What is the definition of Kaizen?
Kaizen is a Japanese term that consists of two parts “kai” and “zen”. The basic translation of the two parts to the term “kaizen” means “change for the good.” Therefore, any change must bring with it a good benefit or result. It is very important to understand that it does not mean change for the sake of change without any improvement. It is the focus on continuous process improvement (CPI).
What steps are involved in applying Kaizen?
There are four steps to implementing a standard work process:
- Empower your employees to generate and share their ideas for improvement.
- Develop a system for identifying the best ideas.
- Implement the best ideas as soon as possible to encourage employees to participate.
- Develop a rewards and recognition system for the best ideas based results.
What does Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) achieve?
A business that is not improving their processes on a regular basis is stagnating. They are probably standing still or worse, going backwards, while their competitors are moving ahead of them. The best resource for any business to generate great ideas are their employees. They are the people that do the job everyday and given the right environment they enjoy participating in focused activities to improve their workplace. Every lean organization has enjoyed the bottom line improvements by tapping into the best source for process knowledge and ideas, their employees!