Introduction:Originated in Japan about 70 years ago in automobile plants, Kaizen is defined as a continual effort by each and every member to confirm improvement of all activities and systems of a specific organization. The Japanese word “kaizen” means “improvement” or “to do something better”.By developing standardized plans and procedures, kaizen intends to eliminate waste, improve quality, achieve efficiency and reduce worktime waste. It focuses on improving the process rather than achieving certain results. Kaizen is based on the belief that everything can be improved and nothing is status quo. Every individual, from the CEO down to the assembly line worker or the janitor, are encouraged to contribute by combining small improvements and these short improvements ultimately result a monumental improvement for the entire organization. As a result, employees are always open to changes as a part of improvement.Kaizen philosophy is one of the reasons behind many Japanese manufacturing companies’ efficiency, and business organizations from the USA and other countries are also adopting this business philosophy day by day. History:After World War II, to help restore Japan, American occupation forces brought in American experts to help with the rebuilding of Japanese industry. The Civil Communications Section (CCS) developed a Management Training Program that taught statistical control methods as part of the overall material. This course was developed and taught by Homer Sarasohn and Charles Protzman in 1949 and 1950. Sarasohn recommended William Deming for further training in Statistical Methods. The Economic and Scientific Section (ESS) group was also tasked with improving Japanese management skills and Edgar McVoy is instrumental in bringing Lowell Mellen to Japan to properly install the Training Within Industry (TWI) programs in 1951. Prior to the arrival of Mellen in 1951, the ESS group had a training film done to introduce the three TWI “J” programs (Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations)- the film was titled “Improvement in 4 Steps” (Kaizen eno Yon Dankai). This is the original introduction of “Kaizen” to Japan. For the pioneering, introducing, and implementing Kaizen in Japan, the Emperor of Japan awarded the Second Order Medal of the Sacred Treasure to Dr. Deming in 1960.In the early 1950s, Kaizen was first introduced in Japan by Toyota manufacturing plant. Kaizen has led most of the company from a defeated wartime nation to one of the strongest industrialized countries in the world.Page 1of 6
The 5 Main Elements of Kaizen:1. Team Work:The first element is teamwork. In the corporate or business set up, there is a needfor all employees to work as a team towards the common goal of achieving the desired improvement on production.