I completed listening ‘The Toyota Way’ audio-book by Jeffrey Liker. The book talks about 14 priciples of Toyota Production Systems (TPS). There are many gems that I think could be of use in Information Technology Project Managment. Here are 14 TPS management principles –
1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
4. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.
8. Use only reliable, 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 and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).
13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi).
14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).
We can not just simply say that TPS can be used as it is (or with minor variations) to any organization. We need to evaluate and learn the logic/concept behind these 14 principles and see how are these 14 principles relevant to my organization. Many organizations claim to have similar principles in place, but how well are they implemented, or exists on piece of paper? What is behind these 14 principles and how Toyota does it? How does Toyota make sure that these principles become part of the work life?
Toyota did not develop TPS overnight or copied from somewhere else. Toyota has learned a lot from Ford and North American car manufacturing over a long period of time and incoporated their own Toyota philosophy in TPS.
This is excellent read for anyone interested in management.
Has anyone worked with TPS and how is the experience?
Have a good day!