The Toyota Way

Management principles for making Lean and Agile endure

Session Objectives

See how the 14 Lean Management principles of the Toyota Way have made Toyota a learning and improving organisation. Understand how Lean and Agile relate to each other. Learn how to apply them in your own organisation to make Agile and Lean transformations endure.

Intended Audience and Prerequisites

Anyone who’s involved in management, leadership and improvement. Basic knowledge about Agile is useful but not necessary.


The “Toyota Way” contains 14 management principles to implement Lean:

  • Flow of Value
  • Heijunka
  • Standardised Work
  • Reliable Technology
  • Visual Control
  • Pull
  • Jidoka
  • Genchi Genbutsu
  • Grow leaders
  • Nemawashi
  • Leader Standard Work
  • Daily Accountability
  • Leadership Discipline
  • Develop Exceptional Teams
  • Hansei and Kaizen
  • Understand Customer Value
  • Challenge, respect and help partners
  • Long-term philosophy

We compare these principles with the Agile principles and describe how we’ve applied them:

  • Introduction: why study the Toyota Way?
  • The Process principles: “The right process will lead to the right results.”
  • The People principles: “Growing, teaching and developing people, leaders and partners.”
  • The Problem Solving principles: “Continuous reflection and improvement leads to a learning organisation.”
  • The Philosophy principle: “Work for the long term, even at the expense of short-term financial results.”
  • Q&A

Throughout the presentation, we tell stories of how we’ve applied these principles. One case in particular is used to illustrate many of the principles: a move from Waterfall to Agile in IT coincided with a move to Lean in the production area supported by IT. On the one hand, the Lean change has endured, because it really changed the culture. On the other hand, the use of Agile, in spite of its initial success, succumbed to the prevailing Waterfall culture.

We argue that using the Toyota Way principles to manage at all levels is crucial to the success of a Lean or Agile transformation.

Duration: 45-90 mins

Format: Presentation


Background Information