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Gradual, continuous (incremental) change (improvement). Explanation of Kaizen.

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Kaizen 5S frameworkKaizenWhat is Kaizen? Definition

The Kaizen method of continuous incremental improvements is an originally Japanese management concept for gradual, continuous (incremental) change (improvement).


Kaizen is actually a way of life philosophy. It assumes that every aspect of our life deserves to be constantly improved. The Kaizen philosophy lies behind many Japanese management concepts such as: Total Quality Control, Quality Control circles, small group activities, labor relations.


Key elements of Kaizen are: quality, effort, involvement of all employees, willingness to change, and communication.


Japanese companies distinguish between: Innovation, a radical form of change, and Kaizen, a continuous form of change. Kaizen means literally: change (kai) to become good (zen).


The five foundation elements of Kaizen

  1. Teamwork.
  2. Personal discipline.
  3. Improved morale.
  4. Quality circles.
  5. Suggestions for improvement.

Out of this foundation, three key factors in Kaizen arise

  • Elimination of Waste (muda) and inefficiency.
  • The Kaizen 5S Framework for good housekeeping.
    1. Seiri, meaning tidiness (Eng: Straighten)
    2. Seiton, meaning orderliness (Eng: Sort)
    3. Seiso, meaning cleanliness (Eng: Sweep, Shine)
    4. Seiketsu, meaning standardized clean-up (Eng: Standardize)
    5. Shitsuke, meaning discipline (Eng: Self-Discipline, Sustain)
  • Standardization.

When should the Kaizen philosophy be applied? Although it is difficult to give generic advice it is clear that it fits well in gradual, incremental change situations that require long-term change and in collective cultures. More individual cultures that are more focused on short-term success are often more conducive to concepts such as Business Process Reengineering.


Kaizen compared to Business Process Reengineering

When Kaizen is compared with the BPR method it is clear the Kaizen philosophy is more people-oriented, more easy to implement, but requires long-term discipline and provides only a small pace of change. The Business Process Reengineering approach on the other hand is harder, technology-oriented, it enables radical change but it requires considerable change management skills.


Book: Masaaki Imai - Kaizen -




Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Forum (22 topics) Help
  Kaizen Prerequisites
I believe self-discipline is a mandatory prerequisite before one can hope to achieve success with Kaizen, just as it is in martial arts. The focus and 'stillness' of thought required in martial arts helps with the implementation of Kaizen. Wha...
     
  Kaizen is Based on Kata
Kaizen is more than we can think in Japanese culture. Everything is based on 'Kata*' in their culture, so no one is supposed to do things outside of the context of the Kata.
Through Kata we reach Kaizen, which is the state of mind to ...
     
  Formal Kaizen Programs
Kaizen should be practised within a formal program with reward or recognition for successful efforts lest it may do in disarray. It was proven as a very successful way of doing our daily jobs as had been done in my 12-year experience in a Japanese MN...
     
  Kaizen is a Way of Life
I believe that Kaizen has not been well understood by most of the occidental companies; Kaizen is not a specific program, Kaizen is not a special project, Kaizen is not a quality circle activity... Kaizen is a way of life, a super4 source of motivati...
     
  Start the Change Within Yourself
The most important thing before starting Kaizen is, start the change within yourself. You cannot educate others about Kaizen if you yourself are not well educated enough about it....
     
  Kaizen and Quality and Toyota
Small incremental changes in quality can be accomplished through solid statistical analysis. Through the use of p-charts and other variable control charts a narrowing of the upper and lower limits incrementally can bring about long term kaikaku, I be...
     
  Gauging Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction has a direct effect on profit and profitability. To what extent can profit measures be used to gauge customer satisfaction? To what extent can the flow through the channels be used to gauge customer satisfaction e.g. levels of s...
     
  Organizational Change Must Be Slow and Incremental
Change in organizations should be slow and incremental in order to be really effective. This is applicable regardless of the approach used....
     
  Linking Kaizen to Goals of the Organization
Linking Kaizen to goals is a sure way to ensure improvement within each process of the organization. These projects are reviewed internally and any boondoggle projects are canceled. The out of the box thought of identifying the area of improvement an...
     
