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TPS: The Leaders View (Part One)

Aug 26, 2013 | Posted by Matt Elson


Some people that we have worked with in the past seem very confused on what the essence of TPS is. Some confuse TPS with the tools contained in the framework (i.e. standardized work, problem solving, kanban, etc.). Generally, this approach is considered to result in only “surface” success (if any), and many organizations experience a back slide to the previous condition. Very frustrating and very emotional at times.

So what is the secret to TPS? Surprise, surprise, there is no secret!

You simply have to react to what the system shows you! If your takt time vs. cycle time graph shows fluctuation above the takt line, then investigate what is causing the fluctuation and kaizen it. If you find that there are kanbans stacking up in the collect post, investigate if there is a spike in demand or reject rate.

These are very simple, direct (usually binary: either “yes” do something, or “no” everything is fine) signals to leadership. There are really no silver bullets or magic answers. Just do the right things consistently.

But where do you start if you’re trying to set these signals up or set the system up? We’ve created some simple suggestions for leadership starting their TPS journey. This is Part One of our new series, TPS: The Leaders View. Check back here for the next in the series!



Learn Four Strategies To Start Improving Any Area Of Your Business