Oobeya? What Does Oobeya Mean? Why Did We Choose The Name Oobeya?
If you’re familiar with Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System, you’ve probably heard of Oobeya. What does Oobeya mean? Why did we decide on the name Oobeya?
- Oobeya is a Japanese word that means “Large Room”.
- The term “Oobeya” is a part of the Toyota Product System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing.
- From our product perspective: Oobeya is a digital “Large Room” for software dev organizations/teams where all stakeholders meet and share progress to achieve complete visibility, transparency, and accountability.
1. OOBEYA: Large Room In Japanese
Oobeya is a Japanese word that means “Large Room”.
大部屋 (in Japanese) = Large room
2. OOBEYA: A Framework/Tool In The Toyota Production System
Oobeya originated in the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing. The stakeholders of the Toyota Prius project gathered in a large room to increase collaboration and solve challenging problems together.
Toyota’s Oobeya practice has accelerated communication and decision-making processes. Transparency and collaboration have improved within the organization. In the Oobeya room, stakeholders could quickly and efficiently find and implement solutions to issues.
The walls of the large room are covered with metrics, charts, objectives, plans, findings, and actions in Oobeya practice. The components which cover the walls depict all stages of the production line and the metrics measured.
The objectives behind Oobeya are rapid decision-making, reduction in rework and reconsiderations, and reduction in unnecessary discussions.
( “Aasland, Knut & Blankenburg, Detlef. (2012). An analysis of the uses and properties of the Obeya)
Oobeya’s core practices can be described as follows:
- All the significant metrics (quality, performance, user satisfaction, efficiency of the production process, etc.) are tracked inside the room.
- On the walls of the Oobeya room, problematic units and bottlenecks in the production line, as well as in the product itself, are highlighted and identified.
- Improvements in the production line and the product itself are provided by acting quickly and collectively.
- Results of all improvements are tracked in this room.
“In order to eliminate waste, you need to change how you look at things; you must develop eyes to see waste. You must change the way you think. You must continuously repeat this process, forever and ever, neither tiring nor ceasing.” – Taiichi Ohno – Father of the Toyota Production System
3. OOBEYA: A Digital Oobeya Room For Software Organizations
We chose the name Oobeya as part of our goal to be the stand-out product for software development organizations eager to gain complete visibility into software development and delivery processes.
From our product perspective, Oobeya is a digital “Large Room” for software dev organizations/teams where all stakeholders meet and share progress to achieve complete visibility, transparency, and accountability.
Our product Oobeya allows you to use the oobeya mindset by providing several modules as the walls and different dimensions of an oobeya room.
4. BONUS: “Oobeya” in Accelerate Book
In 2018, a book called “Accelerate” was published by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim. (Learn more about Accelerate and DORA Metrics.)
Steve Bell and Karen Whitley Bell wrote a chapter (Chapter 16 – High-Performance Leadership And Management) for Accelerate Book to share the Oobeya experiences of ING Netherlands. I highly recommend reading this chapter to explore the Oobeya experiences and practices of an IT organization.
About Oobeya Engineering Platform
Oobeya is an engineering intelligence platform that helps software development teams accelerate their value delivery performance.
Oobeya works with code repositories, issue tracking, testing, application performance monitoring (APM), and incident management tools to measure engineering metrics, like cycle time, lead time, sprint planning accuracy, pull request metrics, and value stream metrics (VSM), and DevOps DORA metrics. See the engineering metrics that Oobeya delivers here.
Oobeya’s goal is to help software engineering teams to make a shift from an intuition-driven approach to a data-driven approach by plugging into the SDLC toolset. Oobeya connects to Git repositories like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Azure DevOps, issue tracking systems like Jira and Azure Boards, and CI/CD platforms like Github Actions, GitLab CI, Azure Pipelines, and Jenkins. See all integrations here.