Oita City Government – Site Tour
Oita City is the capital city of Oita Prefecture with a population of 470,000 and is located on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. The northern coastal region of Oita Prefecture and neighbouring Fukuoka Prefecture is a base for automotive as well as iron, steel, and petroleum industries, and the inland area has many IT and precision machinery companies.
- Population: 470,000
- Region: Kyushu Region
- Area: 502 square kilometers
- Major Industries: Manufacturing,chemical and heavy industries, tourism etc.
Oita City Government – Lean Characteristics
Office and Service Work Improvement and Efficiency, Lean Government
Lean management started to be seriously applied to governments throughout Japan in the mid-1990s. As governments are not driven by profits, the interesting challenge in lean implementation is creating a need for improvement.
Oita City is recognized as one of the leading governments in Japan with a successful lean program. The objective of Oita City’s kaizen activities is to address the existing office and work issues within the City Hall to improve the service levels provided to citizens, increase work efficiency and heighten every employee’s hunger to change for the better.
Oita City calls its activities “Takumi”, which generally in Japanese means skilled craftsman. However, they break this word down into the sounds “ta” for tanoshiku (fun), “ku” for kufu (ingenuity) and “mi” for minna (everyone).
These activities are designed for all employees of the City to be autonomously involved. It is differentiated from employee suggestion schemes because those suggestions tend to finish at the proposal level. Kaizen activities, however, are conducted within a system with ideas that everyone can implement by themselves.
The one week Lean Japan Tour not only validates ‘how lean can make business sense’ but also provides the opportunity to learn and share with professionals across different industries.
Wow. What a great experience not just from a learning perspective but also a great cultural experience as well. From the start the group came together really well. It was a perfect mix of practical and theory, and to gain an insight into the Toyota Production System and see it in action at all the…
This tour was recommended to me by our VP Operations who undertook the tour the previous year. Both Ben and Paul provided an excellent tour of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the program was both well run and highly focused towards the practical implementation of lean strategies. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions…
I am now back in the office in rainy Seattle and wanted to say a huge thank you, once again for making the lean tour such an enjoyable learning experience. There are so many valuable learnings and enriching experiences that I am looking forward to sharing with my team and colleagues here in the coming days. I…
It was an inspiring week with great learnings around lean and how it is applied across various levels of the supply chain. The tour also provides a nice glimpse into the Japanese culture with its amazing food and friendly people.
Paul and Ben from Shinka Management need to be commended for the tour that they ran in Japan. The experience has enlightened and energised me to intensify the lean efforts within our organisation. The tour was packed full of knowledge building as well as relationship building with other participants all whilst experiencing a cultural treat…
The Shinka Management Lean Japan Tour is a professional development program run several times annually. The program includes a mix of lean and kaizen seminars, hands-on lean training and visits to several benchmark lean companies. For further information and program dates, see the lean tour overview page.