Shigeo Shingo is a name that everyone in the United States lean community knows. He is sometimes considered “the world’s leading expert on manufacturing practices and the Toyota Production System,” an “engineering genius,” and the foremost guru of lean production. Some sources even claim he invented the Toyota Production System and taught Taiichi Ohno. Shingo greatly helped to popularize the idea of Lean in the USA. However, he invented much less than what is sometimes claimed, and there is also quite some disagreement in the lean community on this. Let’s have a look at his life and his achievements.
Today is a very special day. As a good friend of mine calls it, it is the start of my second life. Yesterday was my last day as an employee in industry, and today is my first day as a university professor. And, indeed, life will be very different.