Lean Principles – Toyota Way and Lean Thinking (5:14)

Lean Principles are treated in this video by the Japanese definition of Toyota and the development made by “Lean Thinking”.


The Conventional House Toyota

The first framework to explain the Lean principles is the conventional version of the Toyota house.

The Toyota house was developed by the large car manufacturer and in its original form, we can observe several elements.

In the base, there is the principle of stability that can be achieved through some tools such as the 5S, Visual Management, 7 Quality Tools, the standard Operation Procedures and clearly going and experiencing the Gemba.

The conventional Toyota house has two pillars indicating 2 other Lean principles.

The first is the Just in Time which means that each station must have what it needs when it is needed and in the quantity it is needed.

The second pillar is the Jidoka. Jidoka means autonomation, that is, automation with a human touch. The machine and man must stop as soon as they notice that they are producing a defect.

The roof of the Toyota house expresses the principle of Policy deployment also called hoshin kanri.

I like to think that the roof is also like an arrow indicating the direction, the true north.

I remind you that the goal of a Lean company is to seek the highest quality at the lowest cost and the shortest lead time.



Toyota House for Lean Enterprise

Over time the Toyota house has evolved moving from mainly considering manufacturing to considering the whole company.

In this new version of the Toyota house, the principles have become the following:

At the base, we have the principles of challenge, Kaizen, teamwork, and Gemba.

The two pillars have become:

1. Continuous Improvement.
2. Respect for people.

The roof has the Toyota Way as an architrave and the Thinking People System above.

In fact, it can be said who the acronym TPS has turned from Toyota Production System into Thinking People System.



Lean Principles in Lean Thinking

The third and final framework that I want to present in this video on the Lean Principles, is the one described in detail in the book Lean Thinking by Womack and Jones.

In the book, the authors specify five Lean principles to be followed in order to transform a conventional company into a lean company.

☑️ The first step is to specify the value from the customer’s perspective.

☑️ The second step is to identify the value stream and map it. The most suitable tool to implement this principle is the value stream map.

☑️ The third principle is the flow. You have to slide the value. If possible using the concepts of One Piece Flow or One Document Flow

☑️ The fourth principle is Pull. Pull means a short term response to the change in customer demand without overproduction. I remind you that Taiichi Ohno defined overproduction as the father of the seven wastes.

☑️ The fifth and final principle is perfection. If you have worked well in the implementation of the first four principles, realizing the latter will not seem impossible.

Perfection does not mean only a product without defects but returning to what was previously described, you will have to create a high-quality product at the lowest cost at the shortest lead time.




To conclude, the frameworks presented to deal with the principles that must be followed by a lean company.

In the Japanese version of the Toyota house, there is no step-by-step ladder on how to implement these principles.

I suggest you start from the base and then develop the two pillars and the roof.

In the American model of the 5 lean principles, the path to follow is much clearer and more linear and in the book Lean Thinking, which I recommend you read, they are explained in detail with many real application examples.



Relevant Videos for Lean Principles

* What is Just in Time

* What is Jidoka

* What is Policy Deployment

* Continuous Improvement Tutorial