (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 1991)

Cause and Effect JIT: The Essentials of Lean Manufacturing (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 1994) (2nd edition of the 1989 book)

Implementing JIT (Bedford: IFS Publications, 1991). 5, 147 pp. ISBN: 1-85423-090.

Cause and Effect JIT: A Pocket Guide (Buckingham: PICSIE Books, 1989)

Other publications and book chapters since 1996 (prior publications available on request)

John Bicheno, ‘What it takes to build a World-Class Masters Education’, Proc. TWI International Conference, Copenhagen, June 2014

John Bicheno, What it takes to build World Class Masters Education: 15 Years of MSc in Lean, Lean Educators Conference, Stuttgart, September 2014

John Bicheno, 15 Years of the Masters in Lean, IIE Lean Six Sigma Conference, Orlando, October 2014

John Bicheno, The Forgotten, The Ignored, The Possible, Keynote address, Proc. ELEC 2017, Nijmegen, November 2017

John Bicheno and Pauline Found, Chapter ‘Lean Production’ in Torbjørn Netland and Daryl Powell, The Routledge Companion to Lean Management, Routledge, 2017, pp 23-33, ISBN 9781-138-92059-0 (Edited works, contribution)

Bicheno, J., K. Mackle & J. Darlington, “Houses Built on Sand: How lack of operations management knowledge hinders Lean implementation”, Proc Lean Educators Conference (Norfolk, VA, Sept 2012).

Bicheno, J., “Towards Reconciling Lean, Six Sigma, TOC, and Systems Thinking”, Proc APICS International Conference (Pittsburgh, 2011).

Bicheno, J. & M. Holweg, “The Equation of Lean”, Proc. International EurOMA Conference (2011), 12 pp. [conference contribution, refereed].

Stevens, M., M. Holweg & J. Bicheno, “Mapping Tools for Value Chain Analysis”, Proc. International EurOMA Conference (2009), 10 pp. [conference contribution, refereed].

Bicheno, J., “Lean Futures…”, Operations Management  33.4 (2007), 5 [editorial].

Bicheno, J., 4 short articles published in The Biz, 2005

Bicheno, J., “Leaning into the Future”, Control 30.7 (2004), 4 [editorial].

Bicheno, J., Teams, Measures, Accounting and Design, APICS Lean SIG CD-Rom Series, APICS, VA., USA, 2003, 130 pp. and 125 slides

Bicheno, J., Lean Quality APICS Lean SIG CD-Rom Series, APICS, VA., USA, 2003, 125 pp. and 125 slides

Mackle, K. & J. Bicheno, Lean Mapping, APICS Lean SIG CD-Rom Series, APICS, VA., USA, 2003, 125 pp. and 125 slides.

Bicheno, J., Lean Scheduling, APICS Lean SIG CD-Rom Series, APICS, VA., USA, 2003, 125 pp. and 130 slides.

Bicheno, J. “Aylesbury Pressings”, in R. Johnston et al., Cases in Operations Management (3rd ed., London: FT Prentice Hall, 2003), 292-299.  ISBN: 0-273-65531-0. [This is a new case with same title as the 1990 case.]

Bicheno, J. & A. Harrison, “Valley District Council Cleansing Services”, ibid., 409-413.

Bicheno, J. “Aylesbury Pressings: Teaching Note”, Teaching Guide to Cases in Operations Management (3rd ed., London: FT Prentice Hall, 2003).

Bicheno, J. & B. Johns, “Lean and Six Sigma: Mutual Benefit?”, Proc EurOMA Conference (Como, Italy, June 2003).

Holweg, M. & J. Bicheno, “Supply Chain Simulation: A Tool for Education, Enhancement and Endeavour”, International Journal of Production Economics 78 (2002), 163-175. ISSN: 0925-5273.

Bicheno, J. “Lean Past and Future”, The Manufacturer 5.9 (September 2002).

Bicheno, J. “I have a Vision (for Lean)”, The Manufacturer 4.8 (August 2001), 60-61.

