Kaizen Philosophy as Your Business' Approach for Continuous Processes Improvement

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Navigation: All Balanced Scorecard Articles > Kaizen

The Kaizen philosophy is a well known viewpoint in Japan. Today, several businesses have utilized the method in order to attract continuous incremental improvements on their processes. Check additional information about Kaizen philosophy.

The kaizen methodology is originally from the Japanese in which this promotes continuous increasing improvements. According to its founders, this is a management concept that focuses on gradual changes or improvement. This is actually a path of life philosophy wherein the user will have to assume that everything in our life should be consistently improved. Understanding the Kaizen philosophy is the key towards mastering this technique. In reality, kaizen is not only used in businesses but can also be utilized in our daily lives. However, this is more applied on companies specifically to every employee in the company. This is where the managers believe that change starts in the individuals first before the organization will be able to experience the whole effect.

There are many concepts in the Kaizen philosophy and these include labor relations, small group activities and total quality control. In order for this to work, there is a need to apply the kaizen manner which consists of effort, quality, the willingness to change, involvement and communication between every worker within the enterprise. The Japanese companies strongly accept the difference between innovation and kaizen as true. In the first one, innovation is all about radical change whereas kaizen is for continuous change.

The foundation of the Kaizen philosophy consists of five important elements which are teamwork, quality circles, personal discipline, suggestions for improvement and improved morale. When you put together these elements, you get three kaizen factors. The first one is the elimination of waste as well as inefficiency. In every business, it is inevitable that there are wasteful processes that should be removed. However, you will not be able to get rid of them if you do not know what they are. What you need to do is to observe your workplace and look at all the processes, the equipment, the materials and every other aspect that might not contribute to the prosperity of the company.

The second factor is for the kaizen framework which makes it an excellent system for housekeeping. These are tidiness (seiri), cleanliness (seiso), orderliness (seiton), discipline (shitsuke) and standardized clean up (seiketsu). As you can see they are also derived from the Japanese but right now several American companies have chosen to implement these housekeeping kaizen frameworks into their business particularly to their offices. The final factor is standardization, which seals the consistency of the Kaizen philosophy. You will need to carry out small changes within the organization but you have to bear in mind that it should be constant and done regularly. After all, this is what kaizen is all about - to promote continuous incremental improvement win the business.

You might wonder when you should use kaizen as your business management system. The truth is there is no particular moment as to when you should start using the Kaizen philosophy. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that kaizen fits well in situations that require incremental changes especially long term ones. Collective cultures often utilize this philosophy than their individual counterparts because the latter type of society typically provides more focus on short term success.

If you are interested in Kaizen philosophy, check this link to find out more about Kaizen philosophy. Also, you can check other articles in Kaizen category.


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