Quick exercise.

  1. Google Toyota Production System.
  2. Click on the first link that is not an advertisement. In my search results, this was the first link. http://www.toyota-global.com/company/vision_philosophy/toyota_production_system/
  3. Cut and paste the information into a word document.
  4. Print the document.
  5. Hand the document to all your employees.
  6. Voila – Quality is improved!

Unfortunately, quality and process improvement does not work this way. Fire the consultant that told you that the Toyota way will save the day for your organization. Just because it worked for Toyota does not mean it will work for you and the same goes for any other quality improvement program that was made famous because it was implemented (or created) successfully in another large corporation.

Before you blindly try to implement a quality improvement program, think about what would work for your organization in terms of your vision, strategy, and culture.  It is great to benchmark best practices, but make sure you truly understand the environment in which these programs were implemented.

It does not have to be an all or nothing approach. You can learn, leverage, and implement some process improvement tools in your organization without cutting and pasting a whole program from another company.

Check out these two past Branner Consulting blog posts:

Branner Consulting, LLC can help you identify, document, measure, monitor, and improve your key business operations processes. Our signature service is performing Business Operations Reviews for small businesses. Contact us today to get started. Using thought leadership and industry specific benchmarking, our team evaluates the current state of client’s day to day operations to determine best practices, lessons learned, and opportunities for business process improvements. We help you identify potential problems and help you solve them!