What is Kaizen ?

Kaizen or Continuous Improvement

Kaizen – Change – Kai – to become Good – Zen

Improving quality management in any business is not a one-off process, but is the continuous examination and improvement of existing business processes. This process is often referred to as ‘Kaizen’, with certain authors explaining Japan’s competitive success in the world market place as the result of the implementation of the Kaizen concept in many Japanese corporations.Kaizen looks for uninterrupted, ongoing incremental change.

In other words, there is always room for improvement and we should all be continuously trying to become better. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone – managers and workers alike. Kaizen can be implemented by improving every aspect of a business process in a step by step approach, while gradually developing employee skills through training education and increased involvement. For us that means working together with our clients (and our own team) to achieve greater success.

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The principles of Kaizen’s continual improvement are:

  • People are the most important organisational asset
  • Processes should evolve by gradual agreed improvement rather than radical change
  • Improvement should be based on evaluation of process performance
  • Resources, measurements, rewards, and incentives all need to be aligned, for everyone
  • A philosophy of continuous improvement allows changing customer needs to be met
  • Kaizen enables new technologies to be introduced, successfully
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