Obeya or Oobeya (from Japanese 大部屋 "large room" or "war room") refers to a form of project management used in Asian companies (including Toyota) and is a component of lean manufacturing and in particular the Toyota Production System. Analogies have been drawn between an obeya and the bridge of a ship, a war room and even a brain.
During the product and process development, all individuals involved in managerial planning meet in a "great room" to speed communication and decision-making. This is intended to reduce "departmental thinking" and improve on methods like email and social networking. The Obeya can be understood as a team spirit improvement tool at an administrative level.
Conceptually akin to traditional “war rooms,” an Obeya will contain visually engaging charts and graphs depicting such information as program timing, milestones and progress-to-date and countermeasures to existing technical or scheduling issues.
At Toyota, vehicle development is possible in significantly less than 20 months; by comparison, the average for other car makers is 36 months.
- Warner, Fara (31 July 2002). "In a Word, Toyota Drives for Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Jusko, J., Obeya: The Brain of the Lean Enterprise, Industry Week, 30 September 2016, accessed 4 October 2016
- "Capsule summaries of Key Lean Concepts B". lean.org. Retrieved 13 December 2013.