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Toyota: Behind the Scenes

Presenter: Bill Farmer is a Principal Consultant with F&A Consulting and an Adjunct Professor at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Japanese from the University of Minnesota, and did his graduate studies at the Media Lab at MIT. After MIT, Bill spent three years working as a research engineer at Sharp Corporation in Japan, and grew familiar with “Japanese-style Management”, based on the Deming Management System . Subsequent to his return stateside, Bill held executive leadership positions at three Twin Cities corporations, in Product Development and General Management. Over the last decade, Bill has been consulting on Lean Product Development, Agile, and related topics.

Abstract: A decade ago, the Lean Product Development movement burst onto the scene with a series of publications that gave insight into the unique elements of Toyota’s product development operation. The research behind the publications was done by a group of professors and graduate students from the University of Michigan, who were the first, and, to date, only researchers who were given extended access to observe and focus solely on the methodology by which Toyota developed new products.

This webinar illuminates a number of the unique aspects of Toyota’s approach that enabled Toyota to capture incredible market share and market capitalization. Their product development approach captured the interest of western product developers, offering well-conceived solutions to problems that have historically plagued product development operations. Beyond the unique elements of Toyota’s methodology, this webinar will also discuss the key to Toyota’s approach to continuous improvement and innovation, that could be and should be emulated here in the west.

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