Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Component of Toyota's PDCA Management System

CRC Press
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Winner of a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Prize.

Notably flexible and brief, the A3 report has proven to be a key tool In Toyota’s successful move toward organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and improvement, especially within its engineering and R&D organizations. The power of the A3 report, however, derives not from the report itself, but rather from the development of the culture and mindset required for the implementation of the A3 system.

In Understanding A3 Thinking, the authors first show that the A3 report is an effective tool when it is implemented in conjunction with a PDCA-based management philosophy. Toyota views A3 Reports as just one piece in their PDCA management approach. Second, the authors show that the process leading to the development and management of A3 reports is at least as important as the reports themselves, because of the deep learning and professional development that occurs in the process. And finally, the authors provide a number of examples as well as some very practical advice on how to write and review A3 reports.

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Additional Information

Publisher
CRC Press
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Published on
Mar 23, 2011
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Pages
184
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ISBN
9781439814055
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Quality Control
Business & Economics / Sales & Selling / Management
Technology & Engineering / Manufacturing
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Following in the tradition of its Shingo Prize-winning predecessors, Lean Production Simplified, Third Edition gives a clear overview of the structure and tools of the Lean production system. Written for the practitioner by a practitioner, it delivers a comprehensive insider's view of Lean management.

The author helps readers grasp the system as a whole, as well as the factors that animate it, by organizing the book around an image of a house of Lean production. Illustrating the eight kinds of waste, this updated edition of a bestseller: Describes the craft and mass production systems that preceded Lean production—including the contributions of Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford Explains the concepts of visual management, Five S, and Total Productive Maintenance Addresses just-in-time delivery of parts and products Examines the jidoka principle Covers the nervous system of Lean management, hoshin planning Illustrates the culture of Lean management

This edition deepens and extends the previous edition with case studies on Lean outside the factory—in settings such as health care, IT, finance, design, engineering, and beyond. The case studies are based on personal experience of actual work in organizations generating real results.

Lean Production Simplified, Third Edition covers each of the components of Lean within the context of the Lean production system. The author's straightforward common sense approach makes this book an easily accessible, on-the-floor resource for every team member.

Watch Shingo Prize-winning author Pascal Dennis discuss Lean Production Simplified, Third Edition https://youtu.be/YD030vOb8KM
Most business readers have heard of the Lean principles developed for factories—a set of tools and ideas that have enabled companies to dramatically boost quality by reducing waste and errors—producing more while using less. Yet until now, few have recognized how relevant these powerful ideas are to individuals and their daily work. Every person at a desk, drafting table, workstation, or operating table must (like a factory) deal with the challenge of reducing the waste that creeps into their work. The same Lean principles that have improved efficiencies on the factory floor can be just as powerful—in fact, far more so—in helping individuals boost personal performance.

Winner of a 2013 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award!

A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance describes how you can foster a new mindset and improve your performance by applying Lean methods to your work. It translates powerful Lean tools such as visual management, flow, pull, 5S, and kaizen to your daily work, revealing how they can help to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and link you ever more closely to customer value. This practice will help you develop better self-awareness, more disciplined problem-solving skills, and the ability to self-correct errors.

This book not only provides the tools, but also teaches you how to find the root causes underlying your inefficiencies so you can eliminate them permanently. It will enable you to immediately improve personal productivity while developing the skills needed for continuous improvement. It includes real-world examples that illustrate how these principles have been successfully applied across a range of industries. Providing the perfect mix of what-to-do with why-to-do it, the text details a step-by-step approach to applying Lean principles to your work.

Listen to what Daniel Markovitz has to say about his new book, A Factory of One.

Part One — Part Two

View the book's website at www.afactoryofone.com.

View the author’s website at www.timebackmanagement.com.

"The P-51 Mustang—perhaps the finest piston engine fighter ever built—was designed and put into flight in just a few months. Specifications were finalized on March 15, 1940; the airfoil prototype was complete on September 9; and the aircraft made its maiden flight on October 26. Now that is a lean development process!" 

—Allen Ward and Durward Sobek, commenting on the development of the P-51 Mustang and its exemplary use of trade-off curves. 

Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recipient, 2008

Despite attempts to interpret and apply lean product development techniques, companies still struggle with design quality problems, long lead times, and high development costs.

To be successful, lean product development must go beyond techniques, technologies, conventional concurrent engineering methods, standardized engineering work, and heavyweight project managers. Allen Ward showed the way. 

In a truly groundbreaking first edition of Lean Product and Process Development, Ward delivered -- with passion and penetrating insights that cannot be found elsewhere -- a comprehensive view of lean principles for developing and sustaining product and process development.  

In the second edition, Durward Sobek, professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Montana State University—and one of Ward’s premier students—edits and reorganizes the original text to make it more accessible and actionable.  This new edition builds on the first one by:

Adding five in-depth and inspiring case studies.Including insightful new examples and illustrations.Updating concepts and tools based on recent developments in product development.Expanding the discussion around the critical concept of set-based concurrent engineering.Adding a more detailed table of contents and an index to make the book more accessible and user-friendly.

The True Purpose of Product Development

Ward’s core thesis is that the very aim of the product development process is to create profitable operational value streams, and that the key to doing so predictably, efficiently, and effectively is to create useable knowledge.  Creating useable knowledge requires learning, so Ward also creates a basic learning model for development.

But Ward not only describes the technical tools needed to make lean product and process development actually work. He also delineates the management system, management behaviors, and mental models needed.

In this breakthrough text, Ward:

Asks fundamental questions about the purpose and “value added” in product development so you gain a crystal clear understanding of essential issues.Shows you how to find the most common forms of “knowledge waste” that plagues product development.Identifies four “cornerstones” of lean product development gleaned from the practices of successful companies like Toyota and its partners, and explains how they differ from conventional practices.Gives you specific, practical recommendations for establishing your own lean development processes.Melds observations of effective teamwork from his military background, engineering fundamentals from his education and personal experience, design methodology from his research, and theories about management and learning from his study of history and experiences with customers.Changes your thinking forever about product development.
Visible knowledge is a tool nearly lost in the West, but it has been used to great effect by Toyota in its 50-year march from noncompetitiveness to its current status as the second largest automobile company in the world. It is key for the 50% growth in market share Toyota plans for this decade despite worldwide overcapacity in the auto business. This book presents the reader with a systematic approach to create, capture, and display knowledge in a way that allows development teams to optimize the design of their products and production processes. Visible knowledge not only applies to knowledge management, but provides a means of collaboration to facilitate better decision-making in the development process.

This book has evolved out of a manuscript that Allen Ward, the foremost U.S. expert on lean product development, was writing at the time of his untimely death. It is not intended to be a treatise of Lean product development methods. Quite the opposite—it is focused on one small piece, "visible knowledge." It is, however, one technique that Dantar Oosterwal and Durward Sobek have found to be very effective at Harley-Davidson and other places, and a tool that can make a difference whether used by itself or as a starting point for a larger journey into Lean product development.

In completing this work, Oosterwal and Sobek kept the aim true to Allen’s original intent. The preface and first three chapters are essentially Allen’s original intellectual contribution. They have made editorial changes to improve readability and clarity of explanation. Throughout, they have attempted to preserve Allen’s voice in the writing, even keeping the narrative in first person as it was originally written. They have also added a fourth chapter that highlights some practical ways to apply the ideas presented in earlier chapters, illustrated with case examples from their experience.

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