What is Kaizen or Continuous Improvement? | What is Kaizen Event or Kaizen Process?

Kaizen | Continuous Improvement | Kaizen event | Kaizen Process

What is Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)?

→ Kaizen comes from the Japanese words “kai” which means “change or improvement” & “zen” which means “for betterment.”
→ Its popular meaning from Toyota is “continuous improvement” or small incremental improvements” of all areas of a company, not just manufacturing.
→ It is a very famous Lean Manufacturing tool.

What is Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)?

➤ History of Kaizen

→ After World War II when Toyota first implemented quality circles in its production process.
→ This was influenced in part by American business and Quality management teachers who visited the country.
→ A quality circle is a group of workers performing the same or similar work, who meet regularly to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems.
→ This revolutionary concept became very popular in Japan in the 1950s.
→ The term Kai-zen actually became famous around the world through the works of Masaaki Imai.
→ Masaaki Imai is a Japanese organizational theorist and management consultant, known for his work on quality management.
→ He published two fundamental books on business process management

History of Kaizen

➤ Key Kai-zen Approach:

➥ There are three Key approaches:
→ Standardize

What is Kaizen event or Process?

→ A Kai-zen event should be part of an overall program of continuous improvement.
→ Improvements are based on many small changes rather than the fundamental changes.
→ The fundamental changes are related to Research and Development.
→ As the ideas come from the workers themselves, they are easier to implement.
→ Small improvements do not require major capital investment or major process changes.
→ All employees should continually be seeking ways to improve their own performance.
→ It helps encourage workers to take ownership of their work and can help reinforce the team working, thereby improving worker motivation.
→ Kaizen is a very famous tool in Lean Manufacturing.

 The five foundation elements of Kaizen:

➥ Five fundamental elements as mentioned below:

  1. Teamwork.  
  2. Personal discipline. 
  3. Improved morale.  
  4. Quality circles. 
  5. Suggestions for improvement
The five foundation elements of Kaizen

➤ Criteria of Kaizen:

➥ Several criteria are 

  1. Does It reduce waste, Improve Quality or Increase Safety?  
  2. Similarly, Does It Address the Root Cause?  
  3. Does It relate to Standardize?
Criteria of Kaizen

Principles of Kaizen:

  1. Improve everything continuously.
  2. Eliminate old and traditional concepts.
  3. Accept the things, no give any excuses and make things happen.
  4. Don’t Assume New Methods Will Work.
  5. If something is wrong then correct it.
  6. Empower everyone to take part in problem-solving.
  7. Get information and opinions from multiple people.
  8. Before making decisions, ask “why” 5 times to get to the root cause (5 Why Method).
  9. Be economical. Save money through small improvements and spend the saved money on further improvements.
  10. Remember that improvement has no limits. Never stop trying to improve

Kaizen Umbrella:

→ One of the most important tasks in Kai-zen involves improving the quality of work in an organization by achieving TQC (total quality control).

➤ The elements of the Umbrella is:  

     01. Total Quality Control  
     02. Quality Circle  
     03. Suggestion System  
     04. Automation  
     05. Discipline in the Workplace  
     06. Customer Orientation  
     07. Total Productive Maintenance  
     08. Robotics  
     09. Kanban 
     10. Quality Improvement  
     11. Just in Time  
     12. Zero Defect  
     13. Small Group Activity  
     14. Management Relations  
     15. Productivity Improvement  
     16. New Product Development

Kaizen Umbrella

➤ The 5W and 1H of Kai-zen:

→ The goal is production without wastes by improving standardized activities and processes. 
→ Industrial engineer Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing), noticed that there is an 80% loss in every process and the value of the process is less than 20%.

The 5W and 1H of Kaizen

What are the "Kai-zen eyes"?

→ "Kai-zen eyes" see opportunities to improve. 
→ These eyes are a skill that can be developed through technique and practice

➤ Different Ways to develop “Kai-zen Eyes”: 

→ Put yourself in someone else's role 
→ Visit other places 
→ Take the pictures 
→ Draw the value stream map 
→ Ask yourself what normal should look like 
→ Check the process 
→ Audit the standard work 
→ Generate logic for improvement and validate it. 

➤ Examples of Kaizen:

→ The Example is mentioned in the below picture:

Examples of Kaizen

Management's Role:

→ Communicate the need to change 
→ Demonstrate the personal commitment to process improvement 
→ Educate and train the staff 
→ Planning and implementation


Different Category of Kaizen:

➤ Different Category is mentioned below:

  1. Productivity Improvement
  2. Quality Improvement
  3. Safety
  4. Cost Optimization
  5. Moral
  6. Delivery
  7. Environment
Different Category of Kaizen

Benefits of Kaizen:

→ Empowers employees enrich the work experience and bring out the best in every person.
→ Promotes personal growth of employees and the company.
→ Improves quality, safety, cost structures, delivery, environments and 
→ It Improves customer service/satisfaction.