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Issue#4 Genchi genbutsu, Lean, JIT, UCD, Agile and the end of the series

Moshi Moshi brave Leaners!

Japanese Word

現地現物 Genchi genbutsu (Go an See)

Genchi Genbutsu (現地現物?) means "go and see" and it is a key principle of the Toyota Production System. It suggests that in order to truly understand a situation one needs to go to gemba (現場) or, the 'real place' - where work is done.

Source: Wikipedia

Lean Coffee

ARTICLE The origins of Lean and JIT


Lean concept was proposed and expanded worldwide by James P Womack who investigated the system of Toyota and found the thought of JIT.

Womack first became widely known as an author in 1990 with publication of the book The Machine That Changed the World, which made the term "lean production" known worldwide. The book has been translated into eleven languages and has been sold more than 600,000 times. A revised edition was published in 2007.

From 1975-1991 Womack led a number of comparative studies on worldwide production practices. The study of the automotive industry (the International Motor Vehicle Program - IMVP), funded with more than US$5 million, was the most important. Womack left MIT shortly after the publication of his book and founded the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) in 1997.


The meaning of JIT is “Necessary thing in necessary timing and necessary quantity” and has 2 sides.
One is “Produce necessary things in necessary timing and quantity required”.
Another one is “Supply or provide the necessary things to customer in the timing required and quantity required by the customer”. And it is quite true that the thought of JIT was rewritten to the word of “Lean”.

TPS has 2 phases. These are the philosophies of JIT and the supporting system which are the systems of Kanban and Heijunka, Jidoka. On the other hand Lean (system) is not the system, but just the thought of JIT.

When I was in Mexico for supporting the NUMMI project and teaching Japanese techniques to the Mexican factory of Delphi (at that timing Packard Electric. At 1980s), the group of MIT was surveying the competitiveness of Japanese companies including Toyota. And after the investigation, Professor J.P Womack wrote and introduced the thought of Lean (JIT) concept.

Again TPS and Lean are different. TPS has the systems for achieving the thought of JIT. And Lean has no method to be possible to call system, but just the thought. However, the great achievement of J.P Womack, which have expanded the thought, should be praised world wide.

NUMMI: New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. Joint venture company of Toyota and GM. 1984 ~ 2009). Nowadays former NUMMI Factory is eventually the great factory of TESLA Automotive.


Lean is the thought of JIT. So, perhaps we have to talk about TPS better “Lean Manufacturing”. Although uses makes language.

Eduardo L. García

Kouichi Kimura

ARTICLE How to combine User-Centered Design and Agile Development

“How do you go about combining agile with user-centered design (UCD) so you can enjoy the benefits of both approaches? On the face of it, they should work well together because both philosophies are iterative, incorporating testing with users and refinement.” Read full article here

BOOKS The LeanDigest Group on Goodreads

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Its mission is to help people find and share books they love. With the same spirit we have created the LeanDigest Group on Goodreads. Join the group if you like Lean related readings.

Final Words

We wanted to start small, experimenting with the concept to validate our initial assumptions so we decided to do only a batch of 5 issues (The Pilot Series)

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