God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)


Lean manufacturing or lean production, which is often known simply as "Lean", is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination (Wikipedia).

Principles of Lean

  1. Specify value at from the standpoint of the end customer.
  2. Identify all of the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
  5. As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.

The Toyota Production System / The Toyota Way

The Toyota Production System (TPS) / The Toyota Way (Liker) is a benchmark for organizing reliable, high quality process and organizational performance.


The 14 Toyota Way Principles

    Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals

    • Have a philsophical sense of purpose that supersedes any short-term decision making. Work, grow and align the whole organization toward a common purpose that is bigger than making money. Understand your place in the history of the company and work to bring the company to the next level. Your philosophical mission is the foundation for all the other principles.
    • Generate value for the customer, society, and the economy - it is your starting point. Evaluate every function in the company in terms of its ability to achieve this.
    • Be responsible. String to decide your own fate. Act with self-reliance and trust in your own abilities. Accept responsibility for your conduct and maintain and improve the skills that enable you to product added value.

Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface

Use "Pull" systems to avoid overproduction

Level out the workload (heijunka) (work like the tortoise, not the hare)

Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time

Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment

Use visual control so no problems are hidden

Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes

Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others

Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company's philosophy

Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve

Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu)

Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapdily

Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen)