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Make Your Next Kaizen Event a Hole-in-One

Posted by Jeff Roussel

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Sep 23, 2015 7:07:00 AM

hole_in_oneAnyone who plays a little golf can attest to the fact that what you do with the club before and after hitting the ball is every bit as important as the impact itself. The entire swing determines the speed, trajectory, height and distance of the shot. It might be useful to think about Kaizen events in the same way. What goes on before, during and after has a major impact on ultimate success.

The Backswing (Before)

Preparation is critical to an effective Kaizen event. In the days and weeks leading up to the event the following should be completed:

  • Assemble the team
  • Select or hire a facilitator
  • Determine the target and scope of improvement
  • Gather and analyze baseline data
  • Define success
  • Communicate the planned event and its goals

The Impact (During)

Kaizen events are designed to put intense focus on an opportunity for improvement that can be achieved in a short period of time. Activities during the event include:

  • Define the problem
  • Identify and document all of the steps in the current process
  • Analyze the current process to identify wastes and risks
  • Discuss and agree on the best ideas for improvement
  • Create a plan for the new process
  • Determine how results will be measured
  • Implement the plan
  • Measure results
  • Communicate the improvement and results

The Follow Through (After)

Many organizations fail to follow through and find themselves in the weeds. In order to achieve long term gains from your Kaizen event, make sure to:

  • Document the event, its results and any lessons learned
  • Update Standard Work documentation if needed
  • Define intervals for status measurement and reporting (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.)
  • Evaluate the Kaizen event process and experience to determine if it could be improved
  • Recognize the achievements of everyone who contributed

Be sure to set yourself up for success the next time you perform a Kaizen event. With careful execution of every phase, you’ll be able to put the ball exactly where you want it.   

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

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