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What does KAIZEN mean to you and your business?

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The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that brings progress – Charles F. Kettering

Yes, change for the better brings progress! KAIZEN®, as we all know,  is a structured, scientific, guided and controlled process to bring about beneficial change! KAIZEN®® is not improvement by chance, it is improvement by design.

As competitive pressures mount, KAIZEN® no longer remains merely a ‘good to practice’ activity, it becomes an essential survival strategy. Yet, it is a voluntary initiative – because survival is not mandatory!

So what does KAIZEN® mean to you and your business? Organizations that have changed their existing paradigm have improved and seen progress. The only thing that needs to be kept in mind is what you or your organization are doing today can be done more efficiently, with a better quality, more cheaply and in a way that is considered valuable by your customers. Organizations have to Identify, Eliminate & Reduce Muda (Waste), Mura (Variation) and Muri (Strain) from their processes, life or routine work but this is possible only if you are ready to change the existing belief. KAIZEN® can actually encourage leaders to abandon the existing paradigm.

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KAIZEN® is a journey where you celebrate problems – Journey from effect to cause or from tools to transformation or seeing to believing. KAIZEN® is improving with available resources.  Opportunities for KAIZEN® are unlimited if you look around, for e.g. bending down to lift an object or to try to reach up high for something which is not reachable, unnecessary movements of machine or employees, etc. The objective of KAIZEN® should be to avoid all unnecessary wasteful movements or strain on men or machine or material but the truth is nobody is bothered to change or is not willing to change the existing set of practices. Organizations or employees think that KAIZEN® is suitable only for manufacturing or KAIZEN® only talks about changing old processes or machines or technology that has been used since years or it is a method of taking out more or demanding more from employees without getting paid for it.

But the fact still remains fact i.e. KAIZEN® is a philosophy which inspires or motivates the whole organization with the instinct for continual improvement. Employees participate not for any particular financial reward, although these may be a part of the recognition process, but for the satisfaction of using their skills to improve the operations they perform and the good & services they produce. 

KAIZEN® incorporates a variety of techniques and principles into the overall culture and philosophy of improvement–improvement as a way of life, rather than just the application of isolated techniques.

 Roadmap for implementation of KAIZEN® or Action Checklist

  1. Develop an understanding of the process or build the belief
  2. Identify corporate objective in order to align it with KAIZEN® objectives
  3. Analyze current state and design the KAIZEN® roadmap
  4. Allocate the resources
  5. Train the required staff
  6. Communicate with the employees
  7. Implement the roadmap
  8. Set standards
  9. Deploy Daily Work Management techniques

Contributed by:

Mr.Vinod Grover & Divyakumar M Soneji

Author: Kaizen Institute - India!

Kaizen Institute – India is part of the Global Kaizen Institute operations. Kaizen Institute was established by Sensei Masaaki Imai, the GURU of Kaizen. He wrote the 1st book 28 yrs ago and that is when it all started . We operate in 30+ countries today and have over 400+ coaches helping more then 600 organizations Learn, Apply, Sustain – Kaizen/ Operational Excellence. In India we have two physical offices – Pune & Ahmedabad and 27 coaches in all.

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