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toyota production system/TPS on the Lean Post
Why Doesn't Lean Have a Seat at the Table?
Why hasn’t Lean spread more widely, asks Steven Spear, suggesting that it has not been framed in a way that addresses the strategic concern of managers. Instead it is primarily taught as just tools. And let’s face it, the licensed electricians don’t get a seat at the table.… More »
Book Review: The Toyota Engagement Equation by Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In their book The Toyota Engagement Equation, authors Tracey and Ernie Richardson don’t hit you over the head telling you what to do or how to think per se; instead they share how they learned what they know, and in so doing, invite you to think along the same lines.… More »
Reflections From Ten Years of Michael Ballé's Gemba Coach
Since his first Gemba Coach column of ten years ago, Michael Balle has consistently tied his advice to a faithful application of core Toyota Production System (TPS) principles, without demanding a mindless conformity to established practices or to commercialized frameworks, models, or any other packaging of the TPS dynamics as a product.… More »
Learning the Social and Technical Aspects of Lean on the Kentucky Lean Leadership Tour
Why join the upcoming US Learning Tour in Kentucky? This interview between Josh Howell, John Shook and Jamie Bonini discusses why this tour will help people understand the Toyota Production System as an organizational culture of highly engaged people, solving problems or innovating to drive performance.… More »
Thoughts on the Birth of Lean
There is much to be learned from the history of Lean that applies powerfully today in every aspect of the business. In this summary of key points from The Birth of Lean, LEI Chair Jean Cunningham shares insights from her reading of the book, and invites you to share thoughts as well.… More »
Profit and Cost At Toyota
Fresh off a tour of Japan where she observed how Toyota talks about costs and profit on the shop floor, LEI Chairperson Jean Cunningham shares thoughts and urges others to learn the language of financial outcomes. "Let’s learn the language of financial outcomes. Let’s conserve energy and benefit from the environmental improvements that lean offers by reducing waste of all kinds."… More »
Talking Coaching with Lean Sensei Crystal Davis, Rich Vellante, Josh Howell, and John Shook
In advance of the Lean Coaching Summit, coaches Josh Howell, Crystal Davis, John Shook, and Rich Vellante discuss the finer points of coaching others, including a working definition for lean coaching.… More »
How SBP Went From Intolerable Conditions to Constructive Discontent
In this keynote talk at the LEI summit, Zack Rosenburg of SBP talks about how this non-profit has evolved its thinking about defining and tackling problems, creating a culture of continuous improvement that views management as a noble profession.… More »
Rebuilding Homes and Disaster Recovery Processes
When Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg left their careers to help desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild, they knew nothing about construction or lean management. Today, SBP, the disaster recovery nonprofit they founded, has cut rebuilding time by nearly 50% using lean concepts. Zack talks to LEI about the remarkable new recovery model they developed and detail in their new book, Getting Home.… More »
Lean Is A Product-Driven Strategy
What is at the core of lean? Michael Balle argues, in terms of our best known example: "Toyota is not an efficiency-driven company. It’s a product-driven company."… More »
"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the same as internal-combustion engine vehicles. We can play that “one of these things is not like the other” game all day long. A better use of time, perhaps, is to think about how TPS concepts and high-level Lean management principles can be adapted to your own setting, argues Mark Graban.… More »
Good Night Sweethearts
On this Valentine's Day, GBMP President Bruce Hamilton laments this year's lack of Sweetheart Candies, reflecting that, "NECCO, like General Motors had failed to understand what Shigeo Shingo called 'the most basic concept in the Toyota Production System,' the cost subtraction principle.… More »
What If Elon Musk Took Manufacturing Cars Seriously?
Jeff Liker asks of Tesla: What if it took Toyota’s help seriously in learning basic manufacturing before undertaking disruptive technology change? What if Tesla built in quality and did not have to rebuild most Model 3s to get quality right? What if Tesla took manufacturing and logistics seriously and was as good at execution as it was at product ideation?… More »
Is Lean Thinking Art or Science? Yes
Calling the recent book Lean Conversations a landmark initiative on lean and the arts, John Shook observes that "If Jean Cocteau’s famous observation that 'art is science made clear' has meaning, we can all benefit from further exploration of the relationship between lean thinking and art & science."… More »
Coaching to the Challenge
When coaching there is no black and white answer – everything depends on the criticality of the business situation, the level of the challenge, and the capability of the Team Member, says Mark Reich. This article shares his experience in challenging someone to learn at the gemba.… More »
Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Shop Floor Thinking?
