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This is the shared log of the Lean Study Tour, April 20-24, 2009.

We will add insights,

summaries, and related links to this page during the week.
Note that this is "raw" information, targeted mostly for internal use. For "processed"
information you might read the blogs instead.

Participants: Henrik Kniberg, Mattias Skarin, Reza Farhang, Tomas Bjrkholm, Mats Plahn,
Joakim Sunden, Fredrik Sj, Anders Wide, Ulrik Gade, Jesper Thaning, Sune Gynthersen,
Gabrielle Benefield, Thomas Blomseth, Bent Jensen, Jacob Jensen, Martin Josephat, Mary
Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck.

Day 1 - Monday April 20

Day 1 Schedule:

Fujitsu FAP -TPS implementation in software development

Danish Embassy - presentation of Toyota & Japanese culture

Day 1 Blog entries:

1. Disney Resort is Lean -
(actually this is from last week, but still feels relevant to the tour)
2. Lean Study Tour 2009 - Day 1 (Sune Gynthersen) -
3. Roots of Lean, Day 1 -
4. Gabby's blog:

Day 1 Discussion List posting:

Mary Poppendieck:

Day 1 group reflection:

1. Fujitsu Measure at very fine level of detail. Perhaps due to need to bill and estimate
2. Beware of metrics overuse might scare away good people
3. Cultural dimensions aversion to risk at all levels. In rest of world, CIOs face same
4. CEO totally involved in Kaizen at Fujitsu.
5. Hard ones last. They reform team each project so improved productivity may be due
to team jelling.
6. Be careful of their data. They could easily be gaming the metrics.
7. Interesting that they use function points/scale.
8. Manitoba govt SAP strategy of replacing best people before starting SAP project impl.
9. 7x productivity improvement is probably real.
10. Customer satisfaction was not addressed.
11. Doing things right vs. doing the right things.
12. Would not want to work there. Just because they call it TPS does not mean it is good.
13. Importance of stable teams is lost on them.
14. Solution to other companys problems may not be solution to your problem.
15. To be competitive they need to be more efficient
16. They did not seem to know much of agile software development. Lean <> Agile. Agile
is not the only way to apply Lean to development.
17. They were doing what they needed to do for their problems. Success breeds
defensiveness. Need to step back.
18. The fuzzy front end lasts long, implementation short
19. Is stable team necessary for stable process.
20. Change of HR policies at Toyota in 80s
21. Increase of Temp workers at Toyota. Scandinavia has more fluid labor market.
22. Concept of bulls-eye. What are the primary parts of game. Bulls eye helps prioritize
work during implementation.
23. Data driven decision making for better or worse. Fujitsu may go too far but need more
of this in most places
24. Would not work in environment with high employee turnover.
25. Standardization can support improvements. When all do same process, easier to
improve. With no standard, have no baseline. Not all of their work was standardized but
they were very able to leverage standard and special frameworks.
26. Seem to be templatizing web development as most similar providers do.
27. Wait till they have a design before they make a fast, accurate estimate.
28. No discussion of creating the right design. Apparently they do Govt contracts which
contain the design.
29. They did a pretty direct translation of TPS to software probably not with enough
translation. They seemed to lack enough system thinking.
30. Experimentation with estimation techniques. (Systematic in Ahuus DK is doing similar

Day 2 - Tuesday April 21

Day 2 Agenda:

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

Toyota Motomachi Plant
BR Automotive Software Engineering Department at Toyota.

Day 2 Blog entries:

Software as a factory
Lean Study Tour 2009 - Day 2 (Sune Gynthersen)

Day 2 Discussion List posting:

Mary Poppendieck:
Day 2 Group reflection:

Toyota Satochi Ishii Group Manager Process Group.

1. Surprises at traditional waterfall V-Model for their Embedded development.
2. Interesting to see that they see visualization as number one priority. = management.
3. Ishii talk was structured like A3 Thinking process. He told a good story. Placed
importance in context. Examined problem, proposed experiments.
4. Skill check sheet. Perceived as too detailed I am not sure.
5. Detail level comparable to Fujitsu. Wonder if we are the ones who are too lazy.
6. People development was number 2 issue
7. The humility was impressive
8. Are they experimenting? Yes. Implicit in A3. Less explicit than at Fujitsu.
9. Long time since seen Gant chart.
10. Toyota way behind of other car Mfgrs.
11. Appeared to be Failure to apply TPS to software.
12. Ishii was living TPS philosophy. Showed real understanding of principles. Was honest
about testing shortcoming.
13. Biggest challenges Testing & training and motivation of engineers.
14. PDCA may lead naturally to waterfall. Cost of mistakes in embedded is so high that
waterfall might be way to decrease risk. Similar situation to Sony-Erickson.
15. Found Skill check list useful .. 0 cannot do, 1 can do with supervision, 2 can do along,
3 can teach

