Literally translates from the Japanese as ‘change better’ (Kai = change, Zen = better), and entails continuous improvement by taking frequent small steps. A Kaizen culture creates a state of mind that refuses to be satisfied with the status quo and should involve everybody, every day, everywhere!
The PDCA cycle (sometimes known as the Deming Cycle) is used as continuous improvement model to improve quality and effectiveness of process by implementing a repetitive four-stage model, as follows:
Plan: Define the problem, collect data, and find the problem’s root cause.
Do: Develop and implement a solution; decide upon a measurement to measure its effectiveness.
Check: Confirm the results through before-and-after data comparison.
Act: Document the results, inform others about process changes.
Lean is all about reducing steps that don’t have value and WASTE – there are 8 wastes in Lean and an easy way to remember them is by simply thinking about Tim Woods.
Tim Woods is the arch enemy of any Lean programme; he represents the 8 wastes:
T – Transport – Moving people, products & information
I – Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
M – Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting
W – Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
O – Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
O – Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher grade materials than are necessary
D – Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
S – Skills – Underutilising capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training
Tim Woods is a waste of time, energy and resource. Waste in Lean is a needless activity and one that must be eliminated. It’s the job of Lean to identify and eliminate the waste in order to maintain adding value.
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