TPS Benchmarking

146 Articles

Muri, Hubris and the Laws of Proportion

By Jon Miller - November 28th, 2007

One reason that the Toyota Production System is so effective is that it is built around many fundamental principles which apply universally. One of these pieces of timeless wisdom is that muri is bad and should be avoided. Muri is the

What I Learned About TPS from Ratatouille

By Jon Miller - November 22nd, 2007

Our family watched the Disney-Pixar animated film Ratatouille last night. It is a story about an intelligent rat and a kitchen full of cooks at a haute cuisine restaurant in Paris. About half way through the film a cook named Colette i

The Challenge of Lean Human Resource Development, and A Modest Proposal

By Jon Miller - October 9th, 2007

Good question from Alberto about how Chinese companies who are pursuing Lean manufacturing are managing to invest in their people. There is a lot of truth to the stereotype of the Chinese factory worker doing very simple tasks, in a ba

Work is Love Made Visible

By Jon Miller - September 30th, 2007

In his 1923 book The Prophet, Lebanese American poet and artist and visionary Kahlil Gibran wrote Work is love made visible. What if love is not visible in work? What if you do not love what you do? Perhaps according to Kahlil Gibran,

Something Lacking in the TPS House

By Jon Miller - September 24th, 2007

People point out from time to time that there is something lacking in the TPS house used to explain the Toyota Production System. Typically it is represented with the two pillars of just in time and jidoka, with a foundation of kaizen,

The Secret Lives of Toyota Term Employees, Episode 3

By Jon Miller - September 14th, 2007

The Road to Tahara Prison A Toyota term employee and blogger named Maruo wrote 72 posts over 4 months on his experience working at the Tahara plant. His blog is called Welcome to Tahara Prison (田原刑務所へようこそ). He signe

The Secret Lives of Toyota Term Employees, Episode 2

By Jon Miller - September 6th, 2007

How to Pass the Term Employee Job Interview at Toyota The website “The New – Ask the Term Laborer Porsche” (新・期間工ポルシェに訊け) offers a fascinating glimpse into the secret lives of Toyota term emplo

The Toyota Production System is Practice, Not Theory

By Jon Miller - August 29th, 2007

Pete Abilla from the Shmula blog said in a comment posted to our blog recently: During my short time at Toyota, I learned this lesson well: we were always encouraged to “try and see” — which meant that we should try n

Why You Need A Tatakidai

By Jon Miller - August 28th, 2007

When people say to me “We don’t need no more stinkin’ Japanese words in our Lean vocabulary,” I don’t argue. Most of us aren’t using all of the ones we’ve got anyway. Why acquire knowledge you

The Secret Lives of Toyota Term Employees, Episode 1

By Jon Miller - August 26th, 2007

Kaizen and respect for people. These are the words under which Toyota presents itself as a company that builds cars by building people. Yet this is the ideal, and we know that there is always a gap between reality and the ideal. What i

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