KAIZEN Continuous Improvement
KAIZEN Teams are created based on the following principles:
• KAIZEN Teams manage complete processes
• KAIZEN Teams aim to improve strategic indicators
• They use a structured methodology for solving problems, PDCA cycle type, with the basic principle of rapid implementation
• Business processes to improve are defined
• They are trained to “hunt” MUDA (Non Added Value) within the agreed Business processes
• They are taught a methodology type "Value Stream Mapping" or similar to visualize processes and compare Value vs No Value
• Identify the corrective actions that eliminate the ultimate cause of this Non-Value detected, via tools such as "5 whys", cause-effect diagram, etc.
• They implement the identified corrective actions as quickly as possible
• They elevate the experiences of those pilot implementations to the category of new standard immediately (which closes the PDCA cycle)
Continuous improvement is based on the PDCA cycle, its stages are:
• Plan what to do and how
- The objectives and processes to be developed during the project are established. Considering what is required to improve, information gathering, process times, tests, etc.
• Do what was planned
- Carry out what is planned, implement new actions and collect information for the next stages
• Check if what was planned was achieved
- Carry out tests with the data collection and verify if the specified objectives have been met and carry out a final evaluation
• Act on the results
- Based on the results, verify the data obtained and make improvements if errors are detected or interrupt the process and reprogram a new one
Process improvement serves as a starting point for the beginning of a Six Sigma strategy.