Kaizen events are actions that are taken within a facility to try to improve an existing process. While most people think of Kaizen events only as major changes to processes, that is not always the case. Companies can engage in this type of event to address issues with smaller processes as well. The important thing is to always push for improvements to the way things are done, and Kaizen events are an excellent way to facilitate this.
Starting the Kaizen Event
The first thing to do in a Kaizen event is to identify the process that will be worked on. Once this is done, establishing a team for the event is necessary. The team should generally include operators, managers, and the owners of the existing process.
Identify the Current Process
The next thing to do is to have the Kaizen team map out the existing process. In many cases there will already be a written process in place, but that is not enough. It is quite common for written processes to be quite different than what is taking place on the actual shop floor. The team should take the time to investigate how things are actually done and document that process.
Once the team has a detailed understanding of how the process is currently done, they need to come up with improvement options. Looking for the perfect method of performing the process is what the goal should be. Getting as close to perfection as possible will help to eliminate waste and improve the way things are done.
Test and Implement
Once all the relevant parties have bought in to the proposed changes, they should be implemented on a small scale to test them out. If everything functions as intended, the new process should be rolled out to the entire facility so everyone can benefit from the changes.
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