KAIZEN - The Japanese Strategy Of Continuous Improvement


KAIZEN means continuous improvement Kaizen  is a strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process. In a sense, it combines the collective talents within a company to create a powerful engine for improvement. The KAIZEN STRATEGY calls for never ending efforts for improvement , involving everyone in the organization - managers ans workers alike . The basic concept of KAIZEN is to innovate to meet requirements and increase productivity . It talks about small , incremental steps towards perfections as opposed to the big bang approach which may need big investment .

The origin of Kaizen can be traced to the quality Guru Dr. W. Edwards DEMING ( it was developed by Hoomer Sarasoh and Charles Pratzman in 1950 ) but it was Masaki Imai who popularized the concept and made it a revolution around the world . According to Imai , 90 % of all corporate problems can be solved using common sense and following the concept of continuous improvement . He defines Kaizen as "a means of continuous improvement in personal life , home life , social life and working life" .

 10 Tips for KAIZEN : 

  1. Discard conventional fixed ideas
  2. Thinks of how to do  it , not why it cannot be done
  3. Do not make excuses . Starts by questioning current practices
  4. Do not seek for perfections . Do it right away even if for 50 % of target
  5. Correct it away if you make mistake
  6. Do not spend money for Kaizen . Use you wisdom
  7. Wisdom is brought out when faced with hardship
  8. Ask why five times and seek root causesn
  9. Seek the wisdom of the people rather tha the knowledge of on
  10. Kaizen ideas are infinite

The 5 "S" Concept

  1. SORT - identify needed iteams
  2. STRAIGHTEN - Put iteams in correct place
  3. SHINE - keep the iteams and the work area clear
  4. SYSTEMISE - put standards into place and monitor

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