May 20, 2014 | Posted by Ben Thompson
We talked last time about how kaizen is continuous improvement and how it is, in its truest practices, an activity that is performed daily. For this to be true, the kaizen process must possess two specific attributes. The process must be cyclical and the goal must be unobtainable. We have discussed in the past the true north vision being this ideal state of waste-less production, this is our unobtainable goal. We complete the cycle time and time again to bring us ever closer to our goal, continuously striding toward perfection, but never achieving it. This is no cause for concern, this is the nature of continuous improvement. It is not the vision that matters in this case, it is the striding to achieve it that bears all of the fruit.
Which brings me to the cycle. You may know it as a PDCA cycle or a Deming cycle, but I know it as the rotary engine that powers kaizen:
It is as simple as it looks, we would have our current state from preliminary observations so from the given information we would Plan a kaizen of a process, Do the kaizen measuring the results so we can compare them with the current state to Check for improvement or problems and based on our findings we Act to implement change or reassess our hypothesis. It being a cycle either way has brought us back to plan the next kaizen or plan a modification to the last kaizen. Every time the cycle is completed we nibble away at all of the waste and feel how much better it is to,