Matt Hrivnak

Kaizen: There's always another future state


‘The Toyota Way’ 

By Jeffrey K. Liker

I’ve read and reviewed literally dozens of Lean and Six Sigma books, and ‘The Toyota Way (14 Management Principles From the World’s Greatest Manufacturer)’ is one of the great ones.  The Toyota WayIt is a swift and meaningful read with pages and pages of detailed, historical data explaining thoroughly the essence behind Toyota and the Toyota Production System.  If there is one caveat, I would have to say it’s the fact that the book’s practical applications are a little lacking.  I say that because it is such a complete retelling of Toyota’s dominance that in the end, it leaves the reader thinking, “Okay, that’s great, but how exactly do I accomplish that at my company?”  The step by step, visually demonstrated process that is typical of a Lean book is the big piece that most readers will wish was thereThe Toyota Way Fieldbook.  Liker did help remedy this in a few ways by introducing The Toyota Way Fieldbook (co-written with David Meier) which offers practical and applicable solutions for implementing much of Toyota’s systems.

The great things about The Toyota Way are all of the aspects that you wouldn’t necessarily find in any other Lean book.  Among these are intricate parts of Toyota’s system including tidbits like the difference between a Toyota manager and the average, classically trained U.S. manager, or the fact that The Toyota Way is more of a ‘condition’ or ‘state of mind’ than just a cut and paste production system.  Great quotes abound, as each chapter starts with a few words from a notable Lean implementer.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly and if you ever attempt to put your head around the Toyota Production System and Lean – this is the book to start with.  Not only do you learn the basic structure and methodologies, you get the raw, harsh reality of the path that the Toyota Production System took from its inception until the present.

Buy this book.  You will learn a lot while being able to appreciate the rich history.

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Comments (0) Posted by matt on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


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