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Question of the month: How can a Kaizen program help a company in its improvement journey?
At Bizmanualz, our mission is to help businesses and organizations improve by helping them implement innovative techniques and proven best practices. That philosophy carries through to our manuals, our training classes, and our consulting efforts.
This month, we discussed three of the many things we have done as part of our improvement journey. It’s a “journey” because improvement is not a single event or action, it is a continual process. It’s a part of everyone’s daily job and responsibility.
Implementing Lean Production
Sometime ago it became apparent that there was room for improvement in the production area, where our procedures manuals and CD are produced, stored, and packaged. A period of growth had left the production area somewhat inefficient and unorganized. While we consistently met our goal of same day shipping, the time, effort, and inventory needed to achieve that goal did not truly align with the philosophy of a “lean production” environment.
Read more about implementing lean production;
Making Small Improvements Using a Kaizen System
Kaizen, translated literally, means good change. Kaizens represent a philosophy whereby organizations, and the individuals within it, undertake small, incremental, continual improvements in all aspects of organizational life. A kaizen program encourages employees to spot and implement improvements around the workplace, no matter how small.
Read more about improvements with kaizens;
Watching The Business Performance Scoreboard
Sometimes managers get very focused on monitoring one thing in their business (i.e. on-time shipments), to the exclusion of everything else. In this scenario, they have as much a chance of success as myopic, single instrument pilots do of reaching their destination. Successful managers, like good pilots, need to monitor various aspects of performance in order to make informed decisions and appropriate corrections.
Read more about the business performance scoreboard;
Occasional big improvements, constant small improvements, and the process of objective-measurement-review: these are just three of the mechanisms used on our improvement journey at Bizmanualz. Where is your improvement journey taking you? We hope your journey takes you onto continued growth, and delivering better and better products and services. If you are unsure of your journey’s progress, then perhaps we can help. After all, that is why we are here and what our journey is all about.
On That Note
Answer to this month’s question:
A kaizen program where employees are encouraged to spot and implement improvements around the workplace instills a culture of improvement in the workplace. No improvement is small—any improvement can steer the organization into the right direction. This program puts in place a systematic method that implements and communicates employees’ suggestions for improvements, resulting in a more productive workplace. More importantly, it also creates an atmosphere where employee suggestions are valued, which, in turn, makes employees more vigilant in looking for improvements.
With improvement designed into everyone’s job, and a culture that celebrates even small successes, a kaizen program creates awareness that even small improvements are important.
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