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Taiichi Ohnos Workplace Management: Special 100th Birthday Edition Hardcover – December 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Taiichi Ohno was born in Dalian, China, on February 29, 1912. He joined Toyoda Boshoku in 1932 after graduating from the mechanical engineering department of Nagoya Technical High School. Mr. Ohno was transferred to Toyota Motor Company in 1943 and was named the machine shop manager in 1949. He was promoted at Toyota to director in 1954, managing director in 1964, senior managing director in 1970, and executive vice president in 1975. He retired from Toyota in 1978. Mr. Ohno is the father of the Toyota Production System. He authored three works: Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, Taiichi Ohno's Workplace Management, and Just-in-Time for Today and Tomorrow with Setsuo Mito.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071808019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071808019
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ville Kilkku on July 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a bit torn about this book. On one hand, I absolutely loved it. On the other hand, I don't think this is necessary or even suitable reading for all Lean practitioners.

Workplace management is a collection of short transcripts of Taiichi Ohno's spoken monologues. As a transcript of spoken word, it is not extensively polished, although the English translation is high-quality language. The book offers both a first-person historical perspective into Lean and the development of various Lean tools as well as insight into the value base on which Lean was built.

For example, the way Ohno quotes and speaks of Confucius give clear insight into the Confucian roots of Lean, which are not often discussed. I believe that these roots are vital for the Lean concept of respect for people. On the other hand, these ideals are not completely alien to the Western world either, as both the Aristotelian concept of the golden mean and John Stuart Mill's defense of freedom of speech share the some of the same values. Thus, while this is an interesting subject, understanding these roots is not strictly necessary for creating a Lean system.

If you are new to Lean, I would not recommend this book. The concepts are not clearly explained and the book follows no clear path from start to finish.

If you just want to use Lean, I am not sure whether I should recommend this book to you either. The tools and most of the reasons behind them are more clearly explained in more recent works, for example in those of Jeffrey Liker, Mike Rother, and Masaaki Imai.

You should read this book if you are interested in the values that shaped Lean (although you need to read between the lines to get there) or if you are interested in a first-person historical narrative of the beginnings of Lean. It is a short book, so if you have even slight interest in these subjects, reading it will not take a long time.
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Format: Hardcover
Taiichi Ohno's Workplace Management was directly written by Taiichi Ohno, founder of the Toyota Production System. Many of his writings were transcriptions and interpretations of the man himself, leaving the reader to wonder how accurately it reflected the thoughts of this transformational leader. Jon Miller, both an experienced lean expert and fluent in Japanese, provides this latest translation and re-release of what should be a staple of every lean library.

This small book is a compilation of 38 short chapters each one or two pages that originally were spoken narratives with Taiichi Ohno. The book is not written by him, but is the result of these several discussions from Ohno. Some of the chapters are extremely insightful in the way of thinking Taiichi Ohno used when thinking up ideas for the Toyota Production System. There's also an excellent Publisher's Foreword and even better Afterword taken from Taiichi's 1st TPS textbook.

Although much of the learning comes in the form of specific nuggets of knowledge and subtle points and hints, a major theme throughout the book is the focus on the "gemba" or real place. The message is that you can't effectively lead, manage, solve problems or improve without a relentless focus on the gemba. This means not only is this where you spend your time, where the work is done, but also it is what you seek to understand. He asks you to put aside your assumptions and see what is really occurring.

Unfortunately, this book is devoid pictures and illustrations which would bring clarity to the teachings. However, Ohno uses a combination of direct logical arguments, stories and analogies to paint a picture for his audience, the same you might expect to do in coaching his employees during the transformation of Toyota.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By phillip gill on March 30, 2014
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Good ideas but I find implementing them the main problem. Most of us aren't like Taiichi. This book are his thoughts, not an organized plan.
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Every man and his dog thinks they can do lean. Too many qualifications, tools and catch phrases. Don't go near any of them until you've read Ohno.
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I work as a production supervisor in the food industry. This book gives great insight on how Industrial labor should be executed.
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By Kellie on March 23, 2014
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I would recommend anyone in management to read this book. completely changes your way of thinking from start to finish.
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By Juarez Martin S on July 15, 2013
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Ohno's wisdom in his own words. A must-have in the kaizen literature. Shows a humble an methodical point of view.
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A great book to understand TOYOTA motors and its legacy Toyoto productions system. One thing that makes me disappointed is the book is not written by mr. Ohno. One guy was collectiing up his speech and published it.
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