My post is related with the theme of my slide for this week´s class. I was really looking forwards to hearing and reading something related with lean production as I don´t know much about it and I found it really interesting. Moreover, nowadays almost every big company puts in practice its principles.
The word Kaizen(改善) means “good Change” in Japanese. However it is usually used to talk about a variety of techniques or methods which are implemented to improve manufacturing operations. It appeared around the 1950´s and developed in the TPS (Toyota Production System).
Kaizen is the theoretical philosophy and the Kaizen Events are the way of making this real. The main issue of a Kaizen Event is the time. The difference between Kaizen and other events is timing. Kaizen by definition is small changes for the better. Today, Kaizen events are known to have the results implemented before the conclusion of the event. It is considered so as a rapidly improvement or accelerated improvement workshop. The aim of the Kaizen Event is not to generate a great change in the company, but to make an improvement. The addition of these improvements will then generate big advantages for the organization. A Kaizen Event can be developed both individually or in groups.
We can define some basic rules for a Kaizen Event:
- No rank between team members
- Keep an open-mind to change
- Respect each other.
- Plans are only good if they can be implemented.
- There is no substitute for hard work
- Just do it!
The process can be developed following these steps:
- Define the problem and document the current situation.
- Visualize the ideal situation
- Brainstorm solutions.
- Develop the plan and implement it.
- Measure and compare results.
The following video shows you a practical example of a Kaizen Event.
– Syverson, N. (2001). Kaizen: Continuing to improve. Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, 62(2), 16-18.
– Glover, W. J., Farris, J. A., & Van Aken, E. M. (2014). Kaizen Events: Assessing the Existing Literature and Convergence of Practices. Engineering Management Journal, 26(1).