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.
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…
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…
The tour has given me the opportunity to understand in a practical way what I learned theoretically. I have checked that the theory is possible to put in practice. This has been the first time that I have felt the lean manufacturing philosophy first hand. Congratulations to the Shinka Team. The organisation has been perfect…
I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who is in the business of improving people. The ideas stimulated through this tour have helped me reform our entire vision of what improvement means for our business.
I highly recommend the Lean Japan Tour – it provided a very good insight, was well organised and is led by guys who are clearly very passionate for lean and Japan.
From a remote rural engineering company – to the shining lights of Japan’s finest. I have returned overwhelmed from the experience to learn from some of the worlds best manufacturers and absorb decades of experience from my fellow peers. Highly recommended and treat it as a sound investment for your company’s future!
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.