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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Kaizen:   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): System or flow kaizen focusing on the overall value stream. This is kaizen for management. 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. More »
Kaizen Promotion Office:   see Lean Promotion Office
Kaizen Workshop:   A group kaizen activity, commonly lasting five days, in which a team identifies and implements a significant improvement in a process. A common example is creating a continuous flow cell within a week. To do this a kaizen team—including staff experts and consultants as well as operators and line managers—analyzes, implements, tests, and standardizes a new cell. Participants first learn continuous flow principles and then go to the gemba to assess actual conditions and plan the cell. Machines then are moved and the new cell is tested. After improvements, the process is standardized and the kaizen team reports out to More »
A3s (1)
Example A3: TWI Industries - Kaizen Plan (from Managing to Learn)
October 8, 2006
An example of an A3, included as a sample in some printings of Managing to Learn. More »
Articles (84) Show All »
Developing a Kaizen Consciousness with Shingo Prize winner Michael Balle
By: Dager, Joseph | November 10, 2009
Articles; Videos and Webinars
Michael Ballé, co-author of The Lean Manager, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), cautioned in a podcast interview with Business 901 that managers or executives without strong commitments to self-development should not try lean manufacturing and lean management. "Lean is something you want to do to beat competitors, and it’s going to take extra work, especially at first," Ballé said. "Lean is targeted to a certain kind of person who enjoys learning and is committed to self-development as opposed to just running things as they are.  ” The Lean Manager is a business novel about a lean transformation where managers at a More »
Interview with Isao Kato on TWI and Kaizen
By: Smalley, Art | March 27, 2009
LEI author and faculty member Art Smalley interviewed former Toyota manager Isao Kato about the influences of that the U.  S.  Training Within Industry program had on the development of the Toyota Production System and kaizen. More »
Audio (2)
Lean Thinking, 2nd Edition (audiobook)
By: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones | March 2, 2003
Audio; Books
Are the calls for making the lean leap falling on deaf ears in the boardroom? Just slip this audio CD of the Lean Thinking onto the boss’s home stereo to get the message across subliminally. Then get out of the way when the boss comes to work and rushes onto the shop floor to lead kaizen workshops. More »
Forward to Fundamentals Webinar with Jim Womack and John Shook
By: Shook, John; Jim Womack | April 23, 2009
Audio; Videos and Webinars
In recent years, most discussions around lean transformation have understandably evolved toward more managerial and strategic matters. Yet there remains an alarming lack of solid implementation of the fundamentals! In this current economic crisis we can actually move our lean journeys forward faster by looking back to the lessons that led to the creation of TPS in the weakened Japanese economy following World War II. This webinar is designed to uncover the deep roots of the original lean thinking and tools and how you can better focus your own lean implementation plans and execution. This webinar features Jim Womack, Chairman More »
Books (18) Show All »
Kaizen Express
By: Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook | March 30, 2009
Books; Forms and Templates
Kaizen Express is a concise but precise illustrated guide to the fundamentals of the Toyota Production System (TPS) and how to implement them. It is ideal for individuals or teams starting a lean transformation or in need of a quick refresher on the fundamental concepts of lean manufacturing. More »
Kaizen Express (Chinese/English)
By: Toshiko Narusawa and John Shook | February 20, 2012
Buy this publication from: Lean Enterprise China More »
Case Studies (33) Show All »
Creating the Course and Tools for a Lean Accounting System
By: Chet Marchwinski | June 25, 2003
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Value-Stream Maps
A unit of Parker Hannifin used a financial kaizen and other lean accounting techniques to bridge the gaps between shop-floor improvements and traditional financial statements. More »
Lean management case study series: Lean in Distribution: Go to Where the Action Is!
