Lean Management : The 14 principles of The Toyota Way

(English) In his book, Jeffrey K. Liker describes the technique of The Toyota Way. Here are the principles in a glance.

1. Think Long-Term

Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy. Generate value for the customer, society and the economy.

2. Create the Flow

Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface. Move materials and information fast, and link processes and people together.

3. Avoid Overproduction

Use « pull » systems to avoid overproduction. Give the customers what they want, when they want it, and the amount they want. Not more. Minimize inventory.

4. Heijunka

Level out the workload. Work like a tortoise, not like a hare.

5. Stop it

Build a culture of stopping to fix problems. Get quality right the first time.

6. Use standardised tasks

7. Look at this

Use visual control so no problems are hidden. No computer screen. Use simple visual indicators. Reduce your reports and important decisions to one piece of paper.

8. Technologie

Use only reliable tested technology. Use technology to support people, not to replace them.

9. Choose the leaders

Grow leader who understand the daily work, live the philosophy and come from within, not from outside.

10. Develop Teamwork

11. Respect your partners and help them to improve

12. Go and see for yourself

Be in the field to understand the situation. Move, ask questions, get out of the building.

13. Think slow, Act fast

Make decisions slowly by consensus. Implement them rapidly.

14. Become a learning organization

Encourage people to participate, share their ideas, learn by themselves.

Some other inspiration :

  • Creativity, Challenge and Courage. The three C’s from Shoichiro Toyoda
  • Toyota leaders regularly stir the pot even creating a crises when necessary. That helps to stay innovative and to think out of the box.
  • Create a Kenjinkai : a committee of wise men. Go to a Obeya, a Big Room where everybody works on the same secret project. Use simultaneous engineering, every level of production must work together.
  • In the Toyota Way, it’s the people who bring the system to life.


« Achieve No-Compromise Objectives »


The content of this post is inspired by the book “The Toyota Way” – Jeffrey K. Liker

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