In many Western publications I come across the virtues of the Toyota System and the intricacies and explanations of how the Toyota System works. One aspect that I run across many times is the use and explanation of Kanban. Recently, I have had the opportunity to spend some time with a wise author of Kanban Systems, Yoshiki Wakai, who really provides great insight into understanding how the Kanban tool forms a part of the Toyota Production System. He states in his recent book, Mistaken Kanbans: Why the Toyota System is Not Working for You, that most people have confused the terminology with the principle of Kanban; and in fact, have failed at having the ability to effectively implement something they do not justly understand. All too often I find this exact misalignment and this book is valuable because it provides greater clarity.
Let’s explore the issue of Kanban as a term and a principle. Mr. Wakai’s book provides this kind o