What is the Oobeya Group?

The Oobeya Group helps organizations understand and put to practice advanced management and development techniques ranging from TQM to Agile to Lean. We are passionate about improvement and have experienced the range of approaches to organizational transition. These include up front methods such as ISO and CMM and adaptive methods that we now call Agile.

Transcending either of these approaches and the spectrum in between is the necessity to view organizations, teams, individuals, markets, projects and processes as ongoing flows, not static things or events. Maintaining this perspective and focusing on learning and adapting continuously will compensate for the weaknesses of either a pure predictive or pure adaptive approach. Our services have been developed to assist organizations when making the difficult transition to successfully use these principles and practices.

The Oobeya Group is led by founder Lowell Lindstrom and includes a network of talented specialists. We combine to provide you the most efficient service team.

Oobeya means "Big Room" for Collaboration

In late 2002, Fast Company told of how a group at Toyota was improving design speed through improved collaboration. Jeffery Liker also wrote about the oobeya approach in The Toyota Way. Seeing the parallels to how we create environments for collaboration in Agile and wanting to accentuate the synergies between lean and agile thinking, I named the company the Oobeya Group.

...a new approach to planning and engineering, one that promotes more innovation, lower costs, higher quality, and fewer last-minute changes.

That new approach is captured in one word: oobeya (ooh-bay-yuh). It's Japanese for "big, open office." The business translation? To change the way that you create a product, change when, how, and with whom you share information. For Toyota, oobeya means bringing together people from all parts of the company -- whether they're from design, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, or sales.
In a Word, Toyota Drives for Innovation, Fast Company, Issue 61. August 2002, page 36, by Fara Warner

Toyota has found that the obeya[sic] team system enables fast and accurate decision-making, improves communication, maintains alignment, speeds information gathering, and creates an important sense of team integration.
Liker, Jefferey, The Toyota Way, McGraw Hill, 2004

Oobeya is the latest trend in lean and agile

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Toyota's Adrenaline Room

Strictly speaking, oobeya means "big room," but this lean technique from Japan is helping manufacturers drive big gains in collaboration and problem-solving.

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Making Oobeya Work

Oobeya is more than a big room; it is a process of engagement, transparency and work.


Lean Project Management Using “Oobeya"

An Oobeya permits a team to steer its projects efficiently and reduce the time to market of its products.


Oobeya visualizes how Nike Tech aligns to Nike’s strategy

From visual management to strategic engagement, the evolution of an Oobeya.