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KAIZEN PHILOSOPHY

TOPICS
Introduction

to Kaizen
Key Principles
Key Implementation Concepts
5S
Deming or Shewhart Cycle (PDCA)
Quality circles
Kanban
TOYOTA Implementation
Key Benefits
Applications
Conclusion

Introduction : What is Kaizen?


Masaki

Imai: The chairman of the Cambridge


Corporation an international management consulting
firm, based in Tokyo, brought together the man
philosophy theories, and tools as a single concept
Kaizen.
Kaizen means continuous improvement".
It is a Japanese workplace philosophy which focuses
on making continuous small improvements which keep
a business at the top of its field.
The philosophy involves everyone in the organization
managers and workers alike and urges them to
make never-ending efforts for improvement.
For example, in Japanese companies, such as Toyota
and Canon, several suggestions per employee are
written down, shared and implemented.

The Origin of Kaizen


The

foundation of Kaizen was laid in Japan after


the Second World War, when the country was
attempting to rebuild infrastructure and rethink
many systems.

Several

American experts on workplace


improvement including W. Edwards Deming and
Joseph Juran came to Japan to lecture and teach.

Using

information from these individuals


regarding the TWI (Training Within Industry)
programs , the concept of Kaizen began to be
formed and it took off in the 1950s.

Kaizen : Key principles


The

first is a heavy reliance on teamwork, in which


everyone's opinion is valued and considered.

Workers

also have strong personal discipline,


and morale in factories must improve under kaizen.

Workers

should also be confident about offering


suggestions for improvement, even when a
system appears to be functioning adequately

Kaizen

recognizes that there is always room for


improvement

Finally,

the system uses quality circles, worker


groups who meet and work together to solve
problems and come up with innovative changes.

Kaizen : Implementation
Concepts
Kaizen

encompasses many of the components


of Japanese businesses that have been seen as
a part of their success.

Some

of these concepts inspired by Kaizen are:

5S
The Deming or Shewhart Cycle (PDCA)
Quality circles
Kanban

5 S in Kaizen
5

S is a method for organizing a workplace, especially


a shared workplace (like a shop floor or an office space).

1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

Seiri (Sort): Tidiness,


keeping only essential items.
Seiton (Set In Order):
Orderliness, eliminate extra
motion.
Seiso (Shine): Cleanliness,
keep the workplace clean.
Seiketsu (Standardize):
Standardize work practices
Shitsuke (Self
Discipline): Sustaining,
maintaining discipline and
reviewing standards.

The Kaizen cycle


PDCA

(Plan-DoCheck-Act)
cycle

Also

known as
the Deming or
Shewhart cycle

It

a continuous
never-ending
process i.e.
cyclic adinfinitum

Quality Circles
A

quality circle is a volunteer group composed of


employees, who are trained to identify, analyze and
solve work-related problems and present their
solutions to management.

This

improves the performance of the organization,


while also motivating and enriching the work of
employees.

First

established in Japan in 1962 in the Nippon


Wireless and Telegraph Company, it quickly became
popular and spread to more than 35 companies in
the first year.

Kanban
Kanban (meaning signboard

or billboard) is a concept
related to lean and just-in-time (JIT) production.
The concept got shape when Toyota observed how
supermarkets operate.
The supermarket only stocks what it believes it will sell;
Therefore has limited and only necessary inventory
Signboards clearly indicate to shoppers where what is
stocked; so the customers can shop efficiently and complete
their shopping in time.
For a lean and efficient system, it is required that the
production is determined according to the actual demand.
In situations where supply time is lengthy and demand is
difficult to forecast, the best one can do is to respond quickly
to observed demand.
This is where a Kanban system can help: It works as a
communication system which immediately provides
information about changed demand through the entire
supply chain.

Kaizen in Toyota
The Toyota Production System is known for its use of kaizen.
After World War II, Taiichi Ohno was charged with setting up
machine shops for Toyota. He studied the Ford production
systems. He analyzed the various productive measures and
discrepancies in the system.

Based on the analysis, he outlined several production


strategies for Toyota. These production strategies later
became benchmarks for production practices across the
world.

Toyota

thus became one of the first companies in the world to


adopt practices such as Kaizen. Analysts however feel that
Kaizen kept TPS, JIT, Kanban and other practices working
smoothly as an interlinked strategic operational plan.

Toyotas use of Kaizen to solve labor crisis

In the early 1990s, Toyota was facing acute labor shortage

Toyotas initial management focus was on increasing


production efficiency through higher production levels with
less number of workers. This resulted in increased stress and
worker exodus.

The global upsurge in car demand during 1987-1991 led to


drastic increase in demand for labors

Toyota realized that it would have to rely on Kaizen for


modifying its existing assembly lines to attract workers.

The company decided to change its working conditions to


accommodate workers of more diverse nature

The management decided to allow plants to set their own


annual production efficiency targets. Production efficiency
measurement was based on workers production time rather
than on best production time

Key Benefits of Kaizen


Widely

applicable Can be used in both


manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments
Highly effective & results oriented - Kaizen events
will generate quick results, Measurable results,
Establish the baseline, and measure the change
Higher operational efficiency
Reduces wastage, like inventory waste, time waste,
workers motion
Improves space utilization and product quality
A Learning Experience Every member of a Kaizen
Team will walk away from the event learning
something new.
Encourages big picture thinking
Results in higher employee morale and job
satisfaction, and lower turn-over.

Kaizen
Why

Kaizen works well for some


It has been suggested that Kaizen works
particularly well in Japan because it has a collective
culture, and Kaizen relies on collective values.
The focus is more on improvement and refinement
of existing methods, rather newer innovations.
And not so for others
People in more individualistic cultures (like in
Western corporations) may struggle with some of
the basic principles of Kaizen.
Kaizen idea of improvement is contrary to the
beliefs of some Westerners, who place a high value
on the achievement and maintenance of perfection.

Kaizen A mixed bag


Consider the case of a students bag. The items
can be classified into
Notes and assignments
Stationary (pens, notepads etc.)
Other items like calculators, pen drive etc.
Regular checking of the stationary items ensures
that the note making is not affected due to lack
of stationary.
Keeping notes and assignments organized enables
faster access to them.
Overall checking of bag at regular intervals
ensures that no necessary items are missing.

Conclusion
Kaizen

or continuous improvement should be


a part of our everyday life.

The

concept is simple but if properly applied can


lead to significant efficiency improvements
for organizations.

Kaizen

and its associated concepts like PDCA,


Kanban and Quality Circles have been critical
to the success of large organizations like Toyota,
Canon and Nippon.