Kaizen | Six Sigma | Lean Management | Training & Consulting | Operational Excellence

Global Leader & Pioneer in Kaizen/Lean/Operational Excellence domain

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Announcing IndiZen 2014 – National Convention on Operational Excellence


Operational Excellence is a summation of effective People Engagement supported by judicious application of Kaizen / Lean tools combined with smart Change Management.

INDIZEN promotes Operational Excellence, which is beyond the mere use of improvement tools. It is about building a culture that promotes excellence in all kind of operations, be it operations within a factory, a telecom company, a hospital, a bank, a government office or a port!

IndiZen 2013 highlights:

1. More then 150+ delegates participated from across the departments, industries & organizations.

2. Organizations like Godrej, Vodafone, Arvind Mills, India Cements, ITC, Coca Cola, Akshay Patra, John Deere, Kirloskar, Kalpataru, NTPC, Nestle, etc participated. In all we had 49+ organizations.

3. There were 19 case studies presented by organizations like Biocon, Coca-Cola, Godrej, Vodafone, General Motors, etc presented cases on their journey of Operational Excellence in their organizations.

4. Sensei Masaaki Imai the founding chairman of Kaizen Institute conferred citation on Inarco Ltd & Vodafone India.

5. Participants visited world class manufacturing plants like Suzlon, General Motors, Volkswagen, Bajaj Auto, etc.

6. The Opening Key Note Speaker was Mr. Jagdish Ramaswamy, President – Corporate World Class Manufacturing, Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd. and the Closing Key Note speaker was Mr. Euclides Coimbra, Managing Director – Kaizen Institute Consulting Group and Author of TFM – ‘Total Flow Management’

Winners of Case study competition & Citations


IndiZen 2013 was concluded with lots of learning, fun, excitement, etc.

 Mark your diary for 11th & 12th Feb 2014 – Be there at Pune to  Share, Learn, Network and get Challenged.

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Fat to LEAN: The Journey of Waste Elimination

Any organization – Whether manufacturing or service – has some kind of waste in its process and therefore it is very important for any organization to Identify, Reduce & Eliminate waste in order to become Lean. There are many components of competitiveness, continual improvement of the Material and Information FLOW via waste elimination – is one of the most important components. Waste elimination is an effective way to increase profitability.

Leaders have been seeking ways to reduce waste through operational – improvement programs inspired by Kaizen, Lean manufacturing, Six sigma, etc. Lean manufacturing techniques for eliminating waste, variability & inflexibility have been used successfully in variety of organizations, from those with processes that somewhat resemble manufacturing to others where the ideas might seem less obviously relevant.

A process adds value by producing goods or providing a service that a customer will pay for. A process consumes resources and waste occurs when more resources are consumed than are necessary to produce the goods or provide the service that the customer actually wants. 


What is Waste?

Any activity in your process that does not add value is called MUDA. MUDA is not creating value for the customer. 

Types of Wastes

One of the key steps in Kaizen or Lean is the identification of which step adds value and which do not add value. By classifying all the process activities into these two categories it is then possible to start the actions for improving the former and eliminating the latter. “Learning to see” is an ability to see waste where it was not perceived before. Many have sought to develop this ability by ‘trips to world class gemba’ to see the difference between their operation and one that has been under continuous improvement for several years. Organizations can learn by seeing, by sharing, hearing, directily implementing, etc. 

The following “eight wastes” identify resources which are most commonly wasted in an organization:


  • Inspection and repair of material in inventory
  • Causes: Weak process control, Poor product & process design, Unbalanced inventory level,    Deficient planned maintenance, Inadequate education/training/work instructions, Misunderstood Customer needs.


  • If you make more product than is required by the next process, make it earlier than is required by the next process, or make product faster than is required by the next process, you overproduce.
  • Causes: Just-in-case logic & misuse of automation, Long process set-up, Unlevel scheduling & unbalanced work load, Over engineered, Redundant inspections.


  • Idle time created when waiting for…?
  • Causes: Unbalanced work load & un-level scheduling, Unplanned maintenance, Long process set-up times, Misuses of automation, Upstream quality problem.


