Title: A quantitative investigation of Toyota's approach in teaching standardised work

Authors: Phillip Marksberry, Daniel Vu, Bruce Hordusky

Addresses: College of Engineering, Center for Manufacturing, University of Kentucky, 414L, CRMS Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0108, USA. ' College of Mechanical Engineering, 9019 Georgian Court, Florence, KY 41042, USA. ' College of Mechanical Engineering, 8772 Honeysuckle Drive, Erie, PA 16509, USA

Abstract: Many companies strive to utilise Toyota|s standardised work (SW) methodology in attempt to make improvements by stabilising existing operations. Unfortunately, most companies who implement SW fail to understand how it is developed to encourage a specific balance between kaizen and standardisation. In turn, most outsiders perceive Toyota to emphasise kaizen over standardisation which causes many of the unique features and characteristics of SW to be improperly understood. This work utilises latent semantic analysis as a new technique to study Toyota|s approach in teaching and developing SW. The findings of this work show that Toyota relies on the principles of the Toyota production system to help teach the achievement of SW. Results also show that Toyota emphasises a number of prerequisites to achieve kaizen to make work more consistent and predictable before improving SW. Other findings show the essential features of SW are strongly related to work analysis and the achievement of quality rather than productivity. The benefits of this work is to improve the way SW is designed and developed to better understand how it is achieved in a lean system.

Keywords: lean manufacturing; Toyota; production systems; standardised work; work instruction; semantic analysis; latent analysis; operation stabilisation; kaizen; Japan; continuous improvement; standardisation; prerequisites; consistency; predictability; work analysis; automobile industry; productivity; quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2011.038682

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2011 Vol.7 No.2, pp.148 - 167

Published online: 21 Feb 2011 *

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