When should Kaizen be used?

Kaizen can either be used to address a single issue or part of the process, or it could be an ongoing practice used on a day-to-day basis. If a company chooses to implement Kaizen as a daily event, it is important to note that it is a daily and continuous strategy and a facility can continuously improve each and every day. Daily Kaizen is the key to tackling small issues and resolving them before they turn into a bigger problem, and headache, for the facility. If there are smaller issues around the facility, or improvements have been identified that would take a day or less to address, both fit into the category of daily kaizen.

Kaizen events, also known as a Kaizen blitz, are a much more structured activity with a beginning and end date and should be used when there is an urgent problem that needs to be fixed quickly. Whether it may be a spike in defects or a slow-down on the production line, any business risking issue can be addressed with a Kaizen event. An example of combining both Kaizen events and daily kaizen would be holding a Kaizen event to inspire your daily Kaizen activities. If you have already employed the PDCA cycle as part of your workplace’s daily routine but the momentum has worn off, hope is not all lost! A Kaizen event can be an effective tool to get unstuck from the rut daily Kaizen can fall into.

Another important component of Kaizen is Kaizen training. If you are just starting daily Kaizen or holding your first Kaizen event, it will be necessary to conduct training sessions. These training sessions can go over Kaizen’s history, its concepts, and how workers can effectively make change.

 

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Additional Resources

Kaizen Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
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