We have already analyzed and discussed Kaizen in this blog, we have gone through its benefits and results as well as given account of how and how well it work in different companies. Today we want to discuss a different method for implementing Kaizen in a fast way, allowing to see results in short term so you can have an idea of what long term Kaizen may benefit you. The plan we suggest today is a five day plan, that will help you company understand better the Kaizen system and dispel doubts about how it works.
As you know Kaizen works around small improvement, that when accumulated give bigger changes to the company, reducing production problems and augmenting the success of the production process and therefore the income overall. Before starting a Kaizen event, you should make some preparations, this way it can go smoothly and you will make the most out of it. First you have to make a little bit of research and get some necessary data, this data will be necessary to plan your goals. Getting the data is a really important step, as it can define whether the Kaizen event is successful or not. This will also help you know your results as you will have something to compare them to, and have a better understanding of how the Kaizen event worked for the company.
Day One: During this day, the participants of the Kaizen event will be trained and will be informed of how the event is going to take place. During this step you have to make a plan and draft, based on the data mentioned before, about how you are going to tackle the problem. Employees will be given their roles, they should receive Kaizen training for about one or two hours and though this may appear to be an small amount of time for learning about kaizen, it should be enough as most Kaizen tools are intuitive and should be practices, not studied. At the end of the day you should start a diary where you will add all the things that were solved during the day.
Day Two: During day two, you have to analyze the data and identify the problems that are causing waste. After identifying this problems you have to make a list and by analyzing each and every one of the goals you should give priority to some of them. This process is really important, as it will be needed for day three and it will be needed for the company to know exactly what is causing the problems in production.
Day Three: In day three you have to plan and identify solutions for the critical problems of the manufacturing process. You have to know how these problems are causing waste, something you should have identified in the second day, the success of said day will have a direct impact on how day three works out. A good day two process will make the finding solutions step much easier and faster, so do not take it likely as it can save you hours of work in day three.
Day Four: This day is probably the most exhaustive one, it will require that you make sure all your equipment is in optimal conditions. You will have to make full maintenance to all your machines, while trying to keep the impact on the manufacturing operation minimal. Try rearranging, cleaning and enhanced all the machines, checking all the documentation and also training the operators so you can try the new pilot of the process. You have to collect the data of the pilot, so you can compare it to the data that you got before, this way you will measure the impact of your work and the overall success of the kaizen event.
Day Five: In day five, you will be able to launch the full scale operation, changing the older and flawed methods with the newly discovered ones. Check that every part of the documentation is in order so there are no legal problems in the company. After this, a full report will not be necessary as the diary you started in day one will give all the data and evidence you would need to define whether the Kaizen event really succeeded or not, though most of the times it won’t be even necessary as the results should be able to be seen in plain sight. Remember to pay careful attention to the solutions and methods you develop during the event as they may be helpful for the future.
Remember to follow me on Twitter as David Kiger @david_kiger, I post constant updates on business and management that may be useful for you and your company. Also if you liked the idea of Kaizen and want to read some more about it you should check this other article about three excellent companies and how they apply Kaizen in the real world.