The 14 Principles from The Toyota Way

Posted on April 2, 2012 | in Continuous Flow, Golf, Lean Tools, Small Business, Standardized Work | by

When I first started the Lean Blitz blog, I jumped right into the Lean wastes and initial discussion of the Lean tools. Looking back, what I should have done was start from the very beginning of it all and write about the real origin of Lean thinking via The Toyota Way 14 principles that guided the company that “invented” the concepts.

If an organization is truly focused on becoming a strong, forward thinking business with a plan for the future, they would keep these principles in mind in most (if not all) business decisions that are made.

  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 (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 engagement.
  7. Use visual controls so no problems are hidden.
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and process.
  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.
  13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.
(14 principles from The Toyota Way Fieldbook by Jeffrey Liker and David Meier)

Before I jump too far into the lean tools I’ve already started to examine, I will jump back and talk more about each of these principles and what they mean.

Until then…let’s go see what Augusta National Golf Club has in their operations.

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