November 30, 2013

Rules for Successful Kaizen Management

1. Work Smarter, not harder
2. Use wisdom, not money
3. Use data supported by theories
4. Be happy with even with small changes. Act like a tortoise.
5. Be creative, innovate to meet requirements
6. Be positive about the benefits of change
7. Correct failures immediately
8. Lead by example if you are a kaizen leader
9. Identify the root cause for every failure
10. A team is more productive. Solve problems in teams

1. Leave all titles and ranks at the door.
2. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
3. Improvement requires change. Do not waste time
justifying the current situation.
4. Keep an open mind.
5. Maintain a positive attitude.
6. Deal from data, not perception or emotion.
7. Create a blameless environment.
8. There is no substitute for hard work (serious work).
9. Plans are useful only if they can be applied and if the
gains are sustainable.
10. Just do it…now!

Hamel, M.R. (2010). Kaizen Event Field Book: Foundation, Framework and Standard Work for
Effective Events. Michigan: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, pp. 159-160. 

Kaizen eno Yon Dankai - Improvement in 4 Steps

The Economic and Scientific Section (ESS) group was given the  task with improving Japanese management skills and Lowell Mellen was invited to Japan to properly install the Training Within Industry (TWI) programs in 1951.

In 1951, even before the arrival of Mellen, the ESS group had a training film to introduce the three TWI "J" programs (Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations)---the film was titled "Improvement in 4 Steps" (Kaizen eno Yon Dankai).

The term Kaizen was not popular in Toyota before 1950. It is only after the TWI courses that the term became popular.

Training within Industry Program Materials - A Toyota System Foundation

Manufacturing leaders in Toyota were trained using Training within Industry Program Materials developed by USA people.

Want to have a look at some of them.

Download Training within Industry Program Materials 

Five Requirements of a Manufacturing Team Leader in Toyota

Toyota production organization structure is composed of small teams of workers. They are multiskilled and can produce full assembly or subassemblies at reduced numbers if one or two of them are absent. They on their own can decide to work overtime if the full day's production was not completed.

The leaders of these teams have to following role.

1. Knowledge of work - A team leader must have knowledge of all the tasks.

2. Knowledge of responsibilities

3. Skill in instructing - He must be able to educate and train his team members in the production activities.

4. Skill in improving methods - This is a very important addition to the role. Taylor hypothesized that a foreman will be burdened with too many tasks and may not be able to take up the role of improving methods. But at Toyota, the problem was solved by creating small teams and giving the responsibility of improving the methods to the team leader and team.

5. Skill in working with people

Toyota trained its team leaders through Training Within Industry (TWI) courses initially.

JI - Job instruction course

JM - Job methods course

JR - Job relations course

Smalley mentions that these five roles were specified by TWI courses.

Yes. They are mentioned in TWI Bulletins

Development  of SUPERVISORS through careful selection, assignment, of supervisory duties of increasing responsibility, and provision for related organized help through discussions and conferences, under both plant and outside auspices, dealing with methods of instruction, methods of developing better ways of doing a job, methods of improving working relationships, and knowledge of  responsibilities.
(The paragraph is from the bulletin - Management and Skilled Supervision issued by Bureau of Training War Manpower Commission in June 1944)

Preview the book Isao Kato and Art Smalley

Art Smalley on Lean Leadership

November 1, 2013

Lean Enterprise and Lean Systems

Lean enterprises deliver maximum performance and minimum resource consumption. A win win situation for the consumer, producer and therefore the society (economy).

The lean enterprise concept was developed by Toyota through a trial and error method to produce automobiles at low volume with high productivity. In Japan, other copies slowly learned about the system and implemented its practices. As Japanese companies started producing in various other countries, the practices started diffusing.

IMVP, a research study on automobile industry, codified the Japanese production and enterprise system into the concept of Lean Production System and Enterprise.

2011 Presentation on the The Next Challenges for Lean Thinking by Dan Jones. Dan Jones is coauthor of the book publihsed by IMVP in 1990


MIT Course on Integrating the Lean Enterprise