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Hansei (jap. reflection) is one of pillars of Toyota production system. I refers to the Japanese culture, where every mistake should be acknowledged and than the person should find ways to improve. Hansei meeting after each project helps to detect new possibilities of improvement. As the improvement in Japanese philosophy has no end, also hansei is endless. To stop hansei is equal to stop learning.

The hansei is a way of life. It is taught in Japanese schools.

Hansei is one of Lean manufacturing pillars, together with: Heijunka, Poka yoke, Konnyaku stone, Andon, Just in time, Jidoka, Kaizen, Genchi genbutsu, Nemawashi.

Steps of Hansei

Recognition of the problem is a start point of doing Hansei. If it is believed there is no issue we can not find a way to improve. First of all we must realize that there is something wrong with what we did and then we can find some improvements. Following step is responsibility for any actions there are planned to happen. Someone need to be a person responsible for anything that may happen wrong in our actions. That means that this person is connected emotionally with actions. Next step is “Deep Regret”, it means that we realize anything wrong that happened, we think about it, and we try try to figure it out how to avoid the same in the future. Afterwards we need to propose solutions of improvements. Awerness of mistakes in our actions. Hansei takes into consideration what we do (what people do) not any system or process bugs. That is why it is extremely important to understand your mind and discover our weaknesses. Hansei is not a tool which measure performance but it is all about self-awareness. Later we need to realize the difference between what we actually accomplished and what we planned to achieve. Hansei is not about blaming others but to take a full responsibility for actions. We must do all we can to ameliorate. 100% of our being must be concentrate and fully aware of what can be reformed. How much are we dedicated to improvement is later a result of our action. Good for us will be to divide the biggest action into to small ones and extract motivation and good attitude from what is already accomplished. Also, a good habbit will be to get used to take a minute every hour to analyze what was done wrong, what was done correct and draw conclusions – rearrange up to date[1][2].

History of Hansei

If Hansei is acceptable in company it may become the most intense tool. In American culture it is always difficult to understand yourself, and analyze your decision and draw conclusion. The first one who noticed that was Mike Masaki from Toyota Technical Center (1995-2000) when he went to America. Mike spotted that and Americans were surprised and they were thinking that Masaki is crazy. They did their job, so they were expecting some applause not a complaining. For Masaki it was weird as well, as for him it was usual to name people's mistakes and “bad behaviors” as that is what he was doing in Toyota.



  1. Liker J., K. (2004). The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, p. 268 - 270
  2. Nishigori H., Sriruksa K. (2011). Asian perspectives for reflection, p. 580-581

Author: Ewelina Kruszewska