[pic]Concept of Kaizen Meaning / Definition
UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF KAIZEN PART ONE
“Kaizen” is a Japanese word, “kai” means “change” and “zen” means “good or better”– “change for the better” or “Continuous Improvement.”
The 1993 edition of the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary recognized the word Kaizen as an English word. The dictionary defines Kaizen as “continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc., as a business philosophy.”
The basic concept of Kaizen is to innovate to meet requirements and increase productivity. Kaizen talks about small, incremental steps towards perfection as opposed to the big bang approach which may need big investments.
The origin of Kaizen can be traced to the quality Guru Dr. W Edwards Deming but it was Masaki Imai who popularized the concept of Kaizen to become a revolution around the world. According to Imai, 90% of all corporate problems can be solved using common sense and following the concept of continuous improvement.
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Continuous improvement can be implemented as a program, but it yields its greatest rewards to companies that adopt it as a philosophy. Imai defines Kaizen as “a means of continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. At the workplace, Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone—managers and workers alike. The Kaizen business strategy involves everyone in an organization working together to make improvements without large capital investments.” (Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success)
THE PRINCIPLE OF KAIZEN WORKS ON THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
o Eliminate “Muda” – “Muda” in Japanese means “waste” or “non value adding activity”. Waste reduction is an effective way of increasing profitability. For example - reduction of wait time for ‘design sign-off’. Organizations employ their staff for specific skills that they may have. These employees might have...