The Kaizen method aims to maximize production through the constant improvement of the business production apparatus, reducing inefficiencies to increase the company’s competitiveness in the market.
For this reason it has become a reference in marketing today.
It is a compound word from the derivation of two Japanese kanjis, where “KAI” means change or reform and “ZEN” is wisdom or kindness.
This method was created in Japan in the 1950s as a reconstruction attitude after World War II.
Today, modernization and digital transformation have played a fundamental role in the evolution of how it is applied, since techniques are advancing at the pace of technology.
Companies must use different types of digital tools to guarantee good results.
Next, we will talk about what it is, how it works, what its advantages are and what is the best way to apply the Kaizen method. Continue reading!
What is the Kaizen method?
The Kaizen method is a philosophy aimed at seeking improvement: whatever you do, you can always improve it. If you look at it closely it is very similar to the concept of optimization. His great contribution is the methodological issue, the as get these upgrades.
That is why it is widely used in marketing as a management system aimed at continuous improvement of processes, seeking to eliminate bad practices or inefficiencies that reduce the performance of the system in question.
By accumulating small processes of change, it is possible to generate large —and positive— long-term impacts.
Really fascinating, right? Now you should understand how it works in the next section!
How does the Kaizen method work?
This method is based on the constant evolution of the processes that make up the business production system, establishing certain quality standards and constantly measuring the achievements obtained.
In this way, compliance with the continuous improvement process is ensured.
Different elements come into play for the execution of this method:
The five “S” of the Kaizen method
Japanese culture is characterized by its deep philosophical vision of the world, which has resulted in brilliant minds for this time that place Japan as one of the countries where the headquarters of important players From the market.
This method can be interpreted as a strategy to achieve a correct organization and a disciplined work environment to reduce – or eliminate – unproductive times and design, step by step, a better production system.
It is at this moment that the five “S” of the Kaizen method come into play, each word represents a step:
- Seiri: classify between the useful and the useless;
- Seiton: order the useful and decide on the useless;
- Sixiso: maintain order and cleanliness;
- Seiketzu: take care of hygiene and personal cleanliness;
- Sheitzuke: encourage discipline and self-control for better productivity.
The interesting thing about these five “S” is that we can not only apply them in a work environment, but also in our personal lives.
How can you apply the Kaizen method?
Know two simple steps so you can apply this method in general terms:
1. Simplify tasks
The objective is to correctly distribute small tasks that you can achieve day by day to achieve greater effectiveness in your work.
2. Apply the method every day
Basically, it’s about repeating step 1 incessantly to create the habit. For example, if in your daily life you want to start reading books, you cannot dedicate yourself to reading an entire book, on the contrary, you must dedicate yourself to reading a certain amount of time every day, without exception.
Now, a more effective application, you need to know 3 very important tools.
3. Use the Pareto Chart
The Pareto chart is a graph whose purpose is to organize values, either ascending, descending, from lowest to highest or from left to right, with the aim of assigning an order of priorities to facilitate the origin and the reason for failures that affect the production process.
Its operation is based on the 80/20 method, where 80% of the consequences are due to 20% of the actions, in this way, it is an excellent technique to apply to improve our production control plan and comply with Kaizen. .
The use of this tool will help you in the process of classification (Seiri) and organization (Seiton).
4. Build a histogram
Basically, the histogram is the graphical representation of the variables that influence —in this case— the business production process, being able to evaluate the productivity of the variables in question.
Normally, on the abscissa axis (horizontal) are the values of the variables that are the object of study and on the ordinate axis (vertical) are the numerical data or frequencies of each data.
5. Apply the Ishikawa Diagram
The Ishikawa diagram, also Japanese, is a tool used to identify the causes of a problem, analyzing all the factors involved in the execution of a process.
For example, if a company produces a number of defective products, with the use of the Ishikawa diagram you will be able to find the root of the problem, finding the corresponding explanations and reaching solutions.
5 Advantages of the Kaizen Method
The application of this method offers different advantages:
Reduction of waste or residues
By improving their self-management capacity, employees are more productive, therefore, their work generates less waste.
Create leaders in organizations
Faced with self-managed learning, this method develops small leaders within their jobs.
Promotes personal and work values
This method represents a continuous improvement in personal principles that are then transferred to work, creating more efficient and committed workers.
Create positive and constructive habits
Workers create a work habit of the work they do, which makes them develop their work skills without even being aware of it, increasing their commitment to work.
With more efficient and committed workers, it is possible to perfect the production process, which reduces costs and increases product quality, improving the company’s competitiveness in the market.
We are done!
To conclude, it is clear that the application of the Kaizen method seeks work excellence through its management of continuous improvement, which does not require workers to immediately meet a macro objective, on the contrary, its methodology requires compliance with small objectives in order to achieve greater productivity in their functions.
You already understood what the Kaizen method is all about, it’s time to put it into practice! For this, I invite you to download our FREE template in which you can record your SMART goals, another tool that will be very useful to you. Study it and apply it!