Toyota Management System

Leading the Change

Can We Avoid Politics in Lean Transformation? Changing to lean is a political process. There, we said it. Everyone knows politics are bad, right? Politics is what happens in organizations that are not being run rationally. A good, healthy organization […]


WE HAVE FINALLY reached the implementation phase! Many people are so anxious to “get busy” with implementation that they shortcut the previous portions of the process. This is a critical mistake! Without a clearly defined prob-lem, how would you know […]

Complete a Thorough Root Cause Analysis

TOYOTA’S CORPORATE slogan is “Yoi shina, yoi kangai,” which means, “Good thinking, good products.” This applies particularly well to the analysis portion of problem solving. Toyota places high value on the ability to think logically and creatively because a solid […]

Situation and Define the Problem

Carefully Aim Before Firing In Toyota’s internal Toyota Way 2001 document they describe problem solving under the broad category genchi genbutsu—the actual part, the actual place. The discipline of carefully observing actual processes directly without preconception—with a blank mind—starts the […]

Problem Solving the Toyota Way

More Than Solving Problems The Toyota Way seeks to identify and remove obstacles on the path to perfection. This philosophy is rooted in the Japanese cultural desire to seek perfection in every activity. As we discussed earlier in the book, […]

Toyota Supply Systems

Companies working to learn from Toyota to build high performance supply systems seem to want to skip over the hard work of developing effective supplier partnerships, looking for easy solutions through supply chain software and aggressive price reduction approaches. Toyota’s […]

Toyota Leveling Paradox

The Toyota Way is full of paradoxes, and one of the most counterintuitive is the leveling paradox: that slow and steady can beat fast and jerky, like the parable of the tortoise and the hare [which the older Toyota Production […]

Create Initial Process Stability

First Get to Basic Stability If you have not already been using lean methods and improving processes, in all likelihood your individual processes are unstable. Stability is defined as the capability to produce consistent results over time. Instability is the […]