Toyota Factory Tour

1. Andon cord for developers to get immediate help. Need spare capacity from leaders.
2. Did not stop the line fully. First step is summon help. Actually stop whole line only
one time per shift.
3. Sounds for warning and for andon. All very visual as well. All andon signs shaped
like cars consistent visual metaphor.
4. Amazed at synchronization of all components. No one could come up with whole idea
at once. We will talk on Friday to RFID IT guy.
5. Risk elimination. Saw three people leaving their shift crossing signaling checking
three ways before crossing forklift road.
6. Plan for 7.5 hr work day. Gives them up to 30 min OT for recovery.
7. Production rate is half last year.
8. Tape on floor telling where to stand and where to place all carts.
9. Watching work in context led to better understanding than reading
10. Visual management very evident.
11. Variable line length was a surprise.
12. Mixing different car models on same line was surprise.
13. Discipline and order and impressive. Cart returning to be filled went thru cleaning
14. Lack of evidence of Kaizen. They shorten work day and do Kaizen. Mature process
probably does not encounter frequent issues.
15. Factory as a metaphor for software. Will write blog.
16. Factory running at 2.5x normal Tack time. Robots in welding robots were idle for long

Toyota Museum
1. Evolution of the loom.
2. TPS is a machine just like the looms
3. TPS Cartoon movie was great.
4. Tolerance for innovation during growth even in absence of immediate return.
5. Attention to details was impressive. Relentless improvement.
6. Looms are almost as hard as cars.

Day 3 - Wednesday April 22

Day 3 Discussion List posting:

Mary Poppendieck:

Day 4 - Thursday April 23

Day 4 Agenda:

DaiNippon Printing Ltd.

EIWA Software Consulting
AgileJapan meeting with panel discussions.
AgileJapan dinner

Day 4 Blog entries:

Lean Study Tour - Day 4 (Part 1) (Sune Gynthersen) -
Lean Study Tour - Day 4 (Part 2) (Sune Gynthersen) -
A perfect orcestra - Kaizen - (Reza Farhang) -

Day 4 Group reflection:

Katayama San
1. Thought that things were so obvious that it was mystery why other cos dont to it
2. Kaizen = DNA
3. Hours not headcount
4. responsibility throughto whole process
5. Passion mentioned many times
6. in a mature industry, have to act as mature decvelopers
7. Worked chaos first, discipline in execution
8. =Concept at rather high level. Concept is hard part
9. Handshake = Guarantee
10. Ideas of Value engineering and Value analysis was new to group.. but standard in
hard goods design. Not in SW. Applies to any kind of system. Cost per part
committed. Like point estimates. Cost allocated to part, have to come up with design
that will meet cost.
11. lead time is pretty short. Game takes longer.
12. decision making process they are really good at it.
13. If we dont get better we dont survive.
14. Iteration is a bad idea in hardware.
15. Avoid information overload. Summarizing is vital.
16. Cycles of discovery, not iterations.
17. Role of planning division. Clue about how CE knows what is needed. KS had passion
for motorsports. He sold concept to company. Gut feel is important but proposal
needs to be very detailed with data to make point.
18. Family car CE needs to love his family., sports car CE needs to love to drive fast.
19. Attitude toward young people
20. BAD NEWS FIRST, hard items first. Report system, not just policy.
21. DNA many loose entrepreneurial DNA. How to change DNA

Agile SW Dev Cos

1. Eiwa was amazing. Could feel kanban, visual management.
2. Got good developers because good devs want to work for these cos
3. iki-iki is vice.
4. Azuri 2 hr timeslots. Just like truck scheduling. Turned burn down chart into
heijunka board
5. Azuri trying to standardize to enable cooks to make good code, not just chefs.
6. Azuri Chefs teach cooks.
7. Like task board detail with pins.
8. Like retrospective board at Eiwa Keep/change photo of last retrospective action
9. Bell in place of automated integration system/cruise control. Lots of simple as
possible low tech.
10. Azure had live camera link to other office that they could ask other office at any time.
11. Smiley calendar. Every day, post kind of day you had to allow awareness of state.
Soft information
12. Kanban used without limits.

DNP Printing plant

1. Less kaizen results evident, more evidence of efforts to improve.
2. Bored.
3. wireless guide earphones worked better than Toyota
4. Manager was dressed like workers
5. Guides at Toyota not doing Kaizen.

Last night Panel/Party

1. Sore butts due to thin cushins
2. Left two empty seats too often.. not long enough to answer.
3. Surprised how few were doing agile in agile interest group. Low adoption rate so far
4. Always have drawing surface.

Overall Lean tour Bad news first

1. ticket purchase info too much puzzling.
2. space to meet.. hotel meeting room
3. counting heads to avoid leaving people behind
4. hotel too hot, constructin noise.
5. breakfast too late.
6. Japanese level of detailed planning
7. Background on companies visited before trip.
8. Opportunity was excellent
9. longer plant visit
10. more software focused
11. definitely would recommend others take this visit.
12. part of value is visits, part is within group.
13. wed day off was good
14. languge barriers suggestions of what to look for on each visit.
15. enjoued spinning machine tutorial
16. free drinks each meal
17. martin was great.