Bicheno, J., M. Holweg & J. Niessmann, “Constraint Batch Sizing in a Lean Environment”, International Journal of Production Economics 73 (2001), 41-49. ISSN: 0925-527. [Journal papers; academic journal]

Bicheno, J. “Lean Manufacturing in the UK”, Proc AME Conference 2001, Raleigh NC (Wheeling IL: Assoc. for Manuf. Excellence), 10 pp.published on CD-ROM.

Bicheno, J. & M. Holweg, “The Reverse Amplification Effect in Supply Chains”, Joint Conference 5th Intl Symposium on Logistics and 3rd Annual Conference of Japan Society of Logistics Systems, 12-15 July 2000, Iwate, Japan. [Conference contribution, refereed]

Bicheno, J. “Kaikaku: A Powerful Way into Lean Operations”, Proc. Inst Operations Management Conference, Birmingham, 16-18 November 1999, 8 pp.

Bicheno, J. “Kanban: The Old and the New”, Control (September 1999), 22-26.  ISSN: 0266-1713 [Journal papers; professional journal]

Bicheno, J.,  M. Holweg & J. Niesmann, “Lean Supply Chain Scheduling”, Proc 15th Int Conf on Prodn Research, IFPR, Univ of Limerick, 9-13 Aug 1999. ISBN: 1-874653-56-9 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Mackle, K. & J. Bicheno, “Developing Overall Equipment Effectiveness as a Measure for Service” in Roland van Dierdonck and Ann Vereecke, Operations Management: Crossing Borders and Boundaries, Proc 7th Int Conference of EurOMA, Ghent, 368-375. ISBN: 90-382-0246-6 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Holweg, M. & J. Bicheno, “The Automotive Steel Supply Chain: What Happens, What could happen”, in Emelio Bartezzerghi et al., Managing Operations Networks, EurOMA, Venice, June 1999, 221-228. ISBN: 88-86281-39-0 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Sullivan, J. & J. Bicheno, “The Application of Value Stream Management to Muda Reduction in a First Tier Automotive Component Manufacturer”, in Emelio Bartezzerghi et al., Managing Operations Networks, EurOMA, Venice, June 1999, 311-320. ISBN: 88-86281-39-0 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Bicheno, J. “Kaizen and Kaikaku”, Logistics Focus 7.3 (April 1999), 12-17. ISSN: 1350-6293 [Journal papers; professional journal]

Bicheno, J. “Service Recovery, Customer Retention and the 3 R’s”, Control (November 1998), 27. ISSN: 0266-1713. [Journal papers; professional journal]

Bicheno, J. “The Kano Model”, Control (September 1998), 27. ISSN: 0266-1713. [Journal papers; professional journal]

Bicheno, J. “5S”, Control (August 1998), 10. ISSN: 0266-1713.  [Journal papers; professional journal]

Hines, P., Rich, N., Brunt, D., Taylor, D., Butterworth, C., Sullivan, J., “The Value Stream Mapping Tools – A Critique of the Methodology”, Proc. 5th Int Conf EurOMA, School of Business Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, 1998. [Conference contribution refereed]

Bourne, M., J. Mills, M. Willcox, D. Hamblin, J. Bicheno, A. Neely, K. Platts, “Performance Measurement System Design : Testing A Process Approach in Manufacturing Companies”, Int Jnl of Business Performance Management 1.2 (1999), 154-170. ISSN: 1386-4892 [Journal papers; academic journal]

Bicheno, J., M.R.Gopalan, V.S. Mahesh, “Extending the Effectiveness of Service Mapping”, Management Review, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, 11.1 (March 1999), 13-24. ISSN: 0979-3896 [Journal papers; academic journal]

Bicheno, J. “Kaizen and Kaikaku: Can they be made Continuous?”, Proc. 2nd Internat. EuroCINet Conference, Harry Boer and Jose Gieskes (eds), Univ of Twente, Sept 1998, 55-62, ISBN 90-365-12158 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Bicheno, J. “Mapping MUDA in the Automotive Supply Chain”, Proc. SAPICS 20th International Conference and Exhibition, Cape Town, 6 – 8 July 1998, 201-213 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Bicheno, J. “Automotive Value Stream Mapping”, Proc. POMS South Africa Meeting: An International Meeting of the Production and Operations Management Society, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, 29 June – 2 July, 1998, 52-61 [Conference contribution, refereed]

Munro-Faure, M., D. Atkinson, J. Bicheno, “Denso Manufacturing UK: Improvement through Teamwork”, in Lealey Munro-Faure, Richard Teare, Eberhard Scheuing (eds), Quality Improvement: Teamwork Solutions from the UK and North America (London: Cassell, 1998), 17-40. ISBN: 0-304-70311-7.

