Book review: Partnership success between Toyota and St Bernard Project

by Brion Hurley

I wrote a book review about the work that Toyota’s TSSC group provided to a nonprofit home rebuilding organization.

Their success stories were chronicled in the new book titled, “Getting Home” from the founders of St. Bernard Project Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg.

Some of the improvements highlighted in the book include:

  • Helped move from batch to one piece flow in gutting and rebuilding a home
  • Setup a whiteboard to track the status and expected due dates of milestones for each rebuilding project
  • Developed standard work for common tasks, so they could be assigned to volunteers, freeing up key staff for more challenging activities
  • Waited until funding was available, in order to avoid starting and stopping a project
  • Developed a 3-ring binder for each project, so anyone could quickly read about the back story and project scope
  • Finding contractors, staff and volunteers that had the right mindset for innovation and risk adverse, so they are more willing to work in a new way
  • Focused and invested time in developing their AmeriCorps (10-month) volunteers with TPS
  • Implemented a hiejunka system to better control project demand (inserting small projects in between larger projects)
  • Experimented to build all the interior walls in a house in half-a-day
  • Expanded the program to focus on disaster preparedness, to prevent people from being displaced or further reduce the time to get back into their homes

Read the entire book review at