• Overview

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    Process Improvement

    Most organizations today fall into one of two distinct industry segments: manufacturing or service. The strategic operations management processes suitable for an organization depend greatly on which industry segment the organization is a part of. Today, most jobs in the United States are in the service segment; the manufacturing segment has declined rapidly as labor-intensive manufacturing jobs have been transferred overseas.

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    Questions to Consider

    To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

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    Suggested Resources

    The resources provided here are optional and support the assessment. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; However, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. They provide helpful information about the topics in this unit. The MBA-FP6022 – Strategic Operations Management Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

    NBC Archives on Demand

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    Toyota Takes Hit from Transportation Secretary
    NBC Video purchased for use in this Capella course through NBC Archives on Demand.

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    NASA Experts Brought In to Study Toyota Acceleration Mystery
    NBC Video purchased for use in this Capella course through NBC Archives on Demand.

    TranscriptImage of Capella University logo

    Toyota Hearings Begin in Washington
    NBC Video purchased for use in this Capella course through NBC Archives on Demand.


    NBC Archives on Demand
    • Click Toyota Takes Hit from Transportation Secretary to view a video from NBC Learn.
    • Click NASA Experts Brought in to Study Toyota Acceleration Mystery to view a video from NBC Learn.
    • Click Toyota Hearings Begin in Washington to view a video from NBC Learn.
    Toyota Specific Resources

  • Assessment Instructions


    Before beginning this assessment, you should spend time reviewing key information and beginning your research on the 2010 Toyota accelerator crisis.

    • First, take time to read each of the assessments in this course. The first five assessments each represent a component of a typical operations improvement plan (OIP). The final assessment requires that you use the work you did in Assessments 1–5 to build a complete, cohesive OIP. The work you do in Assessment 1 will be the foundation for the first part of your OIP for Toyota’s organizational practices at the time of the accelerator crisis.
    • Next, research what OIPs can look like. Search online for examples that can help inform your thinking and research throughout this course. You may want to select a few examples to refer back to for ideas about structure and organization as you pull together your own information. Consult the Resources as you begin your research.
    • Finally, begin to research the case that is the focus of this and future assessments. In 2010, the Toyota Motor Corporation issued a product recall on thousands of vehicles with dangerously malfunctioning accelerators. The Toyota recall crisis was well documented in popular as well as professional publications. Using the Resources in this course, the Capella University Library, professional and news sites and publications, and the Internet, begin researching and gathering information on the following topics:
      • Toyota accelerator recall crisis.
      • The state of Toyota’s organizational processes prior to the recall crisis.
      • The organizational changes Toyota made in the months/years after the malfunctioning accelerators were discovered.


    For this assessment, write a report that addresses the following.

    1. Identify several (at least 3) of Toyota’s existing organizational processes at the time of the accelerator crisis. Any process within the organization can be considered. For each process you identify, write a short summary addressing the following specific topics. Be as thorough as possible, and cite your resources for the information you provide.
      • Description: Provide a brief description of the process.
      • Importance: What is the importance of the process to the Toyota organization?
      • Scope: What is the scope of this process (what is the breadth of its reach)?
      • Parties involved: What customers, as well as internal and external suppliers, are affected by this process?
      • Priority: What is the timeliness or urgency for resolving the issues involved in this process?
      • Benefits: What is the overall impact or benefit for Toyota in improving this process?
      • Cost: What are the costs to Toyota if the process is not improved?
    2. Select one of the processes you identified to use as the basis for the OIP you will construct in this course. Select a process that lends itself to an in-depth analysis and that is important to the Toyota corporation, and one for which information is readily available. Consider your own interests, as well. Then explain the following in your report:
      • Why you think this process should be addressed, focusing on the process’s particular importance to the organization.
      • Some of the innovative and sustainable solutions that could be developed to improve this process.

    The work you do for this assessment will inform your work in future assessments. You will also draw on it for the final, comprehensive OIP that you will submit in Assessment 6.

    Additional Requirements

    • Length of assessment: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
    • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
    • APA formatting: Format resources and citations are formatted according to APA style and formatting.
    Process Identification Scoring Guide

    VIEW SCORING GUIDEUse the scoring guide to enhance your learning.How to use the scoring guide

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