Who can tell me the difference between TPS (Toyota Production System) and Lean?

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wmarhel

#2
Hello everyone.
Who can tell me the difference between TPS and Lean?
Thanks
Here's my take:

Lean as typically practiced, is in many ways a whack-a-mole (it's a silly game at many fairs in the U.S.) approach. They view Lean as a toolbox where they reach in from time to time and take out something they can use to fix, or more typically, band-aid a problem. As evidence, just compare the number of companies professing to be using Lean, with the number of companies actually considered to be Lean.

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a holistic system. Even Ohno himself stated that calling it a production system was incorrect, as it was truly the best known way (at the time, as it constantly evolves) to "manage" a business. There is a recognition and application of all the various methods and an understanding of the synergy that exists between them.

TPS is also about truly empowering people and giving them the knowledge to be successful. Failures and problems are okay and are viewed as learning opportunities and a way to address the root cause. The true strength of TPS over Lean is the understanding that people are the real strength, not just techniques.

One significant difference is that TPS is a long-term growth strategy, and not performed as a reaction to a difficult period or solely as a cost-cutting/head-count reduction method.

I would recommend that you read the books by Ohno, Shingo, and Monden versus many of the newer authors which seem to be aimed more at advertising.

Wayne
 
D

DAB68

#3
Hello everyone.
Who can tell me the difference between TPS and Lean?
Thanks
Technically, they are one in the same. Jim Womack coined the term "lean" in The Machine that Changed the World where he analyzed TPS. Like Wayne, I agree that "lean" has been reduced to a set of tools to be applied by lower-level employees, without the support of upper-level management. TPS is a philosophy. A business strategy. So many companies that are "lean" see some positive gains from the tools, but they will NEVER achieve what Toyota has achieved without top-floor to shop-floor belief in the TPS/Lean philosophy.

Dwayne
 
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