Kaizen refers to betterment and continuous improvement in any area of process like manufacturing, business, nursing, management, etc. There are two elements of Kaizen: improvement and continuity. Successful implementation of this technique requires the contribution of all the workers in an organization. Every member has to be the asset of the organization. The use of Kaizen techniques leads an organization to sustain in this globalized world, improve customer service, work smarter but not harder, improve productivity and quality, be effective and efficient in all its processes and be the best in its industry. Here, the improvement is long-term, continuous and gradual and requires participation of all members in an organization.
Following is the tactic of Kaizen Techniques:
While solving a problem to eliminate the barrier in improvement
- Find the area of dispute or problem.
- Identify the root cause behind the problem; analyze the problem and its overall impact on the organizational performance.
- Determine its frequency and antecedents and consequences prior to any intervention.
- Carryout a functional analysis of the problem. Remember 4Ms, i.e. Man, Machine, Material and Method. Determine what can be the solution to the problem from 4Ms.
- Formulate an effective intervention strategy, develop and adopt it. In this current situation of world, change is the only constant. Small changes lead to big changes with continuous passage of time. In order to formulate an effective intervention strategy, start from simple and quick techniques to solve a problem as such strategy will not be resisted and the results will be achieved quickly.
- Evaluate the efficacy of the intervention strategy. See the results of the strategy adopted. There is no perfect solution to a problem. What we can do is to find better and better solution. So this is a continuous process as improvement in a system is always possible.
Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Action Cycle is an excellent strategy of Kaizen Techniques which is as follows:
Plan what is required. Have clear definition and analysis of problem. Identify the root causes of the problem and determine how to solve and handle it. Establish your strategy and setup your objectives.
Do assignment of resource allocation and responsibilities to facilitate the improvement process. Develop and deliver direct instructions according to planning.
Check, assess, evaluate, monitor and measure whether the process can be improved with the help of available resources and technology adopted. If so, then go to first step otherwise move to next step.
Act to get the greatest benefits by the implementation of changes on larger scale.
To make the most of Kaizan technique, following points must be kept in mind:
- Commitment from top management is essential.
- Allocate tasks to individuals, teams, and departments at different levels.
- There must be synchronization among all departments of the organization.
- Opinions of juniors should be encouraged as this leads to creativity and improvement in current process as well as motivation and dedication from juniors.
- Ensure the project does not result in job losses
- Believe in your staff and have determined team members.
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