Kaizen-small steps forward: a starter
by Tom Curtis
Created by Tom Curtis August 2010
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Any man may seek to lift his lot,
If small improvement is daily sought.
Kaizen is improvement for the good. It seeks to be
continuous and ongoing. It is usually small in nature and can
often be accomplished at little or no ﬁnancial cost. Ideally it is
stabilized to create a new standard for operation in an activity
or process. We can all kaizen in most aspects of our lives.
These small improvements add up to larger accomplishments,
free time, and create positive momentum. This slide set walks
through some basics in getting started and avoiding trouble in
kaizen. My hope is you will start looking for the opportunities
around you and to begin to take action. Please enjoy!
- Tom Curtis
Forward must one seek to go,
If one is to continually grow.
Kaizen:the who, what, when, where, why, & how
• Why-to improve on the current state of any activity or process
• Who-anyone, ideally those who are closest to or most familiar with the
process aspect (everyone is close to something)
• What-opportunity identiﬁcation, solution development, implementation,
and new standard documentation and training
• How-begin looking for opportunities, ask "How can x be made better?"
or in ﬁxing problems faced each day
• When-always, can be an all the time thing, work, home, and play
• Where-any place a process or activity is happening, all aspects of life
Improvement, step by step,
is momentum forward kept.
Kaizen: the process
Identify an Find or develop
Begin to look
opportunity a solution
Plan the Execute the Integrate into
implementation plan the standard
Eyes will opportunity better see,
If we them through practice free.
Kaizen: ways to see opportunities
• Walk the process
• Note items of bother or issue
• Observe through watching
• Use ﬁshbone diagrams and 5 why's
• Review or create standards
• Solicit input from stakeholders
• Map the activity or process
In nearly every area of life,
Is opportunity to improve rife.
Kaizen: potential pitfalls
• Poor standard integration
• Lack of group buy in
• Faulty execution of plan
• Distraction from most important
• Unintended consequences in quality or safety
• Stagnation in process, due to motivation, resources, or skill