Understand what the Kaizen method is and what the benefits are for the company – WAU

The Kaizen method is a corporate management system that aims to provide methodological guidance for the continuous improvement of an organization’s processes.

The Kaizen method aims to achieve maximum production, constantly improve the productive apparatus of the business and reduce inefficiencies. In this way, it is possible to increase the company’s competitiveness in the market. For this reason, nowadays, it is a reference methodology in marketing.

This method was created in the 1950s in Japan, aiming at the reconstruction of the country after the Second World War. The word is made up of the derivation of two Japanese Kanji, where “KAI” means change or reform, while “ZEN” is wisdom or kindness.

Currently, modernization and digital transformation have played a fundamental role in the evolution of the application of this method, as the techniques advance in pace with technology.

Companies must invest in different digital tools to guarantee good results. In this sense, Kaizen method can be of great help to understand this new universe. Keep reading to learn more!

In this article you will see:

What is the Kaizen method?

The Kaizen method is a philosophy aimed at seeking improvements: whatever you do, it is always possible to improve it. In many ways, it is a methodology very similar to the concept of optimization. Its great contribution comes from a methodological issue, showing how to achieve these improvements.

For this reason, it is widely used in marketing as a management system aimed at the continuous improvement of processes. Through this method, it is possible to eliminate bad practices or inefficiencies that reduce the performance of the system in question or an organization.

Through the accumulation of small change processes, large – and positive – impacts can be generated in the long run. Really fascinating, isn’t it? In the next section, you understand how it all works!

How does the Kaizen method work?

This method is based on constant evolution of the processes that integrate a commercial production system, through the creation of certain quality standards and constant measurement. In this way, compliance with the continuous improvement process is guaranteed. Different elements come into play for the implementation of this method. Check out!

The five “S” of the Kaizen method

Japanese culture is characterized by its deep philosophical view of the world. This resulted in brilliant minds and placed Japan as one of the host countries for 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 to design, step by step, a better production system.

It is at this moment that the five “S” of the Kaizen method come into play:

  • seiri: sort between useful and useless;
  • seiton: order the useful and decide on the useless;
  • six: maintain order and cleanliness;
  • seiketzu: take care of hygiene, both the environment and personnel;
  • sheitzuke: promote discipline and self-control to improve productivity.

The interesting thing about these five “S” is that we can apply them in a work environment, but also in our personal lives.

How can you apply the Kaizen method?

Learn two simple steps to help you apply this method.

Simplify tasks

The goal is correctly distribute small tasks that you can do every day to achieve greater efficiency in your work.

Apply the method every day

Reproduce the first step 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 should dedicate yourself to reading a certain amount of time every day, without exception.

To apply the method more effectively, you need to know three very important tools.

Use the Pareto diagram

The Pareto diagram is a graph whose purpose is to organize values. It can be ascending, descending, from the smallest to the largest or from left to right; the important thing is to assign an order of priorities to facilitate the origin and the reason for the 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. Thus, it is an excellent technique to be applied to improve a production control plan and comply with the Kaizen execution.

Using this tool will help you in the classification process (seiri) and organization (seiton).

Assemble a histogram

The histogram is the graphical representation of the variables that influence the business production process. Thus, it is possible to evaluate the productivity of the variables in question.

Normally, on the abscissa (horizontal) axis are the values ​​of the variables that are the object of study and, on the ordinate (vertical) axis, are the numerical data or frequencies of each data.

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 quantity of defective products, using the Ishikawa diagram, it will be able to find the root of the problem and find the corresponding explanations for, in this way, thinking about solutions.

What are the advantages of the Kaizen method?

The application of this method offers different advantages. Meet some of them below.

Reduce waste

By improving their self-management skills, employees are more productive; therefore, your work generates less waste.

Create leaders in organizations

In self-managed learning, this method develops small leaders in their jobs.

Promote personal and professional values

This method represents a continuous improvement of personal principles that are transferred to work, creating more efficient and committed workers.

Create positive and constructive habits

Workers create a culture of their own work, which leads them to develop their work skills without even being aware of it, which increases their commitment to work.

Increase competitiveness

With more efficient and committed workers, the production process is improved, which reduces costs and increases product quality, improving the company’s competitiveness in the market.

To conclude, it is clear that the application of the Kaizen method seeks excellence in work through the management of continuous improvement, which does not require that workers immediately meet a macro-objective; on the contrary, its methodology requires the fulfillment of small objectives to achieve greater productivity in its functions.

Now that you’ve understood what the Kaizen method is, it’s time to put it into practice! If you want to go deeper into the topic and learn more methodologies, enjoy the visit on our blog and learn more about Lean Innovation Management.