Continuous improvement of an entire value stream or an individual process to create more value with less waste.

There are two levels of kaizen (Rother and Shook 1999, p. 8):

  1. System or flow kaizen focusing on the overall value stream.
    This is kaizen for management.
  2. Process kaizen focusing on individual processes.
    This is kaizen for work teams and team leaders.

Value-stream mapping is an excellent tool for identifying an entire value stream and determining where flow and process kaizen are appropriate.