Toyota Engineering Development Process

Posted on September 22, 2008  Comments (9)

Kenji Hiranabe talks about Toyota’s development process (webcast). Kenji shares a presentation he attended earlier this year by Nobuaki Katayama, a former Chief Engineer at Toyota, and the lessons he learned from him.

The webcast takes awhile to get going. If you are impatient you might want to start at the 6 minute mark. Some thoughts from the talk:

  • The Voice of the Customer is diffuse. A strong concept (for a project – new car for example) is very important to focus thought, listening to voice of the customer is important but must use strong concept to avoid losing focus (due to diffuse customer feedback).
  • Honest face to face communication is important. Bad news first – present bad news first [don’t try to hide bad news – my thoughts in brackets, John Hunter].
  • Everyone must think about cost reduction, many efforts add up to big impact [the importance of reducing waste everywhere].
  • benchmark, not to copy others, but to learn from what others do well.

The webcast includes a nice (though short) discussion of agile management in software development and lean manufacturing (the different situation of manufacturing versus software development). Kenji Hiranabe has also translated several agile and lean books into Japanese including Implementing Lean Software Development.

Related: Kenji Hiranabe’s blogMarissa Mayer Webcast on Google InnovationHonda EngineeringEngineering Innovation in Manufacturing and the Economy

9 Responses to “Toyota Engineering Development Process”

  1. Kenji Hiranabe
    September 27th, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

    Thank you for introducing my presentation, John.
    Although I’m not a good presenter, I really wanted to share with you western people good Japanese practices.

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    October 11th, 2008 @ 9:38 am

    “Toyota established a two-year internship program for recent engineering graduates at schools like the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Lawrence Technological University and the University of Wisconsin…”

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    January 25th, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    This is always true. Copying what others do does not work. You can learn from others by understanding the benefits of their process and then adapting the ideas to your organization…

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