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Sammy Obara

Sammy Obara

LEI Faculty, President Honsha Associates, Honsha Associates

Sammy learned the Toyota Production System while working at Toyota Motors in Japan. For three years he underwent intense practical training at the Honsha Overseas Engineering Division in Toyota City. Then for 13 years, he implemented lean in a variety of Toyota facilities in Japan, Brazil, the United States, and Venezuela.

Sammy has hands-on experience implementing lean principles in other industries, including healthcare, construction, retail, and government. In all, he has helping over 300 companies on their lean journeys. He holds a master’s degree in technology management and has lectured at universities such as Stanford and Harvard. He currently aids companies implementing lean through Honsha Associates.

Articles by Sammy Obara
Advice from the Gemba: Standardizing Work for Leaders with Varied Tasks
How, many people ask LEI, can you possibly standardize a leader's work when even they can't predict what their work will look like on a given day? The answer: by adopting the right approach. Three LEI faculty members weigh in. More »
Advice from the Gemba: Top Mistakes Lean Leaders Make I
Making mistakes is a natural part of lean thinking and practice. Here, three LEI faculty members share some common, yet easily avoidable mistakes made by lean leaders, as well as the countermeasures that can help resolve them. More »
Cowabunga! Implementing Lean at a Surfing School
Lean is difficult for many companies to grasp at first, often due to the cultural shift. If the organization's people are used to a more laid-back, "looser" style of operations, the standards, metrics and procedures associated with lean may seem overwhelming and lead to resistance. Pacific Surf School of San Diego, Cali. was no exception to this all-too-common resistance. Here's Sammy Obara on how he managed to break through this resistance and save the school from imminent closure. More »
Workshops Taught by Sammy Obara
5S - Visual Workplace 5S methodology helps organizations achieve more consistent operational results through maintaining an orderly workplace. This workshop will introduce you to the 5S methodology and help you learn basic implementation steps including evaluation and audit. More »
Kaizen: the Culture of Continuous Improvement This workshop is an introduction to the Kaizen Teian or Kaizen methodology which promotes the sustainable continuous improvement as a daily way of life for every member within the organization. The class is based on a “hear-see-do” approach allowing you to learn through instruction, discussion, simulation, and small-group exercise. More »
Lean Problem Solving Harness the DNA of successful, sustainable lean implementations. You'll learn and practice the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) problem-solving method in this interactive workshop. More »
PDCA - Problem Solving (at the 2018 Transformation Summit) In order to build the culture of problem solving, an organization needs a "Community of THINKERS", working together on continuous improvement and the A3 problem-solving process which aligns with organization's business objectives. Their goal is to design a sustainable rigorous problem-solving process that is, in effect, an experimental test of any proposed changes.  In this workshop we will practice several of the problem-solving steps. We will also briefly discuss the infrastructure required to develop and sustain problem solvers, and touch on areas such as strategy deployment, standardized work, visual management and Go and See. "Go and See" will be a More »
Standardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen Standardized work is one of the most powerful but least used lean tool. Learn how documenting the current best practice (standardized work) forms the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement. More »
Value-Stream Mapping for Manufacturing Learn how to use this fundamental initial step in a lean transformation to create the "blueprints" for applying other tools and targeting kaizen events most effectively. More »