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Lean roots to grow, wings to fly!


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A lot has been said about Kanban and how these can be implemented in Software development, but the learning remains superficial till we go deep down to its roots to understand the core underlying practices and principles and why/how these practices evolved over a period of time. Infact the roots of most of the Agile methods can be traced back to Lean/Toyota Production Systems, a set of practices and techniques used by Toyota to build great set of cars with limited amount of resources. Even though building software is much different than building a car, there are many lessons and practices that can be learnt and applied nonetheless.

In these slides, I have shared some of the best practices/concepts that originated at Toyota for building "world-class" cars and discuss how each of these can be applied to software development.

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Lean roots to grow, wings to fly!

  1. 1. - Nitin Ramrakhyani Director – Products, Digite Inc. Bangalore, India. 28th Feb, 2014
  2. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 自働化 看板 行灯 ポカヨケ 現地現物 無駄 斑 無理 改善 整理 整頓
  3. 3. View more at
  4. 4.    Lean Basics :- 11+ Japanese terms from Toyota Production Systems( TPS) / Lean. 11+ new ideas/ tools – the weapons of mass destruction/ production lean improvement that you can apply Today. A better perspective of Lean/ Agile
  5. 5. "It doesn't matter what you do, it matters Why you do it." - Simon Sinek Source :-
  6. 6. Source :-
  7. 7. Henry Ford (1863-1947). Founder of Ford Motors
  8. 8. Ford Model T - 1908
  9. 9. Sakichi Toyoda (1867-1930), King of Japanese Inventors
  10. 10. The Type-G Toyoda Automatic Loom, the world's first automatic loom with a non-stop shuttlechange motion. Invented in 1924. This loom automatically stopped when it detected a problem such as thread breakage.
  11. 11. •In 1936, the company ran a public competition to design a new logo, which lead to the name "Toyota“. They got some 27000 entries and chose this one. •Through the concept of "jikaku" (counting the number of strokes in writing characters to determine good and bad luck), its eight-stroke count is associated with wealth and good fortune. •Also, In Japanese, “Toyo” signifies abundance, and “ta” means rice. In some Asian cultures, the rice represents wealth.
  12. 12. “jido” – automation, Automation with a human touch or intelligence.
  13. 13. Improve Detect deviation Identify the root cause Stop the line Fix the problem Notify/ Alert
  14. 14.  Andons are used to visually signal an abnormal situation. Source :
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  17. 17. Improve Detect deviation Identify the root cause Stop the line Fix the problem Notify/ Alert
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  21. 21.    to avoid (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka) Mistake proofing or fool-proofing. Its purpose is to eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur
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  23. 23. Taiichi Ohno (1912-1990), considered Father of Toyota Production Systems
  24. 24. W. Edward Deming (1900-1993). Statistician, Author, Lecturer & Consultant, Author of ‘Out of the Crisis’
  25. 25. Build only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed.
  26. 26. Won’t it be cool if we delivered features to our customers this way? Img source: -
  27. 27.   Build features what your Customer “really” wants and when he wants. Don’t : Build features that nobody needs right now  Write more specs than you can code  Write more code than you can test  Test more code than you can deploy  Work on Tickets/ Transactions that are not priority
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  29. 29. Implement “Pull” in your process
  30. 30. Source :
  31. 31. Build Quality In, Automate, Autonomate ( Jidoka) Use visual signals to highlight problems. ( Andon) 3. Mistake proof the system ( Pokayoke) 4. Try to get to the root-cause of the problem ( 5-Whys) 5. Get your hands dirty!( Genchi Gembutsu) 6. Build only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed ( Just-in-time) 7. Create continuous flow ( Continuous Flow) 8. Eliminate Wastes, remove non-value adding steps ( Muda) 9. Reduce unevenness (Mura), overloading (Muri) 10. Enable “pull” in the system, limit “work-in-progress”. (Kanban) 11. Keep learning ! ( Kaizen) 1. 2.
  32. 32.           The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker The Toyota Way Fieldbook, Jeffrey Liker and David Meier The Birth of Lean, Takahiro Fujimoto,Koichi Shimokawa Lean Software Development, Mary and Tom Poppendieck
  33. 33. Reach me at :  @nitinr30/ @productician 