Fixing errors, getting rid of waste, and organizing are tasks that are daunting if done all at one time. Kaizen is a system that involves continuous small changes on a regular basis. This small bite-size piece of change makes improvement easier to accomplish.
Originally implemented by Toyota with great success, Kaizen is inclusive with the entire team, from top management to line workers. Everyone is encouraged to submit suggestions in whatever area it is warranted. Success credit is given to the entire team. This is a morale booster, which encourages company loyalty and a sense of belonging.
Methods Used With Kaizen (Continuous Improvement):
Process Mapping/Flowchart: This identifies and is a visual representation of the steps, inputs, and outputs of a process. This will show how the process flows at every step of the process.
Root Cause Analysis: An in-depth method used with tools such as 5 Whys to find out the root cause of an issue or problem. Once you get to the root of the problem, the issue should go away and not be recurring.
PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act:
Plan: Plan ahead for any change, analyze, and hypothesize the results.
Do: Implement the plan, use small steps in a controlled manner.
Check: Study the outcome.
Act: Take necessary action to improve the plan.
An excellent mindset is that with every day comes an improvement, regardless of how small. In fact, small steps equals big changes over time.
Kaizen is also something that can be used in creating new good habits or changing a daily routine. The personal daily routine could be equated as your day-to-day process that makes the best version of “YOU” possible.