Kaizen: The power of continuous improvement

The Kaizen concept comes from the Japanese word for “continuous improvement”. Widely considered to be one of the foundational pillars of Lean philosophy, the concept honors the journey towards continuous improvement, as opposed to simply reaching the destination. Implementing Kaizen means striving to create a company culture where every employee is involved in the organization’s growth and development. When employees are engaged at every level of the organization, a powerful driving force is created that continuously propels development forward. 

Kaizen: a philosophy and approach 

  • Kaizen as an approach focuses on finding specific areas of improvement and working on them. The goal is to engage employees at all levels to be active participants within the company and contribute by sharing ways that the company can improve.
  • The philosophy is about creating a positive company culture where every employee has an active stake in the development of the business. The core idea is that a lot of small changes over time lead to big improvements in the company.  

In a nutshell, Kaizen is meant to help companies utilize resources, increase productivity and get the most out of their journey toward improvement, both on an individual employee level and a company level. Improving your business is no different from lifting weights. It’s impossible to lift the heaviest weight at the first attempt; however, if you train consistently, you’ll become stronger and stronger every day. Likewise, a lot of small improvements over time turn into huge improvements in the business. 

Implementing Kaizen

There are several different methods within Kaizen that can be implemented to your business. For example, the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) and RCA (Root Cause Analysis) methods. 

PDCA is an incredible tool for understanding and improving business. This tool is symbolized by a cycle consisting of the following steps: 

  1. Identify an area of improvement, analyze the root causes, set up a plan with goals, and possible solutions.
  2. Implement the solutions. 
  3. Find out if everything went as planned or, in other words, whether or not the goal was achieved. Potentially implementing new solutions.
  4. Reflect and standardize the results. Start a new improvement cycle.  

Another way to use Kaizen is to conduct a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) following the “Five Whys” method.  As the method’s name suggests, you ask “why” as many times as necessary until you get to the root cause of the problem. For example:

  1. Why was I late to work?
    I overslept.
  2. Why did you do that?
    My alarm clock didn’t go off.
  3. Why didn’t it go off?
    I didn’t set it correctly.
  4. Why?
    I just bought the alarm clock, and I didn’t understand the written instruction guide.
  5. How could the problem be prevented?
    Through a more visual instruction guide. 

Kaizen with Mevisio

The traditional Kaizen concept focuses on improving efficiency based on what can be seen with the “naked eye”. However, you can take it a step further by implementing Kaizen digitally with Mevisio. In today’s digital world, there are endless amounts of data that you can use to improve production, and it would be a waste not to use it. 

With our boards, you can clearly visualize, analyze, and track all the stages in your production line in real-time. This enables you to recognize potential “bottlenecks” early on and prevent them, so you can resolve a problem before it arises. Your managers can track the teams’ progress and delegate improvement tasks wherever needed. The boards also make it easier than ever for teams to share information, report problems, and suggest ideas on how to develop the business. All that makes using the PDCA and RCA methods both effective and streamlined. Discover all of the advantages for yourself. Mevisio makes your journey towards continuous improvement a walk in the park.  

How does Mevisio make PDCA easier?

  • With Mevisio, identifying areas of improvement is quick and easy thanks to the many features, such as studying visual data from the production line or incorporating feedback from your teams.   
  • Using the boards, managers can quickly share their priorities with the improvement teams.
  • Managers can then track the teams’ work and change priorities based on the results.
  • The ability to see results in a clear presentation makes it easy to review and prepare for the next improvement cycle.

How does Mevisio make RCA easier?

  • Teams can easily flag when a problem occurs.
  • Managers can quickly find out when an incident occurred.
  • Boards display potential root causes, for example, if someone is out sick. 

With Mevisio, you can clearly visualize your company goals, as well as the feedback from employees to help achieve those goals. By visualizing things like accidents, quality issues, or delivery delays in your daily operations management, you can quickly and efficiently take measures to ensure that the incidents never happen again.

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