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The Fundamental Principles of Kaizen Project Management

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jun 14, 2021 12:49:13 PM

The continuous improvement methodology of Kaizen was once closely associated with industrial and automotive manufacturing. That’s because the Kaizen philosophy originated in the Japanese auto industry and was then later adopted by technology manufacturers like GE and Motorola.

But if you’ve been hearing about Kaizen project management in other sectors over the last few years, you are not alone.

The principles of Kaizen can lead to continuous improvement in almost every industry. The approach is now widespread in healthcare, construction, software development, education, logistics, and everything in between.

You won’t learn everything about Kaizen in any one blog post, but we can lay out the fundamentals of Kaizen project management.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership, Improvement Methodology

What is Kanban? A Quick Guide to Visualized Improvement

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 24, 2021 12:27:41 PM

There are dozens of tools and techniques used by organizations to support their continuous improvement efforts. The most successful companies pick a few methodologies that work well for them and execute them consistently. If improvement work slows down or a new challenge arises, they experiment with another technique. Whether you are just getting started with structured improvement or if your practice is mature, you might consider adding a tool known as the Kanban methodology. This post will cover the meaning of Kanban and a few of its key advantages.

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Topics: Kaizen

A Guide to Sustained Improvement with the Kaizen Methodology

Posted by Clint Corley

Apr 27, 2021 1:11:25 PM

If you are exploring ways to make your organization more efficient and better at sustaining continuous improvement, you may have come across references to the Kaizen Methodology. Masaaki Imai introduced the Kaizen Methodology to the world in 1986 in his book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success. We recommend it along with several other titles that we’ll share at the end of this post. This post provides you with the basics of the Kaizen Methodology and hopefully leaves you wanting to learn more.

 

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Topics: Kaizen

Kaizen 101. New to The Approach? Start Here.

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 23, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The world was first introduced to kaizen's philosophy and practice in 1986 with Masaaki Imai's book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. Today, it still holds up as an excellent read for anyone interested in finding ways to make their organization more successful at achieving continuous improvement. 

While kaizen concepts are straightforward, volumes have been written about how organizations build the improvement mindset into operations and culture. Our goal with this post is to give you the basic framework of kaizen and hopefully leave you excited about exploring the ways you might begin to transform your organization into one that consistently exhibits operational excellence.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

What is a Kaizen Event? Your Complete Guide Rapid Improvement

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 9, 2021 10:09:00 AM

Kaizen events, also called rapid improvement sprints or blitzes, are an impactful way to implement improvement quickly, but they require planning and preparation to make them useful. We've heard many stories about Kaizen events that went wrong. That's not surprising because there are many ways that improvement events can go off the rails. The best way to avoid that outcome is to put in the effort ahead of time to ensure your event is a huge success.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

21 Tweetable Kaizen Quotes to Inspire

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 24, 2020 2:28:23 PM

Did you now that the number of people actively using Twitter is over 270 million? Over 50 million people have joined the social media platform in the last year. This year, it's expected that 20% of internet users in the US will be on Twitter. Needless to say, Twitter is a great way to share your ideas with the world. With over 300 billion Tweets shared since Twitter first launched, I think it's time that we get some more out there about kaizen. Help me out, spread messages of #Kaizen on Twitter!

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Build Kaizen into Employee Onboarding

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Sep 17, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Much of the information published about establishing a culture of Kaizen is written for leaders who are introducing the concept to their entire organization for the first time. But once the Kaizen mindset is established, the job is not done. Looking for opportunities for positive change may be second nature to your long-term employees, but many new hires will have no knowledge of Kaizen or daily improvement. Without a plan for familiarizing these new team members with Kaizen, your carefully developed culture can quickly become diluted. That's why it is critical to bake Kaizen into your employee onboarding process. Here are our top tips for doing precisely that.

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Topics: Kaizen, Employee Engagement

14 Benefits of Standard Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 20, 2020 12:15:38 PM

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, once said, “Without Standard Work there is no Kaizen.” That’s a pretty bold statement, but when you think about the continuous improvement cycle, it makes a lot of sense. How can you move from the current state to the desired state if the current state is a moving target? Standard Work, which documents the current best practice for performing a task or process, and ensures that everyone is applying it, is a prerequisite for improvement.

Here are 14 ways that Standard Work benefits organizations that leverage it.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

The 5 M’s of Kaizen for Managers

Posted by Brianna Hudock

Aug 18, 2020 10:44:00 AM

We often describe Kaizen as a way of looking at the world rather than a prescription for how to achieve positive change. Kaizen thinkers seek to make small changes to operations daily in search of higher quality, more efficiency, and less waste. But because the concept of Kaizen is so philosophical, it can be a challenge for people new to the idea to understand what it means in practical terms.

Related: What is Kaizen?

One useful tool for training managers to adopt the Kaizen mindset is called the 5 M’s. By consistently examining the 5 M’s, managers will be able to recognize when something in a process is not working and improve efficiency and profitability. This model can be used for risk mitigation, addressing safety issues, and improving quality. It can be used right alongside other Kaizen techniques such as the 5 Whys, 5S, and Gemba walks.

The 5 M’s are:

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership

7 Habits of Highly Effective Kaizen Thinkers

Posted by JJ Puentes

Aug 11, 2020 9:30:00 AM

The practice of Kaizen is not about a particular way of performing business operations or even a specific approach to process improvement. Instead, it is a way of thinking about business operations that can transform how you look at problems and open up new doors to innovation. Kaizen seeks to move operations nearer and nearer to perfection through incremental improvement. Embracing the approach is not only beneficial for organizations, but it can also accelerate the development and help the careers of individual employees as well.

Here are seven ways of thinking that can help you become a champion for positive change.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

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