  Kaizen is a Philosophy | Kaizen Background
I am led to believe Kaizen is more of a philosophy than it is a management 'tool' - the description above may wish to include the definition of Kaizen as it is understood with a Taoist appreciation of mutual benefit "on-going goodness / benefit, n...
     
  The Kaizen Philosophy
Kaizen is really a way of life philosophy. It is change for betterment. We have to inculcate this concept in every student in different streams to make them understand the inevitable of change. Even we shall follow this in our home and ...
     
  Building Blocks of Kaizen, Continual Improvement
It's interesting to see the clarification we received from Anthony from India about continually improving quality, cost and delivery.
The key word is continually (for the broad scope of the whole organization for example), since the littl...
     
  Kaizen is More than the Housekeeping techniques (5S) !
Kaizen 5S is not just housekeeping techniques...
We should always link it with performance and productivity enhancement....
     
  One of the Best Management Practice that anyboy could have.
Kaizen is one of the excellent management practice which especialy could use by Anybody in the world as it showcases the right, easy and most cost effective way to improve the business proccesses, people, procedures etc....
     
  Kaizen in my Company
We use Kaizen to improve continuously. We also hang the tools on a board, but someone is working with it and they have to report to me. As a lean manager I follow up on them and facilitate them. We work with a quick Kaizen sheet as we call it for the...
     
  Kaizen in Human Resources
I agree that Kaizen is the right way to increase organizational efficiency... Recently, an article came in my hands about Kaizen applied to human resources of organizations.... Reading that article the term "people positioning into the organization" ...
     
  Kaizen basis for Lean Six Sigma
I think the Kaizen is the same as Lean Six Sigma, if we want to get more sucessful in the manufacturing field, we need start from the Kaizen....
     
  Loss Function Analysis
Loss function analysis can be used for controling loss incurred during production, the smaller the tolerance the less is the loss in production....
     
  Kaizen vs Business Process Reengineering
In ideas companies like film production, television etc, business process re-engineering has been found very applicable because it involves the fundamental realignment of resources and rethinking the organizational processes to enable it move in tand...
     
  Kaizen and Organisational Culture
Kaizen is indisputably one of the best methods of increasing efficiency and of introducing organizational change in an organization. However it requires organizational cultural change before it is implemented for people to be disciplined and to embr...
     



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Expert Tips - Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Premium
  Comparison Kaizen vs. Innovation - Appreciate the Differences...
 
  Tools to Attack Waste - Waste Management, Waste Tools Overview
 
  Building blocks of Kaizen: QCD - Kaizen
 
  Leadership Strategies for Change - Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change
 
  Benefits of Kaizen - Continuous Improvement
 
  The 8 Wastes of Lean Explained - Waste Management
 
  Alternate Process Improvement Model - Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, CMM
 
  Kaizen The Keys to Continuous Improvement - Facilitating a Kaizen Workshop
 
  Why Kaizen is Needed for Wastefree and Flexible Manufacturing - Anecdote
 
  Types of Change. Classification - Change Management, Organizational Change, Expected/Unexpected Change, Incremental/Radical Change
 
  How to Focus your Improvement Efforts? - Achieve More With Less, Kaizen, BPR, JIT, Lean, Value Chain
 
  Kaizen Best Practices - Preparing a Kaizen program
 
  Kaizen: An Essential Tool - Kaizen = Continuous Improvement in Every Facet of Life
 

Resources - Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Premium
What is 5S - Workplace Organization
5S Framework - 5S House Keeping
5S Strategy for Performance Excellence - Kaizen
5S Program - Workplace Organization
Kaizen Diagrams - Change Management, TQM
 

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Compare with: Deming Cycle  |  Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment  |  Training Within Industry  |  8D Problem Solving  |  Six Sigma  |  Quality Function Deployment  |  Forget Borrow Learn  |  Value Chain  |  Just-in-time  |  Organic Organization  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance  |  Change Phases  |  Six Change Approaches  |  Core Group Theory  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Change Management  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Force Field Analysis  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Eight Attributes of Management Excellence  |  Five Disciplines  |  Ten Principles of Reinvention  |  Fourteen Points of Management  |  People CMM


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