PDCA is about not telling lies

Posted on 1 Dec 2008 by The Manufacturer

Jon Miller: "...facts themselves are not lies. How one uses them is a different matter."


This circle doesn’t lie. In fact one could say that used properly, it is a truth-generator. In a section discussing problem solving, experimentation and PDCA, the book Extreme Toyota by Emi Osono, Norihiko Shimizu and Hirotaka Takeuchi quotes Toyota Senior Advisor Yoshio Ishizaka:

“From my 40 years of experience with PDCA at Toyota, it’s about not telling lies. This may not be so obvious, but it’s all about being honest. Toyota culture emphasizes honesty.”

This is another way of saying that they are very good at management by fact. By nature, facts themselves are not lies. How one uses them is a different matter, and in this statement by Ishizaka there is a deep insight into how Toyota uses the A3 thinking process to get the facts on one sheet of paper and how it uses the PDCA process to experiment and learn through failures.

The difference between “tell the truth” and “not tell lies” seems small but it is in fact a huge difference. We know when we are lying. We don’t always know what the truth is. We need PDCA to help us find the truth.

By Jon Miller of Gemba Panta Rei blog.