How does lean thinking help understand whether AI could replace shop floor thinking? Jacob Stoller argues that whether or not one attributes this to an Eastern outlook, much of the wisdom passed on from lean’s original pioneers highlights the importance of direct experience, and the view that workplace situations cannot be understood with purely rational thought.… More »
Standardized Work or Kaizen? Yes
Some lean folks LOVE to quote the Taiichi Ohno observation that “there is no kaizen without standards," notes John Shook, adding that it is less noted but equally true that “there is no maintenance of standards without kaizen.”… More »
"We Are Unique"
While many people see Lean as applicable only in limited industries and situations and therefore can’t work in their unique situation, Darril Wilburn argues that through experience we know that Lean concepts are applicable in every organization that produces something that is valued by others.… More »
Getting Started with Lean Product and Process Development
Learning and applying the concepts of LPPD is no different than learning any other new skill in life, says Andy Houk. In this article he shares his personal learning cycle of three steps (repeated many times, over many years): self-study, getting a coach, and practicing.… More »
Thinking About the Why of the What of Problem-Solving
When we talk about problem-solving, what we’re really talking about here is creating adaptive capacity, the deep capability of an organization to tackle anything that comes its way, any obstacle that comes between you and where you want to go. Tackling problems one by one is what gives an organization capability for deep adaptability.… More »
Not Every Problem Is a “Nail” But Companies Typically Reach for the Same Old “Hammer”
Learn how you can avoid the frustrating, ineffective, but widespread “hammer-and-nail” problem-solving pitfall by recognizing four main problem types so you apply the right problem-solving approach to the right problem.… More »
TPS, the Thinking People System
The twin pillars of just-in-time and jidoka help support a full model about how to achieve customer satisfaction from employee satisfaction, through teamwork and respect, on a basis of mutual trust between management and employees.… More »
How Does Asking Questions Create Change?
Lean is not a sum of processes to acquire and apply which then will make things magically work better. It’s a set of techniques to visualize delivery processes so everyone understands them at a glance, reveal problems to give opportunities for people to exercise their abilities to think, be creative and utilize their strengths to self-actualize in the course of their work.… More »
Cardboard, Duct Tape, and String: The Do-First Mindset
Whatever field you work in, if you are responsible for kaizen in your company, strive for quick change in your workplace by finding your cardboard, duct tape, and string, says lean coach Mark Reich.… More »
Ask Art: Why Should I Be Able to Make Every Product Every Day?
Working on the goal of "every product every day" helps all companies realize the benefits of lean as a strategy, says Art Byrne, by developing flexibility and responsiveness that ultimately delivers far more value to the customer.… More »
Yes, Lean is About Cost Reduction
Why focus on cost reduction? Because many of the cost-saving kaizens of are simpler and require less engineering resources, and this type of kaizen motivates the production teams to try things on their own and develops their capability. This is an outcome of cost reduction activity, says Mark Reich… More »
Lesson From Japan: Day Five
On this final set of shared lessons from Japan, our lean learners reflect on the spirit of kaizen and the notion of employees as assets. They learn more about why "To Toyota, kaizen is the same as breathing."… More »
Lessons from Japan: Day Four
On day four of the Lean Learning tour in Japan, the participants share their lessons, which are tied to this theme: TPS kaizen begins with a question: “What problem are you trying to solve?”… More »
Lessons From Japan: Day Three
Is Toyota improving productivity or developing people? What we saw today suggests not just that the answer is both but that the two are inseparable, especially when it comes to jishuken.… More »
Lessons from Japan: Day Two
A group of lean learners are touring world-class enterprises in Japan; here are postcards capturing their daily lessons gleaned from what they observed.… More »
The Quiet Factory
Could noise be considered another waste to be reduced in the system? Matt Savas ponders the implications of a Toyota factory that has set a goal of lowering the decibel level to help with a key strategic goal.… More »
Learning to Teach the Soft Side of Lean
