How is Kaizen implemented?

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How is Kaizen implemented?
Stefan Ivanovic

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Stefan Ivanovic

Sep 8, 2019

The methodology for implementing kaizen can be described by the words PDCA - plan, do, check, act.

• Plan - Create a change plan and identify the specific things you want to change. Define the steps that must be taken and assume the results of those changes.

• Do - Execute the plan in a test environment. Test the change on a small sample, or scale, to examine the result of the proposed change.

• Check - Examine the test results. Make sure you advance the process. Only if you are convinced of the profitability of the change (that it is an innovation), apply it to the business, if not, try again with another change.

• Act - Apply changes to a broader pattern (overall business). Make the change to your standard operating procedures.

Kaizen is practiced through kaizen workshops. Over the course of several days, the project team goes through a complete PDCA cycle targeting a specific area of business or a specific activity that it focuses on.

The team looks for and eliminates harmful activities in the course of the business value. The subject of improvement can be anything: product quality, internal or external communication, business organization, sales, service, customer relations, etc. Remember that the most effective are small kaizen projects. The title of a kaizen project cannot be customer service promotion, which is too broad, but must focus on specific activities, such as: "Reducing customer response time".

Usually, a kaizen workshop starts when the "Current Value Flow Map" is already created. It is the basis for further application of the Lean or kaizen methodology. Usually, you can take a kaizen workshop through the following steps:

• Training in preparation for the workshop

• Analyze the situation and define the desired change

• The process of implementing concrete change

• Observing and refining the change applied

• Keeping change

Kaizen workshops are usually held during office hours as a separate work project. It is extremely important for kaizen to be experienced as any other normal work process, to become a work activity carried out regularly on a predefined schedule. It is necessary and necessary for kaizen to become part of your company life, as well as part of your personal life, that you cannot do without it!

Kaizen is very similar to incremental innovation, where change is the result of implementing new profitable ideas, but where change happens gradually, one after the other. If the changes are radical, kaizen then takes a different form and is called Kaikaku. This term corresponds to radical innovation, which results in a paradigm shift in business (essentially changing business).

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