Poka-yoke – Toyota Production System guide

Discover the 12 other pillars of the Toyota Production System:
Konnyaku Stone
Genchi Genbutsu
Muda, Muri, Mura

The Toyota Production System is focused completely around maximum efficiency and fault-free processes. That’s the idea behind Poka-Yoke.

Poka-Yoke (English: mistake-proofing): Fail safe devices in the production process that automatically stop the line in case of an error.

A Poka-Yoke is any part of a manufacturing process that helps a Toyota member avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka).

Its purpose is to eliminate defects by preventing, correcting, or highlighting errors as they occur – for example, a jig that holds parts for processing might be modified to only allow them to be held in the correct arrangement. In a wider sense, the term can refer to any behaviour-shaping constraint designed into a process to prevent incorrect operation by the user.

Mistake-proofing is a part of the continuous improvement philosophy, or Kaizen. Read our explanation here.

See our complete Toyota Production System glossary here.


  1. Clearly a poka yoke specialist needs to revise the current dealership service workup printouts. Service that is DECLINED and service that is REQUESTED need to be better separated and differentiated. As it stands, both are listed in the same font in the same area, leading to techs performing expressly unauthorized work to vehicles.

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