If there’s one common theme among virtually any failed effort, it boils to a failure to engage people in the purpose, says Tracey Richardson. That's why before any industry or functional area attempts (beyond manufacturing) to learn lean thinking, the people leading the work must gain the mutual trust and respect from your workers by walking the walk.… More »
Learning and Teaching Lean with Tracey and Ernie Richardson on the Lean Podcast WLEI
Hear Tracey and Ernie share how they learned lean while working together on our new podcast WLEI… More »
“People who can’t change their minds can’t change anything else”
Many people argue that if lean management really was a powerful strategy, rather than an operational tactic, then more companies would be doing it, says former Wiremold Vice President of Finance Orry Fiume. He sees it the other way around.… More »
The Battle for the Soul of Lean
When elements of lean management began to infiltrate management ranks decades ago, a “great divide” quickly formed, according to author and lean practitioner Michael Ballé. Some managers looked at it as a radically different, disruptive, but complete business system. Others saw it as a set of tools for operational excellence. The gulf endures and determines what results you get.… More »
Tesla vs. TPS: Seeking the Soul in the New Machine
While Tesla has excited customers and drawn praise for innovative design and bold thinking, author Jeff Liker believes that it faces tough challenges in its approach to ramping up production that challenge its mechanistic vision of manufacturing.… More »
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – on a Valentine’s Day A3
The question lean practitioners Tracy and Ernie Richardson get more than any other isn’t about problem-solving, takt time, standardization, or their book. It’s about their “lean” marriage.… More »
Is there a crack in the model of continuous improvement?
Is this a case of déjà vu all over again? The Wall Street Journal says the sterling reputation of “Japanese manufacturing” or kaizen, is tarnished in the wake of several quality inspection scandals. But is this a kaizen crisis or a kaizen kerfuffle that we’ve experienced before? Editor Tom Ehrenfeld sorts it out.… More »
Shook Addresses Current State of Lean Thinking After U.S-Turkey Tiff Compels Keynote Countermeasure
Indefatigable presenter John Shook quickly made this video as a countermeasure to being denied entry to Turkey, where he was scheduled to keynote an Istanbul conference.… More »
A (Work) Pie in the Face to All Bad Jobs
Want Better Employees? Be a Better Employer… More »
Ask Art: Why do you say the CEO needs to become a lean expert?
I realize that this is probably a shocking idea to most CEO’s since they are taught to manage in a traditional way—and are generally rewarded to do so.… More »
Advice from the Gemba: TPS Mythbusting
Despite its fundamental role in a lean transformation, the Toyota Production System is not an easy thing for many to grasp. In this special installment of Advice from the Gemba, three of LEI's accomplished faculty discuss the most common misconceptions they hear about TPS from their workshop participants.… More »
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product have the means and mindset to be constantly vigilant for what is okay and what is not. By attacking waste at the source, jidoka starkly contrasts with an unfortunately-too-common approach of hiding flaws, passing them down the line, and relying on someone else to fix problems far from their source."… More »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called...our J-O-B.… More »
Ask Art: What Lean Books Should I Start With?
Art Byrne shares with us his book recommendations to newcomers on insights into the philosophy and general approach behind lean.… More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter." Read more.… More »
TPS or the Toyota Way?
"Students of lean are often confused by the variety of ways Toyota explains the Toyota Production System," writes Michael Ballé. "For instance, 'what is the link,' they ask, 'between the TPS house and the Toyota Way?'" The answer in Michael's latest article for The Lean Post.… More »
What it Takes to Share One's Wisdom: A Q&A with Tracey Richardson
"When you make a decision to change the way you do business, it should hold you accountable for certain leadership actions – new [behaviors that empower people] to want make a difference in their daily work," says Tracey Richardson. "If people have an ability to impact key performance indicators... they suddenly have a new line of sight."… More »
Why Toyota is Still My North Star
"In the past five years the local lean engineering community has gained a deeper hands-on appreciation of how intermeshed product and processes are," writes Michael Ballé. "Product innovation often comes from progress in process innovation. We also understand better the truly outstanding feats of engineering that Toyota’s new drive represents."… More »
TPS 2.0?
