Kaizen Isn’t Six Sigma in its Origin, but Through Adoption

In the beginning, W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, who were knowledgeable in American workplace improvements, went to Japan as part of a plan to help Japan rebuild after World War ll. Taking the information that these two Americans gave the Japanese regarding Training Within Industry (a service created by the US Department of War in 1940), the nucleus of Kaizen was formed and became quite the trend in the 1950’s.

Main Core Principles

  • Teamwork: everyone contributes and their opinion is valued
  • Discipline: staff members must have a strong personal disciplined work ethic
  • Confidence: staff members must be willing and confident to offer suggestions for improvements
  • Constant Improvements: the mindset of there is always room for improvements because nothing is absolutely perfect
  • Quality Groups: these small staff based groups meet and work together on coming up with solutions for problems and making innovative changes for much improved working system

Kaizen Implementation Methods

5s in Kaizen is an Organizing Method

  • Seiri= (Sort) Keep only needed items
  • Seiton= (Set in order) Prioritize to eliminate extra steps
  • Seiso= (Shine) Keep workplace clean
  • Seiketsu= (Standardize) Choose a systemized method of work practices
  • Shitsuke= (Self Discipline) Maintain discipline and review standards set forth

Kanban in Kaizen

  • This is a system where production is set forth according to demand
  • Used when supply time is long and demand is difficult to predict; only recourse is to respond quickly to new demand needed
  • Kanban is a communication system which immediately announces changed, updated demand throughout the entire supply chain

Kaizen Noted Benefits

  • Can be used in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries
  • Kaizen events result in quick successful measurable data based results
  • Reduces waste improves space usage and product quality
  • Improves staff morale, company loyalty and lower employee turnover

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