Shokunin Garage

Shokunin: “The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.” – Tasio Odate

How can we apply “Shokunin” to modern software development?

Value Driven Software (VDS) has over the years experimented with learning and put together a strategy that embeds Shokunin with Kaizen (continuous learning) while still delivering for the business. A way to prove it is possible to continue to deliver value incrementally while improving the skills of the team.

We call this the Shokunin Garage / a co-located autonomous group with clear goals for a defined period with Kaizen being core to everything the group does.

Why a Shokunin Garage?

In today’s world, there is no off-the-shelf panacea. Companies need to experiment and learn in safety. Delivering what actually works for a company requires empowering a group with the right culture, tools and techniques, as opposed to setting them up for failure from the outset.

You supply the personnel and VDS will cultivate the environment for continuous learning and change their collective focus from delivering more to delivering the right outcomes.

If you’re interested in finding out more information about how your organization could benefit from a Shokunin Garage:

email:, telephone on +44 (0) 20 3290 8874 or fill in the contact form