Originally published on Goodreads

The Toyota Way

The Toyota Way by Jeffrey K. Liker is Liker’s experience and understanding of the car-maker Toyota’s philosophy and management principles. In the book Liker makes the case of lean manufacturing and the Toyota Production System which has been the cornerstone of Toyota’s rise and famed quality.

The book is structured really well starting with the history of Toyota and how the Toyota Production System was created. The system itself is also well explained with its Japanese names (with English translations of course!) and which provides the way to the 14 management principles. Each management principle is described and explained with at least one case on how it helped either Toyota or another organization become more lean, improve quality and cut costs.

Overall the book is really good and explains the Toyota Production Systems well. While Toyota uses it for car manufacturing, the principles are just that, principles that can be applied to other domains. It might take a bit of thinking to see how it can be applied to another domain as the book is heavy on manufacturing cases but Liker does try and provide extra context in the last two chapter on how it can be used outside manufacturing. I can recommend this book for the fascinating look into one of the biggest companies in the world as well as leaning about lean.

4 out of 5 stars.