The Obeya – The Secret to Achieving Lean Management System Excellence

Presented By:

Sam MacPherson

Session Abstract:

“The key to sustaining a lean management system is to physically change the management environment – the Obeya achieves this change.” – Sam MacPherson

For first-time visitors to Toyota Motor Corporation’s HQ in Japan and other Toyota locations throughout the world, many are surprised to discover an operating environment without traditional cubicles and offices – the Obeya.  Obeya Management is the best way to manage Lean Operations and create highly engaged Lean Leaders through face-to-face communications, collaboration, organizational problem solving, and teamwork.

“TPS style improvements depends on…having a proper awareness of problems and an extremely low tolerance for the current condition…”  Isao Kato, Retired Toyota Training Manager

The Toyota Production System is often described as an autonomic nervous system; if that is the case, then the Obeya or “Big Room” is Lean Management System Brain!  Toyota’s Obeya Management methodology allows leaders to share timely vital information, make timely decisions, orchestrate and foster a common vision, see emerging trends through cross-departmental analysis, prioritize and coordinate efforts to maintain focus on what’s important, and strive for excellence.  Toyota has established Obeya’s to manage Global Product Launches, Sales Operations, Design and Engineering, as well as shop-floor Operations.

Internationally Lean Leadership and Transformation expert, Sam MacPherson has used Obeya Operations as far back as the 1990’s.  Sam will share a logical approach to establishing an Operations Obeya and implementing its supporting management system to help you advance your Lean Management System and create a culture of excellence.

Learning Objectives:

“In this session you will learn…”

  • Detailed overview of the Obeya approach to managing TPS and Operational Excellence
  • A Step by Step, phased implementation plan for establishing and Obeya
  • Proposed Obeya Layout for Operations Management, Logistics, Sales Operations, Lean Product Development and Design, etc.
  • Gemba Walk through a Mock-up of an Actual Operations Obeya
  • Choose to Experience the Obeya as part of the Pre-conference Lean Management System Experiential Workshop

About the Facilitator:

Sam MacPherson is an internationally recognized Lean Enterprise Transformation Leader and has dedicated over 28 years to developing organizational leadership, senior leadership teams, and designing lean enterprise management systems. Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sam was recalled to active military service to serve as the Director of Special Operations Plans for the Elite United States Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Sam was introduced to the Toyota Production System and the Shingo method in the mid-1980’s, while serving as the project leader for Dr. Shigeo Shingo. Sam led industry award winning Lean Transformations as a plant manager for Crown Cork and Seal. As Director of Lean Operations and Marine Industry Executive Vice-President of Operations, Sam led Lean Transformations across the enterprise in operations, quality systems, manufacturing engineering, supply chain/logistics, and sales. Sam retired in 2004 as the Special Forces Director of Training and private sector operational leadership in 2007.   In 2011, Mr. MacPherson co-found the Lean Leadership Academy® with TPS expert Art Smalley to help organizations develop their organizational leadership pipeline and properly implement TPS to achieve business and organizational excellence