Hines, P., N. Rich, J. Bicheno, D. Brunt, D. Taylor, C. Butterworth, J. Sullivan, “Value Stream Management”, Int. Jnl. of Logistics Management 9.1 (1998), 25-42. ISSN:0957-4903 [Journal papers; academic journal]

Bicheno, J. & B. Thomas, “Self Directed Work Teams : Opportunities and Pitfalls”, Proc. Institute of Operations Management Annual Conference 1997 : The Profitable Enterprise, Birmingham (19/20 November 1997), 216-221

“Fun and Games in Operations Management: Running a course with games every week?”, in Peter Saunders and Benita Cox (eds), The International Gaming and Simulation Yearbook Volume 5 : Research into Simulations in Education (London: Kogan Page, 1997), 123-134. ISBN: 0-7494-2174-6 [Edited works, contribution]

Bicheno, J. & P. Welton Cook, “The Hub Run-Out Team at British Steel Forgings – Garringtons”, in Richard Teare, et al (eds), Team Working and Quality Improvement : Lessons from British and American Organizations (London: Cassell, 1997), 17-30. ISBN: 0-304-33838-9 [Edited works, contribution]

Bicheno, J. & Alan Harrison “Aylesbury Pressings”, in Robert Johnston, Stuart Chambers, Alan Harrison, and Nigel Slack (eds), Cases in Operations Management (2nd ed., Pitman, 1997), 110-122. ISBN: 0-273-62496-2 [Edited works, contribution]

Bicheno, J. & Alan Harrison “Valley District Council Cleansing Services”, in Robert Johnston, Stuart Chambers, Alan Harrison, and Nigel Slack (eds), Cases in Operations Management (2nd ed., Pitman, 1997), 368-372. ISBN: 0-273-62496-2 [Edited works, contribution]

Bicheno, J. & V.S. Mahesh, “Extending Service Mapping”, Proc. IV International EurOMA Conference, Barcelona, June 15th – 18th, 1997, 6 pp. [Conference contribution, refereed]

“Educational Innovation in Problem-Based Learning: Teaching Service Management through Team Teaching and with Quality Techniques”, Chapter 27 in Wim Gijselaers, D.T. Tempelaar, P.K. Keizer, J.M. Blommaert, E.M. Bernard, H. Kasper (eds), Educational Innovation in Economics and Business Administration : The Case of Problem-Based Learning (Dordrecht: Kluver Academic Publishers, 1995), 239-247. ISBN: 0-7923-3272-5.

Book Reviews and Web Reviews

A total of 17 book reviews have been written for Lean Management Journal since 2009.

2018 Conference Keynotes

  • John Bicheno, ‘Muda, Muri, Mura: The Kingman Equation of Lean’, Pietermaritzburg Kwa Zulu Natal Conference, Pietermaritzburg, October 2018
  • John Bicheno, ‘TQM: Reflections and Opportunities’, 21st International Conference on Quality and Service Sciences, QMOD 2018, Cardiff, August 2018
  • John Bicheno, ‘Lean Educators: Platforms, Pirates, Parkinson and Potent Technologies’, Proc. 5th European Lean Educator Conference (ELEC 2018), Braga, Portugal, November 2018

Books Currently in Translation

  • The Service Systems Toolbox. German version. (English version plus extensions). Synnovating, Kaiserslautern. Due for publication mid 2019
  • The Lean Toolbox (5th edition). Polish version, Macadamia, Warsaw, Due for publication early 2019
  • The Lean Toolbox (5th edition). German version. Synnovating, Kaiserslautern. Due mid 2019.
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