A common misconception is that the kaizen event ends with the actual event. Many find it a surprise that there are post-event activities following a kaizen event that is necessary to ensure the kaizen event’s success. In fact, the two to three weeks following the event week are designated for post-event activities meant to serve that exact purpose.
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...
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.
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.