Jim Morgan and Jeffrey Liker chime in on Toyota's announcement of their TNGA program (Toyota New Global Architecture). "The impetus for TNGA is not the recall crisis," they say, "but rather Toyota’s history, with a push added by the Great Recession... Toyota is constantly working on the next generation of fundamental product and process innovations and occasionally we get a snapshot." Read more.… More »
Latondra Newton on the Toyota Production System and Social Innovation
The success of Toyota’s lean management principles in manufacturing, healthcare, product development, and other areas is well known and well documented. Now the company is applying these concepts to social innovation in order to give back to society. Read more in Chet Marchwinski's interview with Toyota's Chief Social Innovation Officer, Latondra Newton.… More »
Book Value: What Every Manager Should Know About Training
Jeff Morrow, lean coach and faculty at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, reviews and recommends Dr. Robert Mager's 1999 book, What Every Manager Should Know About Training. Morrow goes on to explain the difference between performance-based training methods and "content" or "awareness-based" training methods.… More »
Sharks & Tortoises
"A small number of firms have grown spectacularly in revenue, employees, and stock price by using [lean] to execute crisply on tactics," writes Jeff Morrow, describing lean sharks. "And then there are tortoises: bullet-proof firms like Toyota and its supply network... practitioners of 'go slow to go fast.'" Read more about what these two types of lean companies might learn from each other.… More »
Lean IT at Toyota Motor Europe
Pierre Masai, VP of Information Systems and CIO at Toyota Motor Europe, fields questions on the unique needs of the IT customer as well as the connections between Lean and Agile at the Lean IT Summit earlier this fall in Paris.… More »
The Angry Team Member and the Changing Organization
Toyota veteran and lean coach Lesa Nichols reflects on one of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding conversations she had with a team member.… More »
What Experience Tells Me About How Change Happens
Dave LaHote reflects on his earliest experiences learning lean thinking and practice. "We all became increasingly better at making improvements and solving problems using simple, common sense, everyday tools," he writes. "This became the way we did work, not some extra work to do."… More »
I Don't Know What I Don't Know, But Spread the Word
In her first piece for the Post, Lesa Nichols reflects on one of her most powerful learning experiences while working as a powertrain manager at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
Remembering Jim Harbour
"We in the Lean Community stand on a lot of shoulders. One broad pair belonged to Jim Harbour, who passed away last Saturday at age 86." Read Jim Womack's tribute to the former Ford and Chrysler executive and auto industry analyst.… More »
Still Faithful to Lean Thinking
"We wrote Lead With Respect to show just how central engagement and involvement is to lean success," says Michael Ballé. "As a sociologist, 'making people to make products' is what grabbed me as I first studied how Toyota led improvement." Learn more about what drove Ballé, co-author of Lead With Respect, to share this particular story.… More »
Ron Pereira and Jim Morgan Discuss the Power of Lean Product and Process Development
Check out excerpts from Gemba Academy's podcast with Jim Morgan on core lean product and process development concepts, what makes "LPPD" different from traditional product development, and what the lean idea of "respect for people" really means.… More »
Lean Talks: Are You Making Excuses or Solving Problems?
In his "lean talk" at the Lean Transformation Summit this past March, lean coach and author Mark Graban shared his perspective on what a culture of continuous improvement really means and requires of us as hopeful change agents. The video concludes with a Q&A with Jim Womack.… More »
Cost Reduction, Waste, and Purpose
"Eliminating waste makes it easier to see and find problems, which is the first step to solving them," writes Katrina Appell. "It removes frustrations, which improves worker and customer satisfaction."… More »
Problem Solving Fast and Slow
"There are many paradoxes about the Toyota Production System," writes Ben Root. "Speed is certainly one of them. 'Do it slowly, but quickly.'" Read more.… More »
How Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning
Amy C. Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, shares a concept she calls "teaming", a way of working that brings people together to generate new ideas, find answers, and solve problems across boundaries.… More »
Levelled Production: Why Do It?