  • Not using people’s (mental, creative, physical, skill) abilities.
  • Causes: Management by fear and directive, Poor hiring practices, Low or no investment in training, Low pay, high turn over strategy.


  • Transporting parts and materials around the plant without adding value
  • Causes: Poor plant layout, Poor understanding of the process  flow for production, Large batch sizes, long lead times, and large storage areas


  • Any supply in excess of a one-piece flow through your manufacturing process
  • Causes: Protects the company from inefficiencies and unexpected problems, Product complexity, Unbalanced workload, unleveled scheduling, Poor Market forecast, Unreliable shipments by suppliers, Misunderstood communications, Reward system.


  • Any movement of people or machines without adding value
  • Causes: Poor people/machine effectiveness, Inconsistent work methods, Unfavorable facility or cell layout, Poor workplace organization and housekeeping, Extra “busy” movements while waiting.


  • Effort that adds no value to the product or service from the customers’ viewpoint
  • Causes: Product changes without process changes, Just-in-case logic, True customer requirements undefined, Over processing to accommodate downtime, Lack of communications & redundant approvals, Extra copies/excessive information.

An easy way to remember these 8 deadly sins is DOWNTIME.

Things to remember about Waste:

  1. MUDA is really a symptom rather than a root cause of the problem
  2. MUDA points to problems within the system


Mumbai HR Summit 2013

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Mumbai HR Summit 2013

Institute of HRD, a Member of International Federation of Training & Development Organizations (IFTDO) U.K, hosted the Mumbai HR Summit 2013 on 24th & 25th May 2013 at Holiday Inn, Mumbai. In this HR Summit – Human Resources professional from India, Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East had participated and discussed on the theme Role of HR in Building Business Leadership. The HR Summit also witnessed presentations and deliberations by Eminent CEO’s, Senior HR Professionals, Researchers, and Academicians.

Mr.Jayanth Murthy (Director – KAIZEN Institute India) was invited as one of the speaker at this Mumbai HR Summit.

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What is Leadership Standard Work?

What is more important? The ability to improve or the ability to sustain set standards?


All activities that Leaders engage in can be grouped into two basics roles:

(1) Making Improvements

(2) Maintaining Standards

Anything that is improved or a solution found must be followed up with standardization. If one does not standardize a solution or new way of doing something, the gains will slip. Most leaders are taught and also prefer to engage in the planning and making improvement sphere, but post planning or  improvement there is this entire second set of activities, which I simply call as Maintaining standards – leaders must engage in some routine actions that ensures that standards are being followed, problems are being identified and problem solving and improvements happening.     

Leadership Standard Work teaches how leaders at all levels can incorporate the right principles into their daily management in order to develop people, get the most from their team and deliver results.

Leader standard work is SDCA (standardize-do-check-act) in action. It seeks to determine whether standards are being adhered to and whether they are sufficient – very important stuff when you are to trying to drive  a culture of excellence.

There are four elements of leader standard work – setting KPI’s and standards, supplemented by good visual controls, scheduled “drive by’s” and accountability meetings. Ease to determine normal versus abnormal. What some folks unfortunately don’t comprehend or want to comprehend is that leader standard work is redundant or “nested.”

Indeed, while leader standard work must include the superior checking the subordinate’s leader standard work document to, among other things,: 1) ensure that it has been completed in a timely manner, 2) identify what abnormalities have been identified (and whether they are of a repeat variety), and 3) the sufficiency of the subordinate’s countermeasures, it also must include direct observation. Like Taiichi Ohno, we must prefer facts over data.

The superior’s leader standard work must also require him or her to go to the gemba (work place) and for example, ensure that people are  working in accordance with standard work – steps, sequence, cycle time, and standard work-in-process. This is the best way to ensure that the system is not breaking down. Good leader standard work, and thus SDCA, does not co-exist with loose and informal chains (of command). Nothing deniable there.

Workshop on OE

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Workshop on OE

Kaizen Institute has finished the 4 days workshop on Operational Excellence via Kaizen and Lean for Business Leadership. which was organized by Dammam, Al-Sharqia Chamber in association with Arrowad group and Al-Sharqia Chamber from 2nd June to 5th June 2013.


