Kaizen Continuous Improvement Approach

What is Kaizen? Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap significant improvements. Typically, it is based on cooperation and commitment and stands in contrast to approaches that use radical or topdown changes to achieve transformation.

What is Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)? Kaizen is a Lean manufacturing tool that improves quality, productivity, safety, and workplace culture. Kaizen focuses on applying small, daily changes that result in major improvements over time. Kaizen first surfaced during the effort to rebuild Japan after World War II.

In all, the process suggests a humanized approach to workers and to increasing productivity: “The idea is to nurture the company’s people as much as it is to praise and encourage participation in kaizen activities.” Successful implementation requires “the participation of workers in the improvement.”

Kaizen Continuous Improvement Approach diagram

Kaizen Design Principles

Please try again later. There are 5 Fundamental KAIZEN™ Principles that are embedded in every KAIZEN™ tool and in every KAIZEN™ behavior. The 5 principles are: Know your Customer, Let it Flow, Go to Gemba, Empower People and Be Transparent.

The kaizen methodology works at constant improvements through the elimination of waste. It’s been around in Japan since after World War II, though influenced by quality management ideas from the United States. It’s part of The Toyota Way, which is a set of principles that support the company’s management approach to production.

When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organisational boundaries into the supply chain.

Kaizen Design Principles diagram

Kaizen – Continuous Improvement

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Kaizen – Kaizen Analysis – Continuous Improvement – Kaizen Framework – Kaizen Business Methodology – Kaizen model is a lean approach to continuous improvement of business processes and is at the heart of the Lean Six Sigma philosophy.

Kaizen worldview or mind frame is meant to be a continuous cycle consisting of the following stages: make problems visible, develop countermeasures, determine root cause of the business issues, hypothesize solution, test hypothesis, implement solution, standardize work. Below sample images are examples of Kaizen used in business management.

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Kaizen – Continuous Improvement diagram