People in the Middle


    This is my version of a Toyota diagram (click on it for a larger view) showing the “integrated system” of the Toyota Production System. Notice how “Human Development” is put in the middle, no surprise there.

    The three balancing sides of the triangle are instructive, “People,” “Technology,” and “Process.” All three have to work in balance, being supportive of each other. All of this together creates the Organizational Culture.

    Have you used this diagram in your Lean efforts? What do you take away from it? Has it helped you?

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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.


    1. You can look at it as a burger; with the two slices of bread representing Technology and Process, and the meat representing the People.

      Now, what makes a good burger?
      Furthermore, a burger without a slice of bread is not a burger.

      I just find it easy to remember and constantly keep it in mind.



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