The Beginners Guide To Kaizen – Get started with this guide to Kaizen and its principles

Follow the links to see all 4 parts of this guide and download the ebook
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Kaizen is a process to improve processes and systems within your business continuously. This guide will show you the basics of Kaizen, which will help you and your business run more efficiently. Here’s how to get started.
This guide is for people who have never heard of Kaizen before and want to learn more about it.
What is Kaizen, and why should you care?
Kaizen refers to a strategy where employees at all company levels work together regularly in an ongoing effort to achieve incremental improvements. Kaizen is a continuous process that can help create a powerful engine for progress. It combines the collective talents within the company. Kaizen events should always align with your strategic goals.
Kaizen, meaning change for the better, is a Japanese business philosophy applied to any kind of business. It is a process that aims to improve processes and systems within your business continuously. Kaizen is not a “one and done” process but rather a way of constantly improving processes and procedures. Kaizen is an ongoing process that will help your business to run better. The Kaizen philosophy is not just a buzzword or an unexpected way to improve your business. Kaizen comes from the Japanese culture and is a natural part of their culture. The kaizen philosophy has been used in Japanese culture for centuries.
As you can see, Kaizen, or continual improvement, has been around for a very long time. It was coined in the business context by Dr Masaaki Imai in his book The Mind of Lean. He defined Kaizen as “The process of achieving quality through small incremental improvements over an extended period of time”. In other words, if you want to improve your business and make sure that it is continuously improving, then you need to be doing Kaizen!
The first principle of the Three Principles of Management is “Continuous Improvement”. In this article, we will discuss how you can apply these principles at work. We’ll also look at some examples of what it looks like when people use them independently.
• But what does this mean?
• How do we go about implementing Kaizen into our businesses?
• And how can we measure its success?
Let me start with some definitions:
What Is Continuous Improvement/Continual Improvement?
Continuous improvement is simply making changes regularly – whether they are big or small. There is a focus on small change with Kaizen and Continuous Improvement; however, the techniques can be used to address more extensive or more radical change also but maybe best to take those on after your teams have learnt by doing several projects.
It’s about doing things differently, and it can be as simple as changing the way you do something to make your business more efficient. It could also mean taking an entirely new approach to help you achieve better results in less time.
The critical thing with continuous improvement is implementing change and measuring what happens after implementing those improvements. You need the impact before deciding whether to keep going down this path.
If you don’t measure anything, then how can you tell if you have made progress? If you want to improve your sales performance, for example, one of the best ways to find out if you are improving is by tracking your monthly sales figures over some time. This data gives you some idea of where you stand compared to other businesses selling similar products/services.
Most modern organizations have either a continuous improvement approach or are seeking ongoing process improvement, intending to deliver a Kaizen culture in their organizations. Whatever process improvement method you are using, a kaizen culture is positive for an improvement project.
What is Lean?
Lean has been around for a long time. It was first introduced in the Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno, who developed it to improve its manufacturing processes. The TPS aims to enhance quality and reduce costs through continuous improvements. In other words, lean focuses on eliminating waste from production systems, although the philosophy is relevant to all processes. Waste is anything that does not add value or improve efficiency.

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