The Toyota Production System

Dec 6, 2021

DevOps is about the software production lifecycle, but has industrial roots. The technical pipelines of software delivery and the human elements like kanban, agile, and lean all come from one of the largest car manufacturers in the world: Toyota.

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is the secret sauce behind lean manufacturing and logistics at Toyota. Here are 14 principles distilled from The Toyota Way.

Principle 1
Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.

Principle 2
Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface. Eliminate waste. 7 types of waste to eliminate:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Waiting
  3. Unnecessary transport or conveyance
  4. Overprocessing or incorrect processing
  5. Excess inventory
  6. Motion
  7. Defects

Principle 3
Use "pull" systems to avoid overproduction.

Principle 4
Level out the workload.

Principle 5
Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.

Principle 6
Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.

Principle 7
Use visual control so no problems are hidden.

Principle 8
Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.

Principle 9
Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.

Principle 10
Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company's philosophy.

Principle 11
Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.

Principle 12
Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.

Principle 13
Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.

Principle 14
Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.