Taking A Page From Toyota’s Playbook: Indian IT


Business Week

This is a good article talking about how a leading Indian IT outsourcing company, Wipro, is adopting the principles of Toyota and the book, The Toyota Way.

On the theme of discipline (see the Tom LaSorda article below), an interesting story from Wipro taking a Toyota tour:

There were plenty of lessons to learn, but for Sambuddha Deb, Wipro's chief quality officer, one stands out. Deb began to take a shortcut when the safety path painted on the factory floor made a sharp turn. The Japanese manager walking behind him reached out, took his shoulders, and gently guided him back onto the path. The message — all the little rules count. “They had that sort of discipline. It's second nature to them,” marvels Deb.

I like how Wipro apparently thought about how to apply lean principles to their own business, rather than just copying Toyota tools, as in this example:

“Almost immediately, Kurien spotted a surprising problem — cubicles. They're normal for programmers but interrupted the flow for business-process employees. So he came up with the idea of positioning people side by side at long tables and running processes up the line step by step. Wipro also adopted Toyota's kaizen system of soliciting employee suggestions for incremental improvements, and made The Toyota Way required reading. The company even did time-and-motion studies. One discovery: It took an average of nine minutes for employees to regain optimal performance after water and bathroom breaks. The water coolers were quickly moved closer to people's desks.

Many other good examples are in the article, check it out.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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