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on 6 January 2010
I'll start with the bottom line: this is essential reading for anyone who really wants to understand what "lean" is about - but don't expect detail on the tools of lean: it's not really a fieldbook in that sense.

The good things: the book is really well written and the case studies are good ones. The description of the Toyata Way (or Toyota Production System -TPS) is detailed and logical. Above all I like the fact that this book emphasises the fact that TPS is more than a set of tools, and in fact if you just use the tools you're unlikely to get more than a few short term benefits and will risk backsliding in the longer term. So for a really thorough understanding of TPS, this book is great.

The not so good: the authors openly admit that this book does not attempt to describe the tools of TPS in any detail. This is a flaw and undermines its use as a fieldbook. In fact I'd go so far as to say this is not actually a fieldbook at all because it doesn't have the detail you'd need to use it "in the field" What it does try to do, reasonably successfully, is explain how you would approach using TPS in practical terms, so in that sense I can see why the fieldbook label was chosen. But it could have been so much better and richer if only the tools were described in detail too.

So if what you want is a book that will tell you how to do value stream mapping, 5S, etc. then you won't find that here. But used alongside such books, this book is an invaluable addition.
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on 19 June 2009
There are some books that are special. They make a real impact in your reflection. This is one! Well organized in the sequence to go through the 4 principles of Toyota Way. Easy to read. Facilitates comprehension and reflection on each lesson learned.
The authors have done an outstanding job to help general public, and specially business leaders and people working on the continuous improvement spirit, to learn not focusing on the tools - you always have guides and other materials to learn about each tool - but focusing on the SYSTEMIC vision of the lean paradigm.
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2006
This books explores the 12 philosophies of lean management as seen in the Toyota Production System. It is not a "how to" book - there are no methodologies for lean tools; rather the book explores lean principles and concepts in considerable detail (400 + pages) and how they can be applied in practice. To my mind the best elements of the book are the sections on problem solving and implementing lean. As a whole the book suffers from a dense style that makes it heavy going at times. The book also suffers from some gaps - insufficient space is given to how to achieve "flow" in an organisation with very variable demand. In addition, the book mentions the use of temporary staff to manage demand peaks but says nothing about how these people are recruited, trained, managed and involved in lean. The feeling is left that these are the "cannon fodder" of lean.

Overall this is probably essential reading for anyone involved in lean - but be ready for heavy going !.
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on 8 September 2012
I've had the The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer book for several years, and read it many times. My work is based on continuous improvement and I have worked in the Toyota family of businesses for several years - this fieldbook really brings TPS to life in a way that western businesses can follow. I like it because it does not prescribe a "does this, do that" approach, but moreover, it simply reinforces the "thinking way" by demonstrating the thinking behind the philosophy of the Toyota Way.
It's accurate too, and there is something in there for all businesses, you choose what works for you, and the rest will come later when you are ready. This is one of those books for life, you can read it at different times of your business life and it means different things each time, each reading seems to make sense more than the last time, because you've progressed yourself, and not because the book has changed.
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on 21 September 2015
Good book if you want a good understanding of Japanese manufacturing.Jeffrey K. Liker has spent over 30 years in Japanese manufacturing and the authors books are always good and interesting to read
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on 7 July 2016
Replacing yet another lost copy that was loaned out and never returned! But why? Because it's such a practical book - this is like the Haynes Manual for Lean Leaders!
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on 27 May 2013
Found this a useful adjunct whn preparing for a six sigma green belt exam, and will continue to be a useful reference book.
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on 7 March 2016
As previous works by Jeffrey Liker this is an excellent book. Depicted with good practical examples.
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on 13 December 2005
Whilst the book will be seen as using in simple examples for lean practitioners. I suggest that it is a must read for those who are less familiar or just starting their lean journey.
I have been implementing lean across Europe for a number of years and reccommend this book to all who have an interest in improving their business
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on 12 April 2016
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