Understanding The Kaizen Production Philosophy
A majority of the production methods usually offer you tools that will help you handle specific projects or tasks in a particular or organized way. Kaizen, a Japanese word that translates to real change or improvement, is a productivity philosophy originating from Japan, which is designed to help you organize anything that you do. To make kaizen simple, it is a continuous improvement process aimed at improving operational efficiencies. It is a philosophy that can be applied anywhere, irrespective of the job being done. Regarding a productivity system, it is a way of thinking that will help you organize anything ranging from the way you work as an individual, to how the entire team works together.
What is Kaizen?
Directly translated, kaizen means constant and continuous improvement. It is a philosophy which came about after World War II, when some Japanese businesses decided to change how they had always been doing things, especially with the availability of better options. Inspired by the manufacturing methods and western competitors, Kaizen became known for his efforts to improve and intelligently streamline the manufacturing methods and practices of businesses, while at the same time respecting the product and people involved in making the product. The Kaizen production principle can be broken into the following six steps.
The Kaizen Process
This entails coming up with a process to handle a specific activity. The process should be organized and repeatable as many times as required.
Once the process is in place, you have to examine and determine its efficiency. You should use data that can be quantified such as time taken to complete.
Once you have all the measurements that you need, compare them against your requirements. The comparison should help you determine whether the process saves time or takes more time than desired. Check whether the results accomplished are desirable.
With a particular result in mind, look for new and better ways, through which you can do the same work and achieve the desired result. Find smarter and more efficient ways of getting to the same goal, to improve productivity.
Once you have the new and activities that are more efficient, create processes that are repeatable and defined for them. The processes will be the new standards of achieving the set goals.
After completion, you are expected to go back to the first step and start again. Ideally, this is an iterative process that never ends.