Look I know you’ve heard this word a million times:
In fact, everyone and their mother’s heard of it
You’ve heard your boss talk “synergy” and throw this little phrase into the mix
The secret buzzword of the productivity industry.
But what is Kaizen?
And why is every project manager this side of Silicon Valley trying to implement its practices?
Let’s take a look:
The Meaning of Kaizen
Well first, let’s take a look at the word itself –
Kaizen (改善): Two Japanese words meaning “Change for the Better”.
A great sentiment: But what’s it got to do with maximizing your workflow?
Well aside from the strict Japanese meaning, Kaizen has grown to be a subset of business thought based on minimizing waste and maximizing production.
Kaizen refers to activities that continually improve the functions of all employees.
All of them.
From the head honcho CEO to the out-of-breath intern holding 4 coffee cups – All of them
So that’s great but how do you use Kaizen to maximize your workflow?
How do you take advantage of Kaizen to cut costs in your business?
And most importantly – how do you teach it to make sure you never get the wrong coffee cup again?
Good questions. We’re here to answer them:
Using Kaizen to Optimize Your Workflow Progress
In a study supported by the National Science Foundation at Oregon State University and Virginia Tech, work teams were measured over the course of a five-day workshop to prove Kaizen effectiveness.
The resulting improvements of the Kaizen events were tangible across each team and every industry.
So how do you implement these strategies in your team and your niche?
The beginning processes of Kaizen are often more mental than physical. Proper coordination on the individual level to the organizational level is in order.
Identify areas of improvement you’d like to get better at across the board.
Person to person and within the organization, use priority and rationale for supporting the kaizen events that will have the most impact.
Enable this time to also establish the scope of the intended outcomes of these events.
Focus on a specific function/action once you’ve defined and planned for it. The 4 process areas included in implementation are:
1.) Preparing for the event
2.) Executing the event
3.) Conducting Follow-up actions
4.) Deploying improvements more broadly following the event
Sustaining an good practice should and can be a long term goal.
This part of the Kaizen process includes performance reviews, dissemination of results, feedback on lessons, and standardization of improvements.
This includes employee training and education, kaizen event program management, and employee motivation.
Use Kaizen and Boost Productivity
Kaizen can be a powerful mindset if done correctly. Whatever you do, maximizing your abilities and skill sets can be an important point to strive for.
Using Kaizen can look differently in each industry but it is definitely worth trying to figure it out
So how do you use Kaizen specifically in your situation or niche?
We’re cooking up a series hot and fresh out the kitchen on targeting exactly where your industry could improve on productivity.
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