Kaizen is a lean manufacturing tool that improves quality, productivity, safety, and workplace culture. Kaizen focuses on applying small, daily changes that result in major improvements over time.
Kaizen works by reducing waste (muda) and eliminating work processes that are overly difficult (muri). As a lean business practice, Kaizen succeeds when all employees look for areas to improve and provide suggestions based on their observations and experience.
One of the key aspects of Kaizen is that it is an on-going, never-ending improvement process. As the reader may already know, it is not too difficult to introduce something new into an organisation. The difficult part is, how to keep it going and maintain the momentum once it has been introduced. Many companies have tried to introduce such projects as quality circles, re-engineering and lean production. While some of them have been successful, most of them have failed to make such a project a going concern. For instance, many Western companies introduced quality circles by involving employees but most of the companies have simply given up the idea of quality circle activities by now. This happened because management failed to build internal infrastructures, systems and procedures that would assure the continuing of quality circle activities. This has happened because most Western companies lacked the concept of Kaizen. In this lesson, various aspects of Kaizen will be explained. [ Kaizen Introduction ]