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KAIZEN College’s intensive training programs are aimed at skilling the CEOs of tomorrow with power to drive & manage organization wide improvement.

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GKW – Gemba Kaizen Workshop

Gemba Approach

The key thinking here is that any problem solving or improvement steps should not be guided by theory or opinions of any team members. Also, problems occur at the Gemba. Hence if problems are to be understood and its resolution not guided simply by opinions in the conference room-we must constantly be willing to go to Gemba and analyze thins from a clear perspective.



Gemba Orientation: the Importance of Gemba




Golden Rules of Gemba

The steps outline the focus on the Gemba.

  1. When an abnormality occurs, first go to the Gemba. In other words discussing problems without actually seeing the ground reality is strongly discouraged.
  2. Check with Gembutsu (machines, materials, failures, rejects, unsafe conditions etc.)
  3. Take temporary countermeasure on the spot.
  4. Remove root cause.
  5. Standardize to prevent further trouble.

 Gemba Kaizen Workshops

ImageSpeak with the data

Data and not opinions should be the guiding principle. That ensures there is no bias in understanding any situation. So in Kaizen thinking there is clear drive for data for collection and presenting all facts with the support of relevant data.

Gemba orientation: Speak with Data

ImageOrganized Gemba

As we focus on Gemba another clear drive in Kaizen thinking is to have an organized Gemba. Without these foundation improvements is not possible. This is achieved by doing 5S.

by Kamal Sharma – Kaizen Institute

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Welcome PROBLEMS!!!

KAIZEN thinking always welcomes problems. When no problems are perceived, there can be no improvement. Hence, as we engage people (as said in my previous post) in the process of improvement, they must be encouraged to bring out problems and every such problem that comes out is perceived as a treasure – as it provides an opportunity for improvement.

A key thing to note is that people themselves should never be treated as a problem. In fact, the drive is to make problem as problem solvers.

No blaming

As we welcome problems, a culture of no blaming for anything going wrong is of paramount importance. A blaming culture always drives people into defensive positions and the real issues remains submerged for years. Judgementalism & blaming, lead to fear, no trust and often the misrepresentation of bad news. Focusing on the real issue or problem and not the person is important and this creates an open, trusting and communication rich environment.



by Kamal Sharma, KAIZEN Institute

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KAIZEN Flag – Its all about People People People!


People Development: People Involvement at ALL Levels

Traditional manufacturing was based on separating planning from production. However KAIZEN thinking strives to utilize its human potential to the maximum. Hence here the workplace is engaged in production planning & problem solving. The key to this system succeeding is the whole hearted involvement of all team members in the organization. 



A very unique Kaizen principle is the involvement of people at all levels in the improvement journey. At all levels in the organization, improvement tasks or projects form a part of normal work. It may be to a lower or higher degree, depending on the level. This is in complete contrast to a traditional organization in which people were asked to strictly follow procedures that were specified by others. The KAIZEN FLAG is a unique demonstration of this principle. If we draw a horizontal line at each management level (as shown above in the picture) we get an indication of the time each level should focus on various activities.

At the bottom the operators spend a lot of time in maintenance and some time in improvement.In the middle, time is divided into all three activities. At the top there is relatively much less time spent on maintenance, some improvement  activities and also some innovation.  

by Kamal Sharma – KAIZEN Institute

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KAIZEN in Logistics & Supply Chains


Lean has become one of the most popular management methods for enhancing the competitive strength of manufacturing & logistics companies in the past few decades but its not easy to understand its full implications. 

Lean has been introduced in so many companies but in bits & pieces and not completely as a Supply Chain management system. The benefits of lean are gained only when the web of the total flows has been extended throughout all the supply chain processes. Few companies have realized the benefit of KAIZEN in Logistics & Supply chains. 

This book on KAIZEN in Logistics & Supply chains by Euclides Coimbra has come at an opportune time when many organizations are planning to re-look at their supply chain strategies in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the pressures of global competition. Many companies are seeking professional guidance & a roadmap to improve their supply chain operations. This book will be a perfect guide for such companies as well as for companies who are willing to embrace lean for the first time in their companies, warehouses, supply chains,etc. This book is recommended to all who are willing to improve supply chain performance.