The Toyota Kaizen Continuum: A Practical Guide to Implementing Lean, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Toyota Kaizen Continuum

A Practical Guide to Implementing Lean, 1st Edition

By John Stewart

Productivity Press

218 pages | 118 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-08-29
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Written by a recognized leader in the manufacturing industry with nearly two decades of experience working for Toyota, this book supplies a firsthand account of the realities behind implementing the Toyota Production System (TPS). The Toyota Kaizen Continuum: A Practical Guide to Implementing Lean presents authoritative insight on how to use the TPS to drive operational value and improvement across all segments of an organization.

Highlighting valuable lessons learned directly from the TPS masters at the Toyota factories in Japan, John Stewart provides a time-tested approach for implementing a process of continuous improvement. Delving into his wide-ranging experience—that includes time as a team member on the assembly line and managing the vehicle assembly division for Toyota’s largest European operation in the United Kingdom—he explains how to get the process started, how to get senior management excited about the possibilities, and details a process for implementing the TPS in your organization.

  • Written by an industry veteran named one of the Top 10 Automotive Executives by Automotive News in 2007
  • Unveils the methods used within the walls of the world’s premier manufacturing organization
  • Illustrates valuable lessons learned with real-world examples of TPS implementations
  • Describes five simple steps for executing change in any organization

The book includes case studies that illustrate real-life successes and failures behind the walls of the world’s largest automobile manufacturing organization. Detailing a five-step process for executing improvement initiatives, it supplies you with the tools and understanding of the core principles of the TPS needed to implement and sustain a culture of continuous improvement in your organization.

Table of Contents


Don’t Believe Everything That You Read in a Book

ABC’s of TPS

The Kaizen Continuum

Foundational Elements of the Toyota Production System

An Overview of the Toyota Production System

Toyota’s Recent Turmoil

A History of the Toyota Production System

Kentucky Alchemy

Keep It Simple

The Toyota Production System versus Lean Manufacturing


Quest for the Cube

Visiting the Plant Floor

Understanding Standardized Work

Just In Time (JIT)

The Pull System

Flow Production

Takt Time


Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)

Developing the Tools

Why the Toyota Production System Makes Sense: Common Sense

Common Sense 101

Understanding Value

Understanding Demand

Common Sense in Action

Common Misconceptions and Misunderstandings Regarding the Toyota Production System

TPS Misconceptions and Misunderstandings

Which Way Is Best?

Toyota Production System Historical Overview

Kanban System Overview

The Toyota Way

The Customer Knows Best

Go. See. Act

Waste Management … Improving the Manufacturing Process One Kaizen at a Time

Gap Management

The Three M’s








Non-Value-Added Work



Classification of Muda







Non-Value-Added Work

Muda Countermeasure Methods

Waste Elimination Example

The Golden Rules of the Toyota Production System


The Golden Rules of TPS




Capital Investment Guidelines

Tangible Return on Investment Period

Recycle, Redeploy, and Reuse

Simple, Safe, and Reliable

Cost Management for Profitability

Understanding the Death Spiral

Understanding the Cost Structure

Fixed and Variable Costs

Minimum Variable Costs

Break-Even Point

Managing Costs

Managing Cost Example


Facing Reality

The Five-Step Process for Executing Improvement Initiatives

Assessment: Understanding the Business

Setting the Course

Identify the Project Leader

Completely Understand the Project Assessment

Completely Understand the Project Target

Identify the Project Resources

Determine the Roles and Responsibilities

Develop the Plan

Completely Understand the Costs



Rapid Implementation


Continuous Improvement



About the Author

John Stewart is an operating partner with the private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners in New York. Mr. Stewart's professional experience includes 18 years with Toyota Motor Corporation in various operational and executive positions. During his time with Toyota, he worked his way from working as a Team Member on the Assembly line to managing the Vehicle Assembly Division for Toyota’s largest European operation in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Stewart was recognized within Toyota as being an expert at utilizing the Toyota Production System to effect change in various environments. He was often selected for some of the toughest assignments in Toyota, culminating in the turnaround of the operations in the United Kingdom. He spent over 88 weeks in Japan with Toyota. During this time, Mr. Stewart was trained by some of Toyota’s most talented Japanese masters on all things relating to the Toyota Production System. Mr. Stewart is a recognized leader in the automotive and manufacturing industry and is frequently sought after to serve as a Sr. Advisor to manufacturers across the globe. He was named one of the top 10 automotive executives by Automotive News in 2007.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering