The philosophy of working and self-improvement is called Kaizen, so that we can always do better with the desire to achieve perfection.
Feeded by Japanese traditions, Kaizen was developed according to lifestyle and adapted to the business world and then spread all over the world. The improvement in Kaizen’s philosophy focuses not on the outcome. Kaizen offers small but steady steps to achieve better. This results in long-term results. However, the business world of the West focuses on moving fast and getting quick results. Increasing competition, especially with globalization, rapidly changing technology and increasing customer expectations require faster action.
Although Kaizen is not a result-oriented process, it should be kept in mind that improvements in the process will affect the outcome. Considering the continuity of process-oriented improvement, we can accept that this improvement will be permanent and effective. In this way, the employees can see and understand the effects of the work they are doing and the process they carry out on the result more clearly. This increases participation and motivates employees. Continuous Improvement: Kaizen
Kaizen’s main objective is to enable companies to do better, faster and more costly work. All problems that hinder access to these objectives should be found and eliminated. Therefore, the first Kaizen principle to be acquired is to recognize that there are problems. Problems are not to live, but to unravel. In other words, there can be no improvement in the place where there is no problem. The first step in solving problems is to accept them and make them visible. However, the process is not completed by solving the problem. It is necessary to take the necessary measures to ensure that the solution is reinforced and standardized and not to happen again.
Since Kaizen is an improvement approach, the changes that require very large investments and that require everything from the beginning do not take place in this process. Therefore, studies such as great breakthroughs, inventions or the application of technological innovations are not addressed in Kaizen’s philosophy. Instead, it is necessary to target developments that will be achieved with less costly, demanding, pluralistic participation.
In Kaizen philosophy, man is very important. First of all, the human being is defined as the element that will solve the problem, not as one of the causes of the problem. People are expected to contribute to the solution of the problem rather than blaming each other, regardless of their duties and titles. Continuous improvement is the task of all employees, not only of the quality circle members. First, people should take care of their problems and find solutions to these problems in order to address organizational problems. If there are internal problems, it should be assumed that the existing problems are everyone’s problem and everyone is responsible for the problem. In this respect, it is not an issue in a company managed with the principles of Kaizen, which is unclear because everyone will have the problem.
Kaizen is human oriented, but should not be a, super odak employee who thinks, plans and implements these improvements. Kaizen denies individual work, underlining that all activities must be done with a team work. The team’s understanding of the Kaizen philosophy and the use of techniques makes it possible for everyone to gain the ability to solve problems after a while.
Kaizen application process consists of four main steps;
- In this step the goals of recovery are determined. When determining a target, economic gains should not be targeted. Keep in mind that the goal is not more profit, but more quality.
- The choice should be made as simple as possible, with little investment.
- A team should be formed. Kaizen teams may be between two and four persons depending on the size of the targets. More than one team at the same time the company is expected to work on different topics.
- Metrics are then determined for the measurements that should be improved. It is not possible to say that the problems have been solved or improvement has been made without the necessary measurements. Continuous Improvement: Kaizen
- The resources needed for the team created for Kaizen should be provided.
- The team analyzes the current situation using different analysis methods (such as five causes, cause and effect diagram, brain storming, pareto analysis), finds the root cause of the problem and plans improvements to be made.
- In the planning phase, improvement works are implemented.
- The plan needs to be fully implemented.
- Data is collected at every step taken.
- If the planned improvement works cannot be carried out, the planning phase is returned.
- Kaizen team is following the application results to determine how much the targets have been reached and whether there is any deviation.
- Deviations between the target and the occurrence must be within the pre-defined limits. If the deviation is too much, the planning phase is returned.
- The recovered amount must be reported to the top management
- Make sure that the improvement is permanent.
- Therefore, the measures taken should be standardized and applied to the entire company. To achieve this, every employee in the company must be trained and informed to ensure that they are fully performed.
- If necessary, checkpoints can be added to the process to ensure continuity of improvement.