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Toyota on the Lean Post
Toyota the Disrupter
Toyota may not be the first company you think of for disruptive product and process development, but perhaps they should be, argues Jim Morgan. The tools and practices that Toyota uses have been adapted and applied successfully by companies large and small, in a wide variety of industries and in places all over the world.… More »
The Cascade of Hoshin
Toyota President Akio Toyoda and the senior leadership team have decided that the simultaneous emergence of autonomy, alternative energy, shared assets, and hyper-connectivity are collectively creating a “once-in-a-century disruption” in the auto industry as it transitions to a mobility industry, commonly termed Mobility 2.0. Jim Womack shares how they are using hoshin to tackle this.… More »
Lean Lessons from Japan: Day One
This week, LEI is in Japan with 19 eager learners. The purpose of this trip is not just to see Just-In-Time. The purpose is to understand the social and technical context that gave birth to and continues to develop lean. Please visit the Post for a daily selection of postcards that share what we are learning.… 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 »
Thank you, Tatsuro Toyoda
John Shook remembers the late Tatsuro Toyoda, former president of Toyota.… 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 »
How Team Leaders Should Divide Their Time
"Through my career, I’ve seen one group of individuals on the shop floor who need the most support and training – yet instead receive weak training and inconsistent support. They are 'team leaders,'" writes Andrew Quibell. In his new sketch and animation, Quibell lays out a time-tested, Toyota-inspired plan to help these essential team leaders hold their own in times of minimal support.… More »
A Deeper Dive into Visual Management at Toyota
"In a previous sketch I introduced Toyota’s approach to visual management, or Floor Management Display Systems (FMDS), including the six elements of creating FMDS," writes Andrew Quibell. "Now it’s time for a deeper dive into those six elements and explore how their approach guarantees an effective floor display will present compelling messages."… More »
An Overview of Visual Management at Toyota
"Implementing visual management (VM) is a cornerstone of any lean transformation," writes Andrew Quibell. "And few companies know that better than Toyota." In this first of two sketches on visual management at Toyota, Andrew illustrates the fundamentals of the process as Toyota practices itself and teaches its suppliers.… More »
Reflecting to Learn: Takeaways and Reflections on the A3 Process
In the wake of yesterday's interview with Mr. Isao Yoshino on the roots of the A3 process at Toyota, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook shares more context about A3s and how they came to be.… More »
How the A3 Came to Be Toyota’s Go-To Management Process for Knowledge Work (intro by John Shook)
A3 thinking is synonymous with Toyota. Yet many often wonder how exactly this happened. Even if we know A3 thinking was created at Toyota, how did it become so firmly entrenched in the organization’s culture? Retired Toyota leader Mr. Isao Yoshino spearheaded a special program that made A3s Toyota’s foremost means of problem-solving. Read more.… 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 »
The Importance of Team Leaders on the Shop Floor
Why does upper management often fail to invest in team leaders on the shop floor? Andrew Quibell has his money on a lack of perspective. Check out his newest sketch on the critical importance of this key lean role and why there's no underestimating its function in a lean system.… More »
No Shortcuts: Creating a Lean Environment the Right Way
As much as we may wish there was a way to pull off a lean transformation with only a basic knowledge of its ideals, there isn't one. Michael Ballé explains why investing the time it takes to fully learn lean is worth every second you put into it. It may take a while, but the benefits will speak for themselves.… 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 »
Personal PDCA and How I Learned It
"In 23 years at Toyota, I had many assignments and different bosses, I managed many people," writes Mark Reich, "but a constant part of the culture was what I’ve come to call 'personal PDCA' – a kind of mentored self-development cycle." Read how Reich came to understand this principle himself and how he teaches it to others.… 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 »
We're Ernie and Tracey Richardson: Ask Us Anything
It's our second "Ask Me Anything" post, this time with lean coaches Tracey and Ernie Richardson. With a combined 54 years of experience at Toyota, here's your chance to ask them questions on problem solving and all things capability development!… More »
Toyota on Lean.org
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 »
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 »
Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System
Steven Spear and H. Kent Bowen explain in the Harvard Business Review how the Toyota Production System can be tightly choreographed and supple. The key is that Toyota's operations are a series of cont… 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 »
The Evolution of a Manufacturing System at Toyota
How did the Toyota Production System become the Toyota Production System – luck, manufacturing genius, trial and error, deliberate contemplation? Fujimoto explores and answers this dynamic and fascina… More »
Toyota Culture
Toyota Culture examines the “human systems” that Toyota has put in place to instill its founding principles of trust, mutual prosperity, and excellence in its plants, dealerships, and offices around t… More »
Toyota Kata
No Shortcuts: Creating a Lean Environment the Right Way
As much as we may wish there was a way to pull off a lean transformation with only a basic knowledge of its ideals, there isn't one. Michael Ballé explains why investing the time it takes to fully learn lean is worth every second you put into it. It may take a while, but the benefits will speak for themselves.… 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 »
Personal PDCA and How I Learned It
"In 23 years at Toyota, I had many assignments and different bosses, I managed many people," writes Mark Reich, "but a constant part of the culture was what I’ve come to call 'personal PDCA' – a kind of mentored self-development cycle." Read how Reich came to understand this principle himself and how he teaches it to others.… 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 »
We're Ernie and Tracey Richardson: Ask Us Anything
It's our second "Ask Me Anything" post, this time with lean coaches Tracey and Ernie Richardson. With a combined 54 years of experience at Toyota, here's your chance to ask them questions on problem solving and all things capability development!… More »