Ian Glenday explains how levelled production and "economies of repetition" make way not just for stability, but improved business performance.… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
The Real Lean Challenge: Levelling Production
Most lean practitioners focus primarily on the waste elimination aspect of Lean and ignore levelled production. In his second piece for the Post, Ian Glenday explains why levelled production is so important to overall system improvement.… More »
The Thinking Behind Toyota's Hiring Process
Lean coach Tracey Richardson reflects on Toyota's hiring process when she joined the company 28 years ago, why it was so unique then, and how she continues to learn from that experience today.… More »
One Year Later, How Toyota Has Helped Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
There are few processes that are more critical to get right than those involved in disaster relief. Check out how Jamie Bonini and Lisa Richardson from TSSC have helped to improve food distribution processes for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.… More »
Now What Do We Call the Karaoke Bar?
We asked the lean community to sound off on whether or not they favored using Japanese terms in their lean transformations. The results were interesting and far ranging.… More »
A Connecticut Yankee Machinist in Toyoda’s Castle
“Culture matters,” John Shook tells us in his post about Charles A. Francis, an American who worked for Toyota group founder Sakichi Toyoda in the early 1900s, “but never let stereotypical views of national character be used as an excuse to not do the right thing.” Read this remarkable story of a missing piece to the larger story of continuous innovation in process technology between the United States and Japan over the past 150 years.… More »
Happy Birthday Eiji Toyoda!
Toyota enthusiasts know how tremendously influential Eiji Toyoda has been to the development of Toyota and its revolutionary management system. Perhaps his story will never be fully told, but Eiji, a former president and chairman of Toyota, could be the most important figure in all the rich history of the company’s evolution.… More »
Continuously Improving Lean IT at Toyota
Pierre Masai, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Toyota Motor Europe, weighs in on the changing face of Lean IT and shares his thoughts for pushing the field forward.… More »
Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture
What would your dream organizational culture look like? What about your fantasy lean transformation? Tracey Richardson shares her advice for turning at least some of these hopes and ambitions into a reality.… More »
Leading and Learning the Toyota Way
Lean coach and LEI faculty member, Tracey Richardson, tells us why a learner's attitude is essential for effective leadership and in creating a lean management system.… More »
Such a Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever
Lean thinking, principles, and experiments show up everywhere and make a real difference, sometimes in places you'd least expect.… More »
toyota production system/TPS on Lean.org
TPS versus Lean and the Law of Unintended Consequences
During a visit to former colleagues at a Toyota engine plant, Art Smalley met no change agents or black belts, nor saw value-stream maps, or U-shaped cells. The reason, explains Smalley, a Toyota vete… More »
Shigeo Shingo's Influence on the Toyota Production System
Isao Kato was in a good position to observe the early development of the Toyota Production System, the model for lean production. He developed training material at Toyota under Taiichi Ohno, regarded … More »
Toyota's New Material-Handling System Shows TPS’s Flexibility
Art Smalley, LEI author and faculty member, reports on Toyota's new material-handling system for assembly areas that he saw in action at an engine plant in Japan. The system reduces assembly errors wh… More »
Pull Systems Must Fit Your Production Needs
Managers often stumble implementing a pull system because they don't realize there are three different kinds meant for very different production enviornments. LEI faculty member Art Smalley, author of… More »
Lean Development
  Freddy and Michael Ballé, co-authors of the lean novel The Gold Mine, pull together their experiences with Toyota suppliers, contacts with Toyota engineers, and existing research t… More »
Key Concepts of Lean
Designed for individuals and teams that want to gain a better understanding of the components and underlying philosophy of lean, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), and how the elements and p… More »
From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932
David Hounshell has crafted a very interesting story about the development of key production technologies and also the big new problem that they caused. As the new technologies solved the age-old prob… More »
Study of the Toyota Production System from an Industrial Eng. Viewpoint
Reading the original translation of this book was a right of passage for early lean thinkers, who referred to the language of the choppy Japanese translation as “Janglish.” Mercifully, this more recen… More »
The Birth of Lean: Conversations with the Founders of TPS
Fascinating interviews with the founders of lean. Learn about the origins of the Toyota Production System from the people responsible for its creation. As its pioneers explain in The Birth of Lean, th… More »
Raised by Toyota: A Question and Answer with Tracey and Ernie Richardson
In this extended interview, Toyota veterans Tracey and Ernie Richardson share how they learned at the source, explain how they apply their lessons widely (including their personal life), and speculate why this system called lean could just as well be called...our J-O-B.… More »
Ask Art: What Lean Books Should I Start With?
