Toyota Kata for continuous improvement; an action research project in the construction industry
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Lean Six Sigma. 2023. 10.1108/IJLSS-05-2022-0121
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how Toyota Kata can be effectively applied in the engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturing within the construction industry. The objective is to identify the critical success factors (CSFs) for the Toyota Kata implementation in this environment and to develop a continuous improvement (CI) method – based on Toyota Kata and adapted to the ETO manufacturing within the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: An action research (AR) approach was applied, which includes a participatory form of inquiry and learning from both intended and unintended outcomes, while simultaneously building up scientific knowledge about successful implementation of Toyota Kata. Findings: All the CSFs in the AR project are addressed by the earlier literature, thus confirming the existing body of knowledge. Moreover, the existing knowledge was arguably extended through the modified Toyota Kata as an approach for CI. New elements regarding how to run the small experiments by extending the core team with personnel who work with the problem on a daily basis. Originality/value: This research addresses a gap identified in the literature regarding how Toyota Kata can be adapted to the ETO manufacturing within the construction industry. It also presents an overview of CSFs for the Toyota Kata implementation in this environment.