The Toyota Way

One of the most profitable automakers and with a market capitalization more than General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, it is well known for its lean production and a revolutionary approach.

The Toyota way lists down 14 management principles that drive people, process and culture in an indomitable way delivering efficiency and reducing wastes in the manufacturing domain. 

Taichii Ohno, founder of TPS, says –

“All we are doing is looking at the time line from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing that time line by removing the non-value added wastes.”

The philosophy of TPS believes that merely working faster just for the sake of getting the most out of your workers is another form of over-production and actually leads to employing more labour overall. If we have not efficiently worked out the manual process, it will not be clear where you need automation to support the process.

The Toyota way beautifully explains the processes of continuous improvement called KAIZEN, 8 types of waste, eliminating waste (muda) and rather than tools and techniques it greatly emphasizes on the 4P’s i.e. Philosophy, Process, People and Problem solving.

The 14 Management principles laid out by TPS is as follows

1 –   Base your management decisions on long term philosophy, even at the expense of short term financial goals. 

2 –   Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface. (Just In Time) 

3 –   Use pull systems to avoid ‘overproduction’. 

4 –   Level out the workload. (Eliminate waiting) 

5 –   Build a culture of ‘stopping to fix problems’ to get quality right. (Eliminate rework) 

6 –   Standardised tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment. 

7 –   Use visual controls so no problems are hidden. (Opportunities are exposed to all) 

8 –   Use only reliable and thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes. 

9 –   Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy and teach it to others. 

10 – Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy. 

11 – Respect your extended network of partners & suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve. 

12 – Go and see for yourself and thoroughly understand the situation.

13 – Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options and then implement rapidly. 

14 – Become a learning organisation through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.

Each principle in itself is self explanatory. This book not only limits it’s principle to Manufacturing but also in various other domains like IT. 

To make any process lean, calculate the manual time it takes from request to delivery and by monitoring each step we can remove the muda and streamline the tasks to best fit the development and delivery of any product.