Nikolay Sturm's Blog

Musings about Development and Operations

The Toyota Way

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My motivation to start this blog stemmed from the desire to question and discuss the applicability of agile and lean methods in system administration. To start this discussion, in the upcomming weeks I will go through the 14 principles that form The Toyota Way and discuss their merit to the field of system administration.

These principles are:

  1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
  2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
  3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction (kanban).
  4. Level out the workload (heijunka).
  5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time (andon).
  6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement (kaizen) and employee empowerment.
  7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden (jidoka).
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.
  9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
  10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
  11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
  12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).
  13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi).
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).

Beware that this series of posts is not an introduction to the Toyota Way, but discusses its applicability to the field of system administration. I strongly suggest reading Jeffrey Liker’s The Toyota Way.