Great products are a team effort. That’s why Nemawashi, or planning and building a consensus is a part of the Toyota Production System.
Nemawashi is the first step in the decision making process. It is sharing of information about the decisions that will be made, in order to involve all employees in the process. During the nemawashi, the company is seeking for the opinion of the employees about the decision.
Nemawashi (English: Laying the groundwork or foundation; building consensus): The first step in the decision making process. It is the sharing of information about the decisions that will be made, in order to involve all employees in the process. During Nemawashi, a company seeks the opinion of employees about decisions.
Literally translated as ‘going around the roots’, particularly in the sense of digging around the roots of a tree to prepare it for transplant.
Within the Toyota Production System – and Japanese culture itself – the word has come to mean an informal process of laying the foundation and building a consensus of opinion before making formal changes to any particular process or project.
Successful application of Nemawashi allows changes to be carried out with the consent of all parties.
Nemawashi also embodies the concept of continually increasing efficiency – also seen in the process of the Manufacturing Supermarket – read about it here.
See our complete Toyota Production System glossary here.