Well, never heard this term? No problem, wait and read.
Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning ‘change for the better’ used to manage costs during a product’s planning and design stages and has been used by some Japanese firms over 20 years. It was firstly used in famous car company Toyota.
There are certain principles of Kaizen:
- Consider the process and the results.
- Systematic thinking of the whole process.
- A learning of non-judgmental and non-blaming approach and intent.
- Top management commitment
- Setting up an organization dedicated to promote Kaizen
- Appointing the best personnel to manage Kaizen process
- Conducting training and education
- Establishing step-by-step process for Kaizen introduction
- Develop an understanding of the process
- Identify corporate objectives
- Plan the Kaizen Program
- Allocate resources
- Develop a Training plan
- Communicate with employees
- Focus training and development on 4Ps of Quality
- Set up a Suggestion Scheme
Main thing that is noticeable in Kaizen is its approch towards process oriented thinking. Kaizen generates process-oriented thinking, since processes must be improved before we get improved results. Kaizen is also people-oriented and is directed at people’s efforts. This contrasts sharply with the result-oriented thinking of most Western managers.
In Japan, the process is considered just as important as the obviously intended result. In the US, generally speaking, no matter how hard a person works, lack of results will result in a poor personal rating and lower income or status. The individual’s contribution is valued only for its concrete results.
In many Japanese companies, the number of suggestions made by each worker is regarded as an important criterion in reviewing the performance of the supervisors. The manager of the supervisor is, in turn, expected to assist them so that they can help workers generate more suggestions.
Management is willing to give recognition to employees’ efforts for improvements and makes its concern visible wherever possible. Often, the number of suggestions is posted individually on the wall of the workplace in order to encourage competition among workers and among groups.
A typical Japanese plant has a space reserved in the corner of every workshop for publicizing activities going on in the workplace, such as the current level of suggestions and recent achievements by small groups. Sometimes, tools that have been improved as a result of workers’ suggestions are displayed so that workers in other work areas can adopt the same improvement ideas.
So friends, basic thing is that Kaizen is not a organization thingie, it can be on life too. Each aspect of our life can be KAIZENED and can be improved. Relationships, Behavior etc etc needs something improvement in smaller steps, isn’t it?
Happy DRY day to ‘DRY STATE‘ 😉