Six Sigma Tools - KAIZEN


kaizen meaning

Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. Kaizen was initially launched to the West by Masaaki Imai in his e-book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in 1986. Immediately Kaizen is acknowledged worldwide as a necessary pillar of a company’s long-term aggressive technique. Kaizen is the continuous improvement that's primarily based on sure guiding rules:

  • Good processes convey good outcomes
  • See for yourself to know the present state of affairs
  • Communicate with knowledge, handle by info
  • Take action to comprise and proper root causes of issues
  • Work as a crew
  • Kaizen is all people’s enterprise And way more!

Some of the notable options of kaizen are that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. Nevertheless, this has been misunderstood to imply that kaizen equals small modifications. The truth is, kaizen means everybody concerned in making enhancements. Whereas the vast majority of adjustments could also be small, the best effect could also be kaizens which can be led by the senior administration as transformational initiatives, or by cross-functional groups as kaizen events.


Kaizen is an element action plan and half philosophy.

As an action plan, Kaizen is about organizing occasions targeted on bettering particular areas throughout the firm. These occasions contain groups of staff in any respect ranges, with a particularly robust emphasis on involving plant flooring workers

As a philosophy, Kaizen is about constructing a tradition the place all staff is actively engaged in suggesting and implementing enhancements to the corporate. In really lean corporations, it turns into a pure mindset for each manager and plant flooring workers.

continuous improvement

Kaizen works hand-in-hand with Standardized Work. Standardized Work captures the present greatest practices for a course of, and Kaizen goals to seek out enhancements for these processes. Word the emphasis on present; Standardized Work resides documentation (it frequently evolves by Kaizen).


  • A typical Kaizen occasion goes one thing like this:
  • Set targets and supply any mandatory background.
  • Evaluation the present state and develop a plan for enhancements.
  • Implement enhancements.
  • Overview and repair what doesn’t work.
  • Report outcomes and decide any follow-up gadgets.

One of these cycle is regularly known as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, and Act). PDCA brings a scientific strategy to creating enhancements:

  • Plan (develop a speculation)
  • Do (run experiment)
  • Check (consider outcomes)
  • Act (refine your experiment; then begin a brand new cycle)


Apparently, Kaizen as an action plan is precisely what develops Kaizen as a philosophy. When Kaizen is utilized as an action plan via a constant and sustained program of profitable Kaizen occasions, it teaches staff to suppose in a different way about their work. In different phrases, the constant software of Kaizen as an action plan creates great long-term worth by growing the tradition that's wanted for really efficient steady enhancement.

Six Sigma and Kaizen

Six Sigma, or DMAIC, can assist in filling the gap that Kaizen (because it tends to be utilized in lots of organizations outdoors of Toyota) fails to deal with. Six Sigma isn't a choice to Lean and doesn't essentially domesticate a studying tradition. It's efficient in supplying the analytical self-discipline and rigor essential to totally perceive the character of processes and issues. Six Sigma is a structured, knowledge pushed method to fixing issues. Six Sigma will not be a set of statistical instruments, and it isn't a bureaucratic, stage-gate strategy to managing tasks, though these options typically are hallmarks of profitable Six Sigma deployments. Six Sigma is a mindset, and the outcomes of the strategy can yield a spectrum of enhancement selections based mostly on the stability of worth and threat. The enhancements can vary from frequent and fast, low-risk actions addressing apparent alternatives; to Kaizen event-like crew efforts addressing root causes based mostly on information; to protracted tasks that require evaluation and administration by way of the DMAIC undertaking cycle. The determine beneath exhibits the spectrum of the mission/danger relationship.

Asking what an organization needs to be taught versus leaping to conclusions. The Six Sigma way of thinking, through DMAIC, offers rigor and minimizes poor decisions by:

  • Discovering processes and necessities
  • Gathering the suitable details and information
  • Characterizing root trigger using y = f (x)
  • Innovating resolution options and selecting the right
  • Controlling outcomes and verifying worth
  • Standardizing and leveraging greatest practices

The collective perception of the project team, combined with analytical instruments and a wide range of risk-management instruments like MSA (measurement system evaluation) and FMEA (failure mode and results evaluation), assist cut back the chance of sub-optimal selections within the DMAIC course of. With out the even-handed software of some subset of those instruments, Kaizen occasions are merely a method much like the much less profitable Complete High-quality Administration approaches that originally pressured the evolution of Six Sigma.