Art Byrne shares with us his book recommendations to newcomers on insights into the philosophy and general approach behind lean.… More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter." Read more.… More »
TPS or the Toyota Way?
"Students of lean are often confused by the variety of ways Toyota explains the Toyota Production System," writes Michael Ballé. "For instance, 'what is the link,' they ask, 'between the TPS house and the Toyota Way?'" The answer in Michael's latest article for The Lean Post.… More »
What it Takes to Share One's Wisdom: A Q&A with Tracey Richardson
"When you make a decision to change the way you do business, it should hold you accountable for certain leadership actions – new [behaviors that empower people] to want make a difference in their daily work," says Tracey Richardson. "If people have an ability to impact key performance indicators... they suddenly have a new line of sight."… More »
Why Toyota is Still My North Star
"In the past five years the local lean engineering community has gained a deeper hands-on appreciation of how intermeshed product and processes are," writes Michael Ballé. "Product innovation often comes from progress in process innovation. We also understand better the truly outstanding feats of engineering that Toyota’s new drive represents."… More »
TPS 2.0?
Jim Morgan and Jeffrey Liker chime in on Toyota's announcement of their TNGA program (Toyota New Global Architecture). "The impetus for TNGA is not the recall crisis," they say, "but rather Toyota’s history, with a push added by the Great Recession... Toyota is constantly working on the next generation of fundamental product and process innovations and occasionally we get a snapshot." Read more.… More »
Latondra Newton on the Toyota Production System and Social Innovation
The success of Toyota’s lean management principles in manufacturing, healthcare, product development, and other areas is well known and well documented. Now the company is applying these concepts to social innovation in order to give back to society. Read more in Chet Marchwinski's interview with Toyota's Chief Social Innovation Officer, Latondra Newton.… More »
Book Value: What Every Manager Should Know About Training
Jeff Morrow, lean coach and faculty at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, reviews and recommends Dr. Robert Mager's 1999 book, What Every Manager Should Know About Training. Morrow goes on to explain the difference between performance-based training methods and "content" or "awareness-based" training methods.… More »
Sharks & Tortoises
"A small number of firms have grown spectacularly in revenue, employees, and stock price by using [lean] to execute crisply on tactics," writes Jeff Morrow, describing lean sharks. "And then there are tortoises: bullet-proof firms like Toyota and its supply network... practitioners of 'go slow to go fast.'" Read more about what these two types of lean companies might learn from each other.… More »
Lean IT at Toyota Motor Europe
Pierre Masai, VP of Information Systems and CIO at Toyota Motor Europe, fields questions on the unique needs of the IT customer as well as the connections between Lean and Agile at the Lean IT Summit earlier this fall in Paris.… More »
The Angry Team Member and the Changing Organization
Toyota veteran and lean coach Lesa Nichols reflects on one of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding conversations she had with a team member.… More »
What Experience Tells Me About How Change Happens
Dave LaHote reflects on his earliest experiences learning lean thinking and practice. "We all became increasingly better at making improvements and solving problems using simple, common sense, everyday tools," he writes. "This became the way we did work, not some extra work to do."… More »
I Don't Know What I Don't Know, But Spread the Word
In her first piece for the Post, Lesa Nichols reflects on one of her most powerful learning experiences while working as a powertrain manager at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant.… More »
Lean Product Development is About Thinking Horizontally in a Vertical World
Check out the blog from Day 2 of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (North America) conference in Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts from Jim Womack's keynote and more.… More »
Remembering Jim Harbour
"We in the Lean Community stand on a lot of shoulders. One broad pair belonged to Jim Harbour, who passed away last Saturday at age 86." Read Jim Womack's tribute to the former Ford and Chrysler executive and auto industry analyst.… More »
Still Faithful to Lean Thinking
"We wrote Lead With Respect to show just how central engagement and involvement is to lean success," says Michael Ballé. "As a sociologist, 'making people to make products' is what grabbed me as I first studied how Toyota led improvement." Learn more about what drove Ballé, co-author of Lead With Respect, to share this particular story.… More »
Ron Pereira and Jim Morgan Discuss the Power of Lean Product and Process Development
Check out excerpts from Gemba Academy's podcast with Jim Morgan on core lean product and process development concepts, what makes "LPPD" different from traditional product development, and what the lean idea of "respect for people" really means.… More »
Lean Talks: Are You Making Excuses or Solving Problems?