By: Drickhamer, David | November 29, 2012
In this lean management success story, we visit Plumbers Supply Company to learn how it is making significant progress toward a lean business conversion two years after its first kaizen workshop. Starting with daily management walkabouts and standard work, the 84-year-old, family-owned distributor has laid the groundwork for steady gains for years to come. More »
Columns (145) Show All »
Kaizen Event “Malpractice” and What to Do About It
By: Chet Marchwinski and Mark Hamel | May 13, 2015
Performed properly, kaizen events create the technical and cultural foundation for daily continuous improvement. Performed improperly, they can get you nowhere fast. Learn more about the real purpose of kaizen events (and how to run effective ones) in this video interview with Chet Marchwinski and LEI faculty member Mark Hamel. More »
Kaizen Learning vs. Traditional Problem-Solving
By: Art Byrne | December 10, 2015
"Lean offers a fundamentally different approach to problem-solving than most traditional companies practice," writes Art Byrne. "Most [traditional] companies delegate important problems to teams of experts that take months to create a plan and even longer to get lasting improvements.  " What would a problem-solving process look like at a lean company? Read this article and find out. More »
eLetters (257) Show All »
Kaizen and Innovation
By: Ballé, Michael | June 12, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, Can kaizen stifle breakthrough innovation? More »
Kaizen is Fun? Really?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 30, 2009
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,I have been learning lean for three years now. My question to you: How is Kaizen 'fun'? Doing lean shakes people out of their comfort zone and challenges everything they believe about their work. Kaizen demands that they constantly improve what they do, and by implication, challenges how well they are working now. I find doing this on a daily basis to be extremely taxing. What advice do you have for me? Thank you for this question. I get asked this a lot in many different ways. Believe me, I sympathize with your frustration, having gone through it More »
Events (4) Show All »
2014 Transformation Summit
October 21, 2013
March 5-6, 2014 - Orlando, Florida. Improve the work, develop the people - the building blocks for continuous innovation. More »
2011 Transformation Summit
November 11, 2010
March 9-10, 2011 - Dallas, TX. Explore lean practices from the perspectives of Fundamentals and New Frontiers at this year's summit. More »
Forms and Templates (9) Show All »
Standard Work Process Study Sheet
By: Kaizen Express | December 7, 2012
The Process Study Sheet is used to define and record the time for work elements in a process. Before timing, opbserve and list the work elements required to produce one element. Then observe and define the actual time required for each individual work element. Timing Tips Collect real times at the process. Position yourself so you can see the operator's hand motions. Time each work element seperately. Time several cycles of each work element. Observe an operator who is qualified to perform the job. Always seperate operator time and machine time. Select the lowest repeatable time for each element. Remember More »
Standard Work Production Analysis Board
By: Kaizen Express | December 7, 2012
A Production Analysis Board is a display that must be located at the exit of the cell (or the line) to show actual performance compared with planned performance on an hourly basis. Kaizen Express, from which this example is taken, is a concise, precise illustrated guide to the fundamentals of the Toyota Production System and how to implement them. It is ideal for individuals or teams starting a lean transformation or in need of a quick refresher on the fundamental concepts of lean manufacturing.   Other Resources: Workshops Standardized Work: The Foundation for Kaizen » Management Standard Work » Articles More »
Presentations (1)
From Modern Management to Lean Management
By: Womack, Jim | November 21, 2008
a 2008 presentation by Jim Womack at the Lean Enterprise Academy Summit More »
Videos and Webinars (4) Show All »
Kaizen vs. the Suggestion Box
October 25, 2012
Mark Graban’s new book, Healthcare Kaizen (Productivity Press), co-authored with Joe Swartz, has lots of examples and practical advice for involving front-line staff with installing and sustaining a continuous improvement system. More »
Toast Kaizen (DVD)
Books; Videos and Webinars
Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recipient Narrated by and featuring Bruce Hamilton, Shingo Prize recipient and GBMP president, this 27-minute video highlights the seven deadly wastes found in both administrative offices and in manufacturing processes. An overview of the "Toast Kaizen" DVD. (Note: To view the above clip, your company must allow streaming video.  ) In this enjoyable but effective training tool, the simple process of making toast is used to represent the before condition and the target condition of a manufacturing or transaction based process and helps your people to understand basic but key elements of lean thinking, such as kaizen, the More »
Workshops (18) Show All »
Kaizen: the Culture of Continuous Improvement
This workshop is an introduction to the Kaizen Teian or Kaizen methodology which promotes the sustainable continuous improvement as a daily way of life for every member within the organization. The class is based on a “hear-see-do” approach allowing you to learn through instruction, discussion, simulation, and small-group exercise. More »
Managing Kaizen Events
The workshop is comprised of instruction, discussion, gemba tales (a.  k.  a. war stories), as well as forensic review of recently completed kaizen events, and small group exercises around pre-event planning, including event selection/scoping, team composition, and initial strategy formulation. More »