The Toyota Way

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Apr 4, 2012   ⋅   East Palo Alto, CA

This book is probably the best introduction in the Agile practices there is. It talks about cars, but everything that you read here will make sense for high-tech products. If you substitute "car" with "computer", this book will make sense and be very enjoyable. It was for me.

This is one of the most influential books in my life, honestly speaking.

Concept of lean manufacturing can be spread to pretty much anything, and works very, very well.

This changed my view of my work on computers and electronics and life. I try to buy food products and snack more frequently, in smaller quantities.

Notion of process is basically something that I think makes software and hardware successful. I map Toyota’s process to “Joel’s Test” and see it’s not easily met. Having a good flow is very hard, and most companies don’t have that.

Continuous improvement is really eye opening, especially when examples for car manufacturing plans are mentioned.

I try not to overproduce tasks. When my script produces outputs to N files, I always try to keep N as low as possible.

I try to fix bugs first. I started to comment existing bugs and propose solutions to bugs while in a deadline mode.

Interestingly, I’ve always had “genchi genbutsu” attitude. I always like to go and see places, where real work gets done. This is really the way to go in a company. It results in new, more effective solutions: you have this syndrome of having a newbie not understanding the field completely and proposing new, niche solutions to problems. Works very well.

Pull systems I’ve had a hard time understanding. This area for me needs revisiting. I think it is about pulling a trigger in moments when you’re running out of work, and soon more work will be necessary.

Stop and fix problems..

Gosh. This book has so much stuff, that you just have to read it. I really, really suggest people to get it and study it in depth.

“The Soul Of A New Machine”
“Design of everyday things”

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me