In his "lean talk" at the Lean Transformation Summit this past March, lean coach and author Mark Graban shared his perspective on what a culture of continuous improvement really means and requires of us as hopeful change agents. The video concludes with a Q&A with Jim Womack.… More »
Cost Reduction, Waste, and Purpose
"Eliminating waste makes it easier to see and find problems, which is the first step to solving them," writes Katrina Appell. "It removes frustrations, which improves worker and customer satisfaction."… More »
Problem Solving Fast and Slow
"There are many paradoxes about the Toyota Production System," writes Ben Root. "Speed is certainly one of them. 'Do it slowly, but quickly.'" Read more.… More »
How Teaming Produces Execution-as-Learning
Amy C. Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, shares a concept she calls "teaming", a way of working that brings people together to generate new ideas, find answers, and solve problems across boundaries.… More »
Levelled Production: Why Do It?
Ian Glenday explains how levelled production and "economies of repetition" make way not just for stability, but improved business performance.… More »
Food Bank For New York City and Toyota: Unlikely Partners in Innovation
Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City, will tell the story about Food Bank's partnership with TSSC at next week's Lean Transformation Summit in Orlando!… More »
The Real Lean Challenge: Levelling Production
Most lean practitioners focus primarily on the waste elimination aspect of Lean and ignore levelled production. In his second piece for the Post, Ian Glenday explains why levelled production is so important to overall system improvement.… More »
The Thinking Behind Toyota's Hiring Process
Lean coach Tracey Richardson reflects on Toyota's hiring process when she joined the company 28 years ago, why it was so unique then, and how she continues to learn from that experience today.… More »
One Year Later, How Toyota Has Helped Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
There are few processes that are more critical to get right than those involved in disaster relief. Check out how Jamie Bonini and Lisa Richardson from TSSC have helped to improve food distribution processes for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.… More »
Now What Do We Call the Karaoke Bar?
We asked the lean community to sound off on whether or not they favored using Japanese terms in their lean transformations. The results were interesting and far ranging.… More »
A Connecticut Yankee Machinist in Toyoda’s Castle
“Culture matters,” John Shook tells us in his post about Charles A. Francis, an American who worked for Toyota group founder Sakichi Toyoda in the early 1900s, “but never let stereotypical views of national character be used as an excuse to not do the right thing.” Read this remarkable story of a missing piece to the larger story of continuous innovation in process technology between the United States and Japan over the past 150 years.… More »
Happy Birthday Eiji Toyoda!
Toyota enthusiasts know how tremendously influential Eiji Toyoda has been to the development of Toyota and its revolutionary management system. Perhaps his story will never be fully told, but Eiji, a former president and chairman of Toyota, could be the most important figure in all the rich history of the company’s evolution.… More »
Continuously Improving Lean IT at Toyota
Pierre Masai, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Toyota Motor Europe, weighs in on the changing face of Lean IT and shares his thoughts for pushing the field forward.… More »
Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture
What would your dream organizational culture look like? What about your fantasy lean transformation? Tracey Richardson shares her advice for turning at least some of these hopes and ambitions into a reality.… More »
Leading and Learning the Toyota Way
Lean coach and LEI faculty member, Tracey Richardson, tells us why a learner's attitude is essential for effective leadership and in creating a lean management system.… More »
Such a Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever
Lean thinking, principles, and experiments show up everywhere and make a real difference, sometimes in places you'd least expect.… More »
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