Facilitating a successful kaizen event requires a sound plan and reasonable expectations. That way we can keep our team on task and be ready to recognize and address challenges as they arise. To assist in these efforts, the following is a recommended schedule for ensuring kaizen event week success.
Just like any event, adequate preparation is a key factor in kaizen event success. Always be sure to allocate sufficient time to prepare for your kaizen event. That said, it’s best to plan kaizen preparation in addition to your actual kaizen event. Our first tool in this effort is a kaizen timeline...
Kaizen events are team efforts requiring participants to perform certain roles. Thus, a key part of kaizen event planning is assigning roles for the kaizen event. In this article we introduce a a few common key kaizen event roles and requirements necessary to ensure a successful kaizen event.
Kaizen events can be used to swiftly improve almost any process that can be observed, measured and changed. Because teams in kaizen events are cross-functional and focused, it is much easier to make changes quickly and optimally at minimal costs to the company.
Kaizen is a lean continuous improvement tool, that literally means to change for the better. Kaizen empowers you to deconstruct processes and develop and implement better versions of those processes. However, before we can effectively apply kaizen, we must firmly understand the "3 gens" or the "3 actuals".
Most of our time should be spent doing value added work. However, if you take a look at the total lead time through value stream you will discover that “Muda” or waste steals a lot of our time. Another thing that a lot of companies do is to try and reduce the overall lead time by making the value add process more efficient. In reality there’s more value in reducing the waste in the process first before worrying about improving the value added steps.
The subject of electronic kanban (eKanban) often triggers deeply polarizing responses in managers. Some people intuitively perceive huge advantages of the concept while others are vehemently opposed to the concept. That said, it's vital for us to define what we mean and don’t mean by eKanban before we proceed…
By definition this is the movement of materials that adds no value to the product. In most cases, transportation waste is thought of as normal in a manufacturing environment. However, it is also evident in an office environment. For example, walking around to get signatures on documents. The excessive filing also leads to the waste of transportation since those files need to be moved from time to time.
In lean, motion refers to any movement of people. The waste of motion is any motion that occurs, which doesn’t add value to the product. Common examples of this in the workplace, include retrieving tools or equipment (including reaching for them), searching for missing information, and exerting effort to lift things from the ground. Any excess motion or effort more than what is required to add value to a product is considered waste.
Over processing occurs anytime more resources are used than truly needed to satisfy customers. Unfortunately, over-processing is one of the most difficult wastes to accurately identify and assess, making it rampant in many organizations.