The Toyota Template: The Plan for Just-In-Time and Culture Change Beyond Lean Tools

Phillip Ledbetter

Productivity Press
Published February 1, 2018
Reference - 100 Pages - 13 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138578715 - CAT# K43719

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  • Focuses on the the Toyota Production System as a whole -- not just a collection of tools.

  • Parallels the Toyota condition prior to Ohno’s work with the condition of current manufacturers.

  • Examines the key elements Taiichi Ohno emphasized in his work on the Toyota Production System and explains the importance of each.

  • Explains the contribution of each concept in the development of the Toyota Culture and how this is relevant to current Lean implementations.

  • Establishes a logical, step-by-step sequence of implementation called The Toyota Template that will lead to Toyota-like results.

  • Explains why the order of implementation is critical.

  • Contains numerous quotes from Ohno’s writings throughout the book on these concepts that solidify the validity of the template.

  • Includes actual examples from the shop floor at Toyota.

  • Answers  the question companies are asking themselves -- "How can we achieve world class efficiency?"

  • Explains why the very popular "go-to" Value Stream Mapping tool may not be not needed.


Much has been written about Toyota over the last 30 years focusing on both its products (superior vehicles), and its operational excellence based on its Toyota Production System (TPS). The Toyota Template details the critical concepts and methods that Taiichi Ohno implemented in developing the Toyota Production System. This book is different, however, regarding the parallels it draws between Toyota’s pre-TPS condition and companies today who are attempting to become more efficient and Lean.

In view of efficiency, excellence, culture, and general "Leanness," many organizations are in the same position as Toyota prior to implementing what was once called the "Ohno System." The building of TPS, with the goal to eliminate waste, evolved as problems were encountered and solutions put in place. A wonderful byproduct of these years of work was the growth of a problem-solving culture throughout Toyota that is unique in the business world.

Currently, the Toyota Production System is well established. Though constantly improving, the historical picture is visible. The question many have tried to answer for their own companies is "how can they achieve world class efficiency?" The Toyota Template answers this question. This book:

  • Explains the critically important elements of the Toyota Production System.
  • Analyzes the sequence of implementation as the system developed.
  • Places these elements in a logical order of implementation based on the history and current knowledge. In addition, it addresses the effect of each element on the culture.

The author was prompted to write this book because of his personal observations of the failure of most attempts to develop Lean systems. What makes Toyota stand out is not any of the individual elements – It is crucially important to have all the elements together as a system. Most attempts have been focused on bits and pieces of the elements, or the tools.

The Toyota Template is about the relevance of the Toyota Production System to "any type of business" today. It is not an all-inclusive explanation of every aspect of TPS. Rather, this book succinctly identifies the key elements, places them in a logical, sequential order of implementation, and explains how each contributed to the formation of the Toyota culture.


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