“The world first became aware of TPS (The Toyota Production System) when Taiichi Ohno published a book about his groundbreaking efforts at Toyota. It was published in Japan in 1978. The Japanese version of his book wasn’t translated into English until 1988. Since ten years had passed, this translation did not fully communicate the nuances of Ohno’s vision. ”
Sourced from LinkedIn
Michel Baudin‘s comments: I have also argued for recovering the nuances of TPS that have been lost in translation, whether these losses are due to incompetence or obfuscation, in the following posts:
- “Wisdom” and “Continuous Improvement” in the Toyota Way
- Does Respect For Humanity Mean The Same As Respect For People?
- “Muda” just means “Unnecessary”
- More musings on “Muda” (Waste)
- Absence of “Value Added” in the TPS literature
- Perspectives on Standard Work
In his article, Nakamuro bemoans the “decades of confusion” caused by our collective failure to translate Taiichi Ohno’s thoughts accurately. According to him, Ohno frequently called different ideas or methods by names that sound identical but are written differently, which strikes me as a poor communication strategy, if your goal actually is to make yourself understood.