Reza Farhang

Reza Farhang

Agile & lean

A perfect orchestra

The week in Japan has been very intensive and thoughtful.  We have visited about 5-6 Japanese companies, everything from a small software company with 10 employees to Toyota and their software development.

So what is the lesson learned of this trip.

From my impressions there are a lot of differences and similarities between the Japanese and the Swedish culture but what struck me most was the way of thinking towards Kaizen. Every company we visited had Kaizen as their number one priority, from the CEO down to ordinary workers.

Our meeting started with a visit at Fujitsu with their CEO and one of their chief engineering. They were really proud of showing us how they have with help of Kaizen made their productivity increase between 5-6 times from 2001 to 2008.

After that we visited Toyota museum and plant. As soon as you stepped into the museum and the factory you could feel the kaizen all over the place. The factory was so well synchronized that I understood that this has evolved during a long time where Toyota had improved their process to become “the” perfect orchestra.

We also visited some minor software development companies where I again was amazed of the way the companies breathed kaizen. This experience was confirmed in one simple sentence from the former Lexus IS chief engineering Mr. Nobuaki Katayama, with “KAIZEN = DNA”.

Every time I was reminded about Kaizen my thoughts went back to how we work in our companies in Sweden and what if we had kaizen as our most important priority through the whole organization at all time, the question is what we need to do to insert Kaizen in our DNA.