Project Management

More Than Manufacturing: Kaizen

From the Be Good to Yourself Blog
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This blog is about caring for your most valuable asset: you. You cannot provide value to anyone if you are not operating at peak performance, so your most successful project should be you. I will uncover key leadership techniques, recommendations and theories related to working remotely and improving employee outcomes. Topics will include self-management, self-awareness and self-care, along with emotional intelligence, empathy, collaboration, relationship building, establishing trust, mental health awareness, remote work and e-leadership.

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More Than Manufacturing: Kaizen

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Categories: change, improvement, leadership


 

            The Kaizen Method is a method that allows organizations to make small changes over time aimed at improvement. These changes will either lead to improvement or be discarded. The process will enable organizations to improve over time continuously. The continuous improvement model provides an organization with a simple method to facilitate change and encourage flexibility. Learning about Kaizen and other continuous improvement practices can assist an organization in making positive organizational changes aimed at continuous improvement.

Small Changes Build Great Things

            A series of small things do great things when brought together. The initial premise is based on a quote by  Vincent van Gogh about The Starry Night in 1889. Small changes or steps can be taken to accomplish great things. Kaizen is based on small changes over time that lead to improvement. Kaizen could assist an organization in making positive organizational changes aimed at continuous improvement.

            Kaizen was developed in the manufacturing sector to lower defects, eliminate waste, boost productivity, encourage worker purpose and accountability, and promote innovation (Daniel, 2021). Kaizen encourages reduced waste, improvement toward perfection, and remaining committed to the process. Here are a few examples of Successful Kaizen implementations within significant organizations. Toyota used Kaizen and made the concept well known. Lockheed Martin. Used the method to reduce manufacturing costs and delivery time. Ford Motor Company CEO used Kaizen to execute one of the most famous corporate turnarounds (Daniel, 2021).

            Kaizen can be used for more than lean manufacturing, although that typically comes to mind when discussing kaizen methodology. Kaizen is a straightforward process that can be used in many aspects of our own lives. To improve and become a better version of ourselves every day, you must actively seek improvement. Matthew McConaughey states that his hero is himself in ten years in his Oscar speech. He acknowledges the expectation that he will be a better version of himself ten years from now. He recognizes his desire for continuous improvement over time. He wants to make sure that he is a better version of himself tomorrow than today. This is a goal we should all seek.

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Figure 1: Kaizen as a means of continuous improvement over time,

Continuous Self-Improvement

            The practice of kaizen can assist you in improving by 1% per day and leading to continued success (Kelly, 2021). Kaizen can be applied in personal life by embracing the spirit of continuous improvement. Kaizen can be a life motto for growth-minded individuals that want to improve, and it may become a way of life. Kaizen is the practice of improving yourself through small, incremental, daily actions and forming habits that help you succeed.

            Kaizen requires that one live for each moment, prioritize productivity, and encourage upward progress through tiny steps. Kaizen's focus on gradual improvement can create a gentler approach to change. Drastic changes aimed at achieving immediate positive results are often abandoned.

            Ongoing positive changes can reap significant improvements. (Daniel, 2021). Kaizen can assist an organization and individuals seeking positive changes aimed at continuous improvement over time if they are willing to change, evolve, and remain flexible. Implementing small changes over time and keeping the differences that produce positive results while discarding the others leads to long-term success.

            The Kaizen Method is a method that allows individuals to make small changes over time aimed at improvement. These changes will either lead to improvement or be discarded. The process will enable organizations and individuals to improve continuously. The ability to continuously improve over time allows people to survive and thrive. The continuous improvement model provides individuals with a simple method to enable change and encourage flexibility.

Posted on: May 01, 2022 06:27 PM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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Dear Angela
The topic that you brought to our reflection and debate was very interesting.

Thanks for sharing and for your opinions.

Kaizen makes sense to me when we know clearly where to go.
Otherwise, we run the risk of hitting the wall :-)

At certain times in our lives (especially when the sky and the earth change places) it is preferable to use other approaches, namely Kaikaku and/or Kakushin

With industry 4.0 (the concepts also apply to project management) if we only use Kaizen we run the risk of becoming irrelevant

Nice article but I wish you would have gone deeper into some of the possible "Hows". Also, what is your source: "(Daniel, 2021)"; I don't see any references to it.

But all in all, this is a great idea!!!

Thanks for the refresher, Angela!

Stephane- you are very welcome. and Luis, I need to learn more about Kaikaku and/or Kakushin. Would either of these be appropriate for self-improvement?

Nice article on Kaizen; would like to learn more about this method.

@Warren I apologize for leaving off the reference
Daniel, D. (2021, May 13). What is Kaizen (continuous improvement)? Retrieved April 1, 2022, from
https://www.techtarget.com/searcherp/definition/kaizen-or-continuous.

When you say the "hows" could you elaborate on what you would like to hear more about?

Regards,
Dr. Even

Hi Michael, and thank you so much. Feel free to give me a thumbs up or a good rating. :)

Best,
Angie

As for the "Hows", your article is all about how a corporate improvement "tool" can be used for self-improvement. Some examples of 'how' we might do so is what I am talking about. It sounds like a great idea but I'm not sure how I would implement this for, say, myself.

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