This paper asserts that problem identification and problem solving processes can be integrated into work processes by imbedding tests that evaluate system-performance. These tests are imbedded in individual work activities, in the connections that link those who provide a product, service, or information with those who receive it, and in the overall construction of pathways over which products, services, and information take their final form. This paper builds upon observations made in the manufacturing sector to draw lessons applicable to more general management concerns of delegating/task partitioning, coordinating, and task execution. This paper shows how the specific tools of the Toyota Production System ('TPS') such as pull-systems, kanban cards, and andon cords are artifacts of a general, comprehensive approach to managing collaborative work systems that allows frequent, fine-grained problem identification and improvement in overall organizational structure, coordinative mechanisms, and task-performance. Therefore, this paper phrases Toyota's practices in terms of solving problems of work delegation, coordination, and execution.This paper asserts that problem identification and problem solving processes can be integrated into work processes by imbedding tests that evaluate system-performance.
|Title||:||Just-in-time in Practice at Toyota|
|Author||:||Steven J. Spear, Harvard Business School. Division of Research|