Understanding the Purposes behind Kaizen

In the quality world, kaizen is a tool for continuous improvement under the umbrella of a Lean philosophy. The quality-tool kaizen is just one layer of a larger, overarching idea that we benefit from small, incremental improvements made consistently.

Kaizen as a tool involves all employees of the company toward continuous improvement. The way kaizen events are done helps to promote the continuous improvement philosophy throughout the business through its effect on culture, time, proof, and teamwork. We talk more about how this all fits together in the podcast.

Kaizen, or continuous improvement, will never go out of style. Watch for areas within your work processes that could use a little continuous improvement. Do what you can to make it happen. Being invested in your work, and how your business does its work, is good practice for you and generally a good move for your career. 

For more explanation about a Lean philosophy, visit www.lean.org/WhatsLean/ 

For more background about Kaizen(tm) in quality, visit www.kaizen.com/what-is-kaizen.html 

Book Ortiz, Chris A. Kaizen and Kaizen Event Implementation. Prentice Hall, 2009.  Mr. Ortiz reviews the how-to implement Kaizen and host Kaizen Events. He includes examples, case studies, and best and worst practices.

Article Manos, Anthony. "The Benefits of Kaizen and Kaizen Events." Quality Progress, February 2007, pp 47-48.  Mr. Manos compares kaizen, kaizen events, and traditional improvements and lists key benefits and caveats of kaizen events.

Video Intro to 5S: The better way to organize! YouTube, uploaded by Lean 5S in MSICU, 1 December 2015, https://youtu.be/aMkXICM1-98.  Watch as a team at an ICU apply 5S to their storage area.

Leave a Comment