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.
I attended the tour in 2011 and found the whole experience very useful to build on my understanding of Lean Manufacturing. For those having a reasonable understanding of Lean this tour shows in detail the gap that Australia experiences to world class productivity practices. Most interesting was the deployment of essentially the key elements of…
During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who…
The fact that you can go past all the books and see the Toyota Production System in action first hand is fantastic. It is not sold in a complicated form by those involved but rather the opposite. The training room was found to be hands on and simple allowing us to touch and feel examples…
A great mix of Japanese Business Etiquette, site visits show-casing lean principles, Japanese Culture and networking with the other members of the group. Both Ben & Paul were professional yet relaxed and friendly. Their relationships with key personnel in strategic lean businesses is impressive and their ability to translate quickly & accurately minimised the language…
This trip really enlightened me in some specific lean topics and showed me all the beneficial aspects of lean manufacturing. The biggest take away for me was a deeper appreciation of not just the tools but the philosophy. The way the trip was organised and flowed was amazing. Thanks to Paul and David from Shinka…
I had several projects that I had been procrastinating on. They seemed too big, too complicated and I was actually struggling to know where to start. Without a word of a lie, after the first day I came back to my hotel room and wrote up the backbone of my strategy using the skills I…
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.