Kaizen is both a methodology and a philosophy that is prominent in the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing. Kaizen is a Japanese term roughly translating to mean continuous improvement. When companies practice the philosophy of Kaizen in their workplace, they are focused on making small incremental improvements daily.
Workers from all levels should be involved, especially those working on the frontline. They are the experts at their job function and processes and can identify those small improvements and changes can usually be made in the same work day. Even if nothing seems broken in a process there is always room for improvement!
Aside from practicing daily Kaizen, companies can also hold periodic Kaizen events. These are events that involve a selected team of people working together to accomplish a specific goal. Events are usually short term and have a set start and end date. The most effective practice of Kaizen however, is to use a balance of both daily Kaizen and Kaizen events.
Have you tried implementing Kaizen and the idea of continuous improvement? How did it work? Let us know in the discussion how your experience was and some tips you may give to a Kaizen newcomer.