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Jeffrey Liker

Books

  • Toyota Talent: Developing Your People the Toyota Way
    Toyota Talent walks you through the rigorous methodology used by this global powerhouse to grow high-performing individuals from within. Beginning with a review of Toyota's landmark approach to developing people, the authors illustrate the critical importance of creating a learning and teaching culture in your organization. They provide specific examples necessary to train employees in all areas-from the shop floor to engineering to staff members in service organizations-and show you how to support and encourage every individual to reach his or her top potential. Toyota Talent provides you with the inside knowledge you need to * Identify your development needs and create a training plan * Understand the various types of work and how to break complicated jobs into teachable skills * Set behavioral expectations by properly preparing your workplace * Recognize and develop potential trainers within your workforce * Effectively educate non-manufacturing employees and members of the staff * Develop internal Lean Manufacturing experts
  • The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance
    The book is organized into three major sections outlining: 1. Why it is critical to go beyond implementing lean tools and, instead, build a culture of continuous improvement that connects operational excellence to business strategy 2. Case studies from seven unique industries written from the perspective of the sensei (teacher) who led the lean transformation 3. Lessons about transforming your own vision of an ideal organization into reality Section One: Using the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) methodology, Liker and Franz contrast true PDCA thinking to that of the popular, superficial approach of copying "lean solutions." They describe the importance of developing people and show how the Toyota Way principles support and drive continuous improvement. Explaining how lean systems and processes start with a purpose that provides a true north direction for all activities, they wrap up this section by examining the glaring differences between building a system of people, processes, and problem- solving that is truly lean versus that of simply trying to "lean out" a process. Section Two: This section brings together seven case studies as told by the sensei who led the transformation efforts. The companies range from traditional manufacturers, overhaul and maintenance of submarines, nuclear fuel rod production, health care providers, pathology labs, and product development. Each of these industries is different but the approaches used were remarkably similar. Section Three: Beginning with a composite story describing a company in its early days of lean implementation, this section describes what went right and wrong during the initial implementation efforts. The authors bring to light some of the difficulties the sensei faces, such as bureaucracies, closed-minded mechanical thinking, and the challenges of developing lean coaches who can facilitate real change. They address the question: Which is better, slow and deep organic deployment or fast and broad mechanistic deployment? The answer may surprise you. The book ends with a discussion on how to make continuous improvement a way of life at your company and the role of leadership in any lean transformation.
  • The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process, and Technology
    The ability to bring new and innovative products to market rapidly is the prime critical competence for any successful consumer-driven company. All industries, especially automotive, are slashing product development lead times in the current hyper-competitive marketplace. This book is the first to thoroughly examine and analyze the truly effective product development methodology that has made Toyota the most forward-thinking company in the automotive industry. In The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process, and Technology, James Morgan and Jeffrey Liker compare and contrast the world-class product development process of Toyota with that of a U.S. competitor. They use extensive examples from Toyota and the U.S. competitor to demonstrate value stream mapping as an extraordinarily powerful tool for continuous improvement. Through examples and case studies, this book illustrates specific techniques and proven practices for dealing with challenges associated with product development, such as synchronizing multiple disciplines, multiple function workload leveling, compound process variation, effective technology integration, and knowledge management. The book was awarded the 2007 Shingo prize.

Articles

  • Resist your machine thinking!   view details
    "To maintain consistent output, one must continually adjust the system to changing environmental conditions. This is called dynamic homeostasis in systems thinking, or running to stay in place. ... Maintenance comes from having clearly defined standards, observing carefully for deviations from those standards, and then developing and implementing countermeasures to eliminate the deviations."
  • Why Lean Programs Fail   view details
    "a large survey conducted by Industry Week in 2007 found that only 2 percent of companies achieved their anticipated results... When we look at lean in this way it is not only a set of techniques for eliminating waste, but a process by which managers as leaders develop people so that desired results can be achieved, again and again. That means coaching people in practicing an improvement kata every day."
  • From Recalls to Redemption: Toyota Did Not Lose its “Way”   view details
    "More important, the Toyota Way is guiding their long-term response based on deeply reflecting (hansei), taking responsibility, developing appropriate counter-measures with real punch, and relentlessly implementing the countermeasures. We believe we will see an even stronger and better Toyota that we can be proud of for decades to come."

Web sites

  • Lean Edge
    "Lean management is a method to dramatically improve business performance by teaching people how to improve their own processes. The two main dimensions of lean management are continuous process improvement (going and seeing problems at the source, challenging operations and improving step by step) and respect for people (developing and engaging employees by developing teamwork, problem solving and respect for customers, employees and all other partners). ... The aim of the discussion [on the site] is to share different points of view and to collectively build a vision of lean management."

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