Synopses & Reviews
A lean blueprint for creating long-term sustainability the Toyota way
During Toyota's highly publicized recalls of 2009 and 2010, the legendary carmaker's 60-year-old reputation for operational excellence was put under the microscope. Business pundits wondered out loud if Toyota's quality levels had decreased dramatically, while the harshest critics predicted the end of the company as we know it. For the most part, the government's findings absolved Toyota of serious defects and accidents, and Toyota recovered rapidly--but mistakes were made, which showed that Toyota is not perfect. In fact, there is always opportunity for improvement in every process.
In his bestselling business management classic The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker introduced the world to the foundational principles that have made Toyota the envy of companies around the world. Now, in The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement, Liker teams up with former Toyota production engineer James Franz to explain the underlying thinking behind continuous improvement and why any company needs a disciplined approach to process improvement in every part of the organization.
Liker and Franz outline the common mistakes in thinking that limit results, and they reveal how Toyota achieves its dual objectives of improving business performance and developing its people through following Dr. W. Edwards Deming's teachings of Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA). Through detailed case examples in many industries, you'll learn how to: Determine why your processes aren't achieving anticipated resultsBuild a sustainable lean process with a well-defined purposeCreate a system that reveals problemsTeach every leader and team member at every level the art of PDCA for process improvement
With The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement, you have the foundation you need to develop a vision of continuous improvement specific to your organization and plot a path to turn your vision into a measurable reality.
Praise for The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement
I have found inspiration and lessons in these real stories from real people who try, sometimes fail, and yet find creative ways to succeed in adapting the principles of Deming and Toyota. Despite the diversity of applications revealed here, the commonality in vision, values, and desired outcomes unifies these leaders. You won't be able to put this book down.
RICHARD ZARBO, MD, DMD, Senior Vice President and Chairman of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Henry Ford Health System
Lean is no longer an idea, a hypothesis, or a theory--it is a proven set of principles and practices that more and more people are using to achieve substantial, sustainable continuous improvement in a variety of enterprises. This book details the practices and case studies to help you bring Lean transformation to your enterprise
CHARLES BAKER, former Chief Engineer and former Vice President, Honda R&D Americas
The newest book in the bestselling Toyota Way series gives executives and managers the blueprint for successful lean process projects that deliver breakthrough results.
Building upon the international bestselling Toyota Way series of books by Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement
looks critically at lean deployments and identifies the root causes of why most of them fail. The book is organized into three major sections outlining:
- Why it is critical to go beyond implementing lean tools and, instead, build a culture of continuous improvement that connects operational excellence to business strategy
- Case studies from seven unique industries written from the perspective of the sensei (teacher) who led the lean transformation
- Lessons about transforming your own vision of an ideal organization into reality
Section One: Using the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) methodology, Liker and Franz contrast true PDCA thinking to that of the popular, superficial approach of copying "lean solutions." They describe the importance of developing people and show how the Toyota Way principles support and drive continuous improvement. Explaining how lean systems and processes start with a purpose that provides a true north direction for all activities, they wrap up this section by examining the glaring differences between building a system of people, processes, and problem- solving that is truly lean versus that of simply trying to "lean out" a process.
Section Two: This section brings together seven case studies as told by the sensei who led the transformation efforts. The companies range from traditional manufacturers, overhaul and maintenance of submarines, nuclear fuel rod production, health care providers, pathology labs, and product development. Each of these industries is different but the approaches used were remarkably similar.
Section Three: Beginning with a composite story describing a company in its early days of lean implementation, this section describes what went right and wrong during the initial implementation efforts. The authors bring to light some of the difficulties the sensei faces, such as bureaucracies, closed-minded mechanical thinking, and the challenges of developing lean coaches who can facilitate real change. They address the question: Which is better, slow and deep organic deployment or fast and broad mechanistic deployment? The answer may surprise you. The book ends with a discussion on how to make continuous improvement a way of life at your company and the role of leadership in any lean transformation.
The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement is required reading for anyone seeking to transcend his or her tools-based approach and truly embrace a culture of continuous improvement.
About the Author
Jeffrey K. Liker
, the author of the bestselling The Toyota Way
, is professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering and cofounder and Director of the Japan Technology Management Program at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review
, and other leading publications.
James K. Franz learned lean as a Toyota Production Engineer in Japan, and has more than 22 years of manufacturing experience.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Preparation- Building a Foundation for Lean Flow Processes
What is a lean process and why are companies failing at it; Chapter 2.
People and Processes Grow Together through PDCA; Chapter 3.
Lean Out Processes or Build Lean Systems; Chapter 4.
Lean Processes start with a Purpose; Chapter 5.
How do you do it. Mechanistic and Organic Lean Deployment; Part 2: Toyota Way Process Principles in Action: Cases
; Chapter 6.
The Cases that Follow; Chapter 7.
A Repetitive Manufacturing Process as a Baseline (CAT-Mitsubishi JV example); Chapter 8.
Lean Systems in High Volume, Process-Type Case: Iron Ore Mining; Chapter 9.
Developing a Lean System in Defense Remanufacturing; Chapter 10.
Developing a Lean Systems in Health Care; Chapter 11.
Developing a Lean Systems in Knowledge Work; Chapter 12.
Developing an Action Plan for Change; Chapter 13.
Verify Results and Make Adjustments; Chapter 14.
The Continuous Improvement Cycle