Monday, November 23, 2009

Book: Taiichi Ohno - Toyota Production System

Everyone interested in historic basics of Scrum and other agile approaches should read this book.

Author: Taiichi Ohno
Title: Toyota Production System

Rating: recommended

If you want to understand several basic principles of Scrum and other agile approaches then take a deeper look at Taiichi Ohno's book. He describes the historic development of all those famous Toyota principles one can see adopted in many agile frameworks:

  • kanban
  • just-in-time
  • five why's (real cause)
  • production leveling
  • visual control (management by sight)
  • waste recognition and elimination
All of this was started some 80 years ago by the visionary Toyoda Sakichi and brought to perfection by his successor Toyoda Kiichiro. The book shows some insight how these people thought and managed their organization. It also covers some economical history of the competitive automobile markets of Japan, Europe, and the USA in the first half of the 20th century.

Overall the book does not unveil the deep details how to implement a Toyota-like production system but it gives great background information why and how this system was invented with all its principles and practices.
The appendix "Glossary of Major Terms" is a nice reference of all important concepts.

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