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The Birth of Lean: Conversations with the Founders of TPS
by Koichi Shimokawa and Takahiro Fujimoto (Editors)

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This is a fascinating look at the origins of lean, written in the words of the people who created the Toyota Production System (TPS), including Taiichi Ohno and Eiji Toyoda. Through personal interviews and annotated talks, you will hear first-person accounts of what these innovators and problem-solvers did and why they did it. You’ll read rare commentaries that explain the interplay of (sometimes opposing) ideas that created a revolution in thinking.

Many books that describe TPS imply there was a master plan to create a company-wide improvement system. But as the lean pioneers in The Birth of Lean explain, there was no master plan—TPS came about through experimentation, trial and error, and an evolution of ideas that shaped Toyota’s structure and management system.

The Birth of Lean gives you a glimpse inside the thinking of the TPS creators and innovators:

• Taiichi Ohno—the man who envisioned a way of working that would evolve into the Toyota Production System

• Eiji Toyoda—the former Toyota President and Chairman who oversaw the development of TPS and the inclusion of TQC at Toyota

• Kikuo Suzumura—the Toyota manager recognized as the most influential in translating Ohno’s ideas into actionable items

• Michikazu Tanaka—the manager and executive at Toyota affiliate Daihatsu who adapted TPS to his organization

• Kaneyoshi Kusunoki—the former head of Toyota’s production engineering organization who refined the buffering system in use in Toyota’s operations

• Masao Nemoto—the Toyota executive central to the deployment of TQC at Toyota

In this English translation of the Japanese book, you’ll hear the words of the people who created the countermeasures that Toyota devised to address issues and problems as they arose—countermeasures that they continue to use and adapt today. By understanding that the people who developed such a powerful system started with simple experiments, you’ll be encouraged to begin your own experiments to transform your organization.

Publisher:  Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.
ISBN-13:  978-1-934109-22-9
SKU:  9229
Publication Date:  February 29, 2012
Number of Pages:  300
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