The true nature of Kaizen is in the human content it carries. Improvement through Kaizen practice means deep, systematic and continuous involvement of people (everybody) by using certain techniques, but mainly their brain, causing a process of improvement to start, develop and never end. The Kaizen motto is “…today better than yesterday, tomorrow better than today….” The concept of continuous improvement is applied in all directions. Industrial processes and working methods can be improved. Quality defects can be eliminated and waste can be reduced. Customer service can be made better. The work environment can be improved and the boss/subordinates relationship can be improved…. the sky is the limit.
Now, improvements in the industry can be obtained in many ways. New technology can bring improvement to a process or to product quality. Technology can bring improvements in productivity and inefficiency. It can also bring improvements to customer service. External consultants can bring improvements to working methods, processes and interpersonal relations. But these types of improvements do not fall under the Kaizen umbrella. Kaizen is improvement through the “poor man approach.” According to this approach, a poor man does not spend money on improvements because he has no money to throw at it. He rather uses his wisdom, brain, creativity, talent and patience.
Continuous improvement is based on a Japanese Concept called Kaizen, is the philosophy of continually seeking ways to improve operations. It involves identifying benchmarks of excellent practices and instilling a sense of employee ownership of the process.