Octopull Chat and the theory of the Toyota Production System (TPS)



The creation of Octopull Chat Application consisted in the use of different types of speedy and flexible concepts and methodologies from Lean and Agile Thinking.The main motive was to have simple chat app to help a team to be more productive and simplify the best practices minimizing factors such as learning curve, the cultural factors, and working environment.

The Toyota Production System or Just In Time (JIT) Production System was a compilation of a group of techniques developed by the founder of Toyota Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno between 1948 and 1975.

Initially, the system had the goal to design products but also came up with the theory of removal of Muri (overburden), Mura (inconsistency) and Muda (waste).

The story about how Ohno created the model is very interesting. He analyzed how the supermarket works in the United States, though he traveled to the USA to study in the field of automobile manufacturing industry, he got interested in product inventory industries instead of car manufacturing. He discovered how those companies supplied new products based on the customers’ demands.


The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an integrated socio-technical system, developed by Toyota, that comprises management along with philosophical values and practices. It is keenly focused on delivering high-quality products, cost reduction, real-time delivery, eco-friendly practices and safety for people. It revolves around the concept of continuous improvement and respect for people. In fact, the focus on the human resource is the main component of the methodology.

A company always needs a large workforce base and the direct collaboration of the company and the human resources result in the upliftment and enhancement of a company and betterment of the product.

To reach its goal, TPS created two pillars and one base. This is well known as the house of TOYOTA.

The concepts are:

  • Just in Time
  • Elimination of waste
  • Takt Time
  • Kanban Board
  • Thinking people system
  • 5S 5 Why
  • Jidoka
  • Genchi Genbutsu
  • Andon Board
  • Poka Yoke
  • Heijunka
  • Kaizen
  • Standardization

Just In Time Production System Toyota describes Just In Time Concept as “making only what is needed when it is needed and in the amount needed”. This is the best approach to explain the concept. The concept aims at linking a relation and better communication in between the suppliers and manufacturer for an overall upliftment.

Elimination of waste The best way to understand “the elimination of waste” concept is describing what is considered waste. In manufacturing and other industries, 7 types of waste are present: Overproduction, Waiting, Transporting, Inappropriate Processing, Unnecessary Inventory, Excess Motion (described by Taylor several years ago about avoiding the movements that not generates value) and Defects.

Takt Time – Takt is a German word that means “baton”. Takt time is the average time between the start of production of one unit and the start of production of the next unit when these production starts are set to match the rate of customer demand.

Kanban Board – This is the latest technology used widely by most companies and industries. This has gained the maximum popularity, in fact, JIRA and Trello use this board to command their team about their respective job. The board is a good way to visualize only the important tasks that deliver immediate value dividing them by lanes to know the current status of the task (to do, doing and done).

Thinking People SystemToyota Production System, as said earlier, focuses mainly on its people that is the human resource. But similarly, they want to produce the high-quality product for their end users. The entire philosophy also emphasizes on delivering high-quality non-finished products in each step of production. Quality is not only allocated for end-product but in every single step.In Octopull we foster the communication between team members because you have the opportunity to improve communication and work conveniently.

5S  The concept of 5S correlates to the part of
1) Sort –  It is removing the unnecessary things, or more precisely decluttering your entire workspace.

2) Straighten – It is about storing things in order for easy reach during need.

3) Shine – Its relates to healthy and proper maintenance of your workspace, away from garbage, dirt, and dust.

4) Standardize – The word says it by itself about creating standards for a neat and clean workspace.

5) Sustain –  This means the way of implementing behaviors to maintain in a long-term the standard defined.

Jidoka It is the action of stopping the production when a worker detects an abnormal condition.Jidoka is also called ‘autonomation’  which means automation with human intelligence because people have the ability to detect these conditions.

Genchi Genbutsu We at Octopull enjoyed this concept and subsequently tried to apply it in our company.Genchi Genbutsu means “Go and see yourself”. It is common to see that the management level try to solve problems from office without going to the actual spot. The concept suggests that in order to truly understand a situation one needs to go to the “real place” – where work is done.

Andon Board corresponds to visual indicators, displays, and control that are activated automatically by rules defined previously in the system or by empowered workers that notifies to others about failures or abnormal conditions.

Poka Yoke If you are designing in lean UX you may be aware of how good interfaces avoid you from making mistakes while designing your products. The concept of Poka Yoke also deals in this same system of error proofing. It is thus implemented everywhere, in the electric plugs, elevator doors, box cutters, the door of washing machines, the USB device. Like, you can’t plug a USB device in the wrong position.

Heijunkacorresponds to the art of leveling the production and relies on three important factors: Predictability, Stability, and Flexibility.

Predictability is reducing the uncertainty of goods or services demands, trying to predict the quantity of products to be consumed in the future.

Flexibility is well explained about the complexity Ford Company had to produce a car with a different color when you have static production lines without the ability to change.

Stability is related to the process itself and is closely related to standardization and procedure, the way how people work.

Kaizen This means ‘change for better’, the concept of continuous improvement and development of working practices and individuals.These steps are really simple to understand, but are not easy to implement and maintain-

1) Identifying the scope for improving a process or part of it,

2) Analyzing the process,

3) Developing an optimal solution and share it with other people, early feedback generates more value,

4) Implementing the solution,

5) Studying the results,

6) Standardizing the solution and ensure it will be maintained by the entire team,

7) Planning for the future.

StandardizationStandardization is the process of developing, promoting and enhancing the product company ensuring the stability of the product. It means to maintain the quality and consistency of a product ensuring compatibility and safety.

In the next post we will explore how TPS is used in other industries to reduce waste in different processes.

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