It’s the System, Stupid

August 29, 2007 § Leave a comment

A brilliant essay by my new favorite website, on Lean Software Development.

Which is more important – process or people? It helps if we trade in the overloaded word “process” and use “system.”In the article “Managing a Living System, not a Ledger” H. Thomas Johnson says “Managers at Toyota believe that improving the system is the surest way to improve long term financial results.” He points out that Toyota takes lots and lots of measurements, but they do not use these as performance measurements. Johnson writes: “…Toyota makes virtually no use of management accounting targets (or ‘levers’) to control or motivate operations… Toyota focuses its operations on continuous system improvement through endless rapid problem solving. And they emphasize genchi genbutsu, or ‘going to the place,’ to see where a problem occurs, firsthand. 

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