Kaizen management best practices.Do It !!!
This article describes the following 13 kaizen management Best Practices in detail:
- Define clear objectives and expectations
- Focus on the process, not on the goal
- Involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process
- Go after the low-hanging fruit (quick wins)
- “Do it better, make it better”
- Remove waste in all forms & variations
- Choose the right fight
- Appoint a leader (facilitator) for the event
- Provide training for all participants
- Use available software
- Treat the Kaizen event as a business process
- Have a good plan
- Make sure that the improvement lasts (continuous improvement).
1: Define clear objectives and expectations
Prior to the event, you want a well-defined set of goals and expectations. This means that you must develop a list of the statistics that you will use to define success. It is now a good time to implement the “SMART” technology goals. Goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
2: Focus on the process, not on the goal
Kaizen is based on a philosophy of small, incremental, continuous improvement. When this style is fully operational, it creates a self-sustaining cycle of opportunities and solutions aimed at reducing waste of time, money and resources. Targeted management focuses on control with a limited definition of success, while kaizen is flexible and adaptive. It uses statistics for evaluation instead of measuring improvements and reaching a predetermined number.
3: Involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process
Employees often feel powerless to influence change in their workplace. They are your biggest source for ideas and skills, but they believe that their voice is not heard. Token attempts at involvement such as the typical suggestion course do not provide meaningful action. Kaizen management includes employees in the improvement process, from identification to implementation and recognition. Seeing their position in the validated company gives them the confidence and motivation to look further for more opportunities to improve.
4: Go after the low-hanging fruit (quick wins)
As mentioned, kaizen management focuses on small, incremental improvement. Employees are encouraged to look for opportunities for change that have a low risk and low costs. This allows change to be influenced quickly, creating a momentum that will continue to the next project. It also keeps the energy level high and ensures more employee involvement.
5: “Do it better, make it better”
Everyone knows the saying: “If it is not broken, do not repair it.” In traditional business models, it is assumed that the process or system functions reasonably well, with maximum effectiveness. Kaizen management assumes that every element of a company can be improved. Employees are encouraged to take a fresh look at established policies and methods. Instead of thinking of why something cannot be done, they are encouraged to ignore conventional limitations and find out how it can be done.
6: Remove waste in all forms & variations
For many companies, waste is viewed from a financial perspective. For Kaizen’s management, waste applies to all resources. A resource that can never be supplemented is time. Every promotion should add value to the business, and employees are encouraged to find ways to increase efficiency and prevent waste. The workplace is constantly being adjusted to be organized so that unnecessary measures are not taken.
7: Choose the right fight
Not all problems can be solved with the short timeframe of a Kaizen event. It is important to be aggressive but realistic when choosing which challenge will be addressed during the event. It should be something that can be tackled by a limited number of people within a few days.
8: Appoint a leader (facilitator) for the kaizen event
Although we believe that Kaizen events should be a collaborative process and that all voices should be heard, it is important to have one person responsible for guiding the team during the event. This person can be called the event leader or the facilitator. They must have some experience with Kaizen events.
9: Provide training for all participants
People should not be thrown into a Kaizen event without the required knowledge to make them successful. They must understand the principles of Kaizen and understand how this is applied in the corporate culture. They must be introduced to any enhancement technique such as PDSA, value stream mapping, the 5 whys and others used during the event. All team members must understand their role and the goals for rapid improvement events.
People do not automatically know how a quick improvement action works. Take the time to teach all participants about the Kaizen mindset, the flow of the event, their specific role and what you can expect before, during and after. Training is important, but practice is also necessary to keep participants in top form.
10: Use supporting software
Kaizen software helps guarantee success by providing a uniform platform for all the work that will take place. Relevant document can be saved, tasks can be assigned and progress can be measured at one online location. The best solutions provide notifications and alerts that help maintain momentum and provide a structure for collaboration. This is especially important if the problem being addressed requires a functional effort. It is quite common for new opportunities for improvement to be discovered during a Kaizen event. Software helps them capture for future projects.
11: Have a good plan
Prior to the event, the leader should work with the team to find out what will happen during the event. For example, most event plans include a number of versions of the following steps:
- Document and agree with the current status
- Define the desired status
Discuss possible solutions and agree to changes
- Implement improvements
- Refine refinements and develop new standard work
- Institutionalize the improvement
12: Treat the Kaizen event as a business process
The first thing we mean by this is that the event must have a route map and documentation. You would not let employees work on a different business process without a clear set of expectations and desired results. The same should be true for your Kaizen event. It is a process with a defined beginning, middle and end. The second we mean by treating the Kaizen event as a business process is to acknowledge that this should also be the subject of improvement. Before you start your next appointment, you must review the previous one and determine if it could have been more efficient or effective. If this is the case, make the necessary adjustments.
13: Ensure that the improvement lasts (continuous improvement)
Nobody wants to go through the effort of a Kaizen event only to see that the improvements deteriorate over time. To guarantee long-term success, you build up periodic check-ins and report on the follow-up plan for the event. Keep track of the immediate results of the improvement, but also keep the team responsible for reporting results on a month, six months, a year or any intervals that are relevant to the situation.
Once the event has been completed and the desired improvements have been made, it is essential to make a follow-up plan to measure the results and ensure that the improvement is maintained. We find it useful to follow after 2 weeks, a month, three months, six months and a year. You may notice that additional adjustments to new processes are needed or that some of the changes have not been fully applied. Although the ‘event’ is a one-off thing, Kaizen is continuous improvement(s).