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:
- 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.