Project Management


last edited by: Nasrullah Mohammed on Mar 22, 2017 3:19 AM login/register to edit this page

1 Purpose
2 Implementing Kaizen
3 Dual Nature of Kaizen

Kaizen is a philosophy and practice that sees improvement in productivity as a gradual and methodical process and focuses on continual improvement throughout all aspects of life. Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning "change for the better." The concept of kaizen encompasses a wide range of ideas. It involves making the work environment more efficient and effective by creating a team atmosphere, improving everyday procedures, ensuring employee satisfaction , and making a job more fulfilling, less tiring and safer. This method can be used to improve the results of any firm and can also be used in your personal life.

Today Kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. Kaizen is continuous improvement that is based on certain guiding principles:

• Good processes bring good results

• Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation

• Speak with data, manage by facts

• Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems

• Work as a team

• Kaizen is everybody’s business

• And much more!

One of the most notable features of kaizen is that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. However this has been misunderstood to mean that kaizen equals small changes. In fact, kaizen means everyone involved in making improvements. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as kaizen events.


The purpose of Kaizen goes beyond simple productivity improvement. When done correctly, the process humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work, and teaches people how to spot and eliminate waste in business processes. The continuous cycle of Kaizen activity has seven phases:

1. Identify an opportunity

2. Analyze the process

3. Develop an optimal solution

4. Implement the solution

5. Study the results

6. Standardize the solution

7. Plan for the future

Kaizen generates small improvements as a result of coordinated continuous efforts by all employees. Kaizen events bring together a group of process owners and managers to map out an existing process and identify improvements that are within the scope of the participants.

The following are some basic tips for doing Kaizen:

• Replace conventional fixed ideas with fresh ones.

• Start by questioning current practices and standards.

• Seek the advice of many associates before starting a Kaizen activity.

• Think of how to do something, not why it cannot be done.

• Don’t make excuses. Make execution happen.

• Do not seek perfection. Implement a solution right away, even if it covers only 50 percent of the target.

• Correct something right away if a mistake is made.

Implementing Kaizen

To generate a Kaizen, everyone involved must begin thinking about their work in a new way – in terms of:

• Now: Present condition

• Next: Desired state

• New: How to reach that state

Typically, implementation of Kaizen occurs in three stages in any organization:

1. Encourage participation: Awareness training sessions for all employees are a must. To further encourage employee involvement, promote specific Kaizen activities, and consider distributing monetary or tangible benefits after solutions from Kaizen activities are implemented.

2. Training and education: Focused training of associates is required for understanding what is – and is not – the essence of Kaizen. Team leaders should be trained to understand Kaizen in an organizational vision context, which needs to be followed thoroughly in order to achieve desired business objectives. They also must be taught about the necessity of impartial evaluation and strategy for improving participation.

3. Quality level improvement: After the training stage is completed, practitioners should continue to focus on long-term implication, widespread application, alignment with organizational objectives and planning objectives. Management should form a core department to carry out Kaizen evaluation and implementation.

Dual Nature of Kaizen

Kaizen is part action plan and part philosophy.

• As an action plan, Kaizen is about organizing events focused on improving specific areas within the company. These events involve teams of employees at all levels, with an especially strong emphasis on involving plant floor employees

• As a philosophy, Kaizen is about building a culture where all employees are actively engaged in suggesting and implementing improvements to the company. In truly lean companies, it becomes a natural way of thinking for both managers and plant floor employees.

last edited by: Nasrullah Mohammed on Mar 22, 2017 3:19 AM login/register to edit this page

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