Yokoten is a Japanese term roughly translated to “across every,” also referred to as “best practice sharing,” and is the practice consisting of replicating effective kaizen practices laterally from one area to another. It is important to note Yokoten is not the practice of copying or benchmarking exactly; rather Yokoten is the method of copying successful strategies and improving upon their implementation.
Another way of utilizing Yokoten is after identifying and solving a problem, look for similar problems in other departments that could benefit from similar solutions.
Yokoten was adopted by Toyota as part of the eighth step in their Toyota Best Practices – standardizing successes -- to describe the horizontal information sharing of effective solutions and reworking them with a dash of kaizen.
The idea of Yokoten is to not only increase Lean practices in the workplace but fosters quick and effective communication between departments and different areas of the facility. Time will be saved as the decision-making process is sped up and Lean strategies can be implemented quicker.