Monday, August 6, 2012
By Al Norval, I often run across organizations that have adopted a kaizen workshop methodology to problem solving. They follow good standards for 5 day kaizen with good problem definition, good process descriptions and well trained teams. And they generally make great improvements in their processes and achieve excellent results. While this is admirable, they are missing out on much of the power of kaizen. That’s not to say we don’t need to run kaizen workshops, of course we do, but we need to do more. We need to find a way to engage all of our Team Members in making improvement every day. In the words of Taiichi Ohno “Every day a little bit higher” Slow and steady, relentless continuous improvement. This is the true spirit of kaizen. Team Members making small improvements and solving small problems every day. While kaizen workshops are great for solving larger problems, there are many more small problems we face every day. Rather than ignore them or develop short term workarounds for them, I’d suggest a better process is to solve them through engaging Team Members in Quick & Easy Kaizen.