Taiichi Ohno's workplace management

is an excellent book by Taiichi Ohno (isbn 978-0-07-180801-9). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
When I was a middle school student in the old system, we studied the Chinese classics, and during this class we learned from the Analects of Confucius. In these writings Confucious says, "The wise will mend their ways" and "The wise man should not hesitate to correct themselves."... Confucius was saying that we should change gracefully... I think his words mean that in the end it is not good if you hold onto your ideas too strongly and try stubbornly to justify them.
When we said we would set up a centralized grinding operation, one experienced worker said, "No, we tried that during the war, but it failed. That's why we do it the way we do now." [I said] "I did not see it fail during the war. Show me again how it fails. If I am persuaded by this, I will let you continue doing it the way you do it now."
If you asked me, "What is the most important part of production control?" I would say it is to limit overproduction.
The kanban was a slip that indicated how many pieces they were coming to get, so that if they were going to take ten parts this became a production instruction slip directing the production line to make ten pieces.
When lot sizes are small, you need to do changeovers more frequently.
Stopping the line causes a great loss, so this forces us to think, "How do we keep them from stopping the line?" and this results in more and more quality kaizen.
You can only really tell what is better based on results.
Accounting cannot do any cost reduction... The shop floor reduces inventory. This money goes to the bank... Instead, accounting thinks it just needs to allocate cost savings targets.
There is something called standard work, but standards should be changing constantly. Instead, if you think of the standard as the best you can do, it's all over. The standard is only a baseline for doing further kaizen. It is kaiaku if things get worse than now, and it is kaizen if things get better than now. Standards are set arbitrarily by humans so how can they not change?
You must create a standard for comparison.
Drop a nut once and pick it up. Working at the average time is like trying to catch the nut halfway because letting it drop all the way down takes too long... There is no such thing as average value in this world.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the old masters, seek instead what these masters sought. [Matsu Basho 1644-1694]
Once he asked me how the terms kaizen and kairyo (reform) were differentiated in the West. I said that while kaizen means to make improvements by using brains, kairyo means to make improvements by using money, and that in the West, most managers only think of improvement in terms of money. [Massaki Imai]
Let the flow manage the processes, and not let management manage the flow.
The aim of kanban is to make troubles come to the surface and link them to kaizen activity. I tell people, "Let idle people play rather than do unnecessary work."
The production line that never stops is either excellent or terrible.
Costs exist to be reduced, not to be calculated.

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