Home > The Lean Post> Narrowing the Scope of Kaizen Activities

Narrowing the Scope of Kaizen Activities

by Andrew Quibell
October 20, 2015

Narrowing the Scope of Kaizen Activities

by Andrew Quibell
October 20, 2015 | Comments (3)

Kaizen. It’s a term that can be interpreted and implemented in countless ways. But in my mind, the essence of kaizen is to make incremental sustained improvements every day through observing the work and eliminating the burden, inconsistency and strain we often allow processes to operate with. 

I have led many successful kaizen activities that target just those three things: burden, inconsistency and strain. The net effects of this narrowed scope of focus speak for themselves: participants can clearly see the improvements made in safety, quality, productivity, the reduction of waste and time saved. Formerly frustrated team members become happy team members – and nine times out of 10 a happy team member is a more productive one, too.

The sketch below outlines what I plan and do during a kaizen activity, how I think it through and how I execute it. It will probably look like a mess at first glance, but look again, starting with the word “Kaizen” in the upper left-hand corner. Look closely and read between the lines and sketches as you move your eyes from left to right, back and forth, up and down. When you do I’m sure you’ll find my process helpful.

Kaizen

Click on image to view larger

 

Do you think the sketched process will help solve a problem you’ve been having implementing kaizen?

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
Search Posts:
Kaizen Express
By Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook
Mapping to See Workshop Participant Guide
By Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.
Was this post... Click all that apply
HELPFUL INTERESTING INSPIRING ACCURATE
9 people say YES
17 people say YES
8 people say YES
6 people say YES
Related Posts
3 Comments | Post a Comment
Pete Flynn October 21, 2015

Sorry, not helpful at all! Clever and artful, yes! But I could have done without it.

Reply »

kevin kobett October 22, 2015

I like it. It's puzzle and maze like. It makes me think.

I'm thinking it could be helpful in a beginning kaizen class. Hand this out and observe behaviors. Leroy rolls his eyes and whispers to his neighbor. Sally is deep in thought.

Who loses interest quickly? Who talks to the guy next to him?  Who asks questions?

What type of content would you find helpful?

Reply »

Julia October 30, 2015

It makes me think of a form of mind-mapping.

Reply »

Search Posts:
Kaizen Express
By Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook
Mapping to See Workshop Participant Guide
By Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc.
Grasping the Real Situation
How to Know If Your Team is Ready for Kaizen