A Kaizen blitz is a rapid improvement event. It is designed to make a fast improvement or impact to an opportunity or an issue. A blitz will usually take place over a 1 to 5 day period, but could be as quick as a few minutes. This gives teams an opportunity to make rapid, quick improvements. A kaizen blitz may follow the 4 steps outlined in the PDCA cycle:
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Kaikaku, sometimes called Kakushin, is a Japanese Lean term meaning radical improvement in a limited time. It is a philosophy centered around creating more value and less waste in production by implementing major changes. Innovation is key to Kaikaku, and innovating new processes, new products, new management practices, and new machines can have a huge impact on the facility as a whole.
Kaikaku is often used in the context of another Japanese production philosophy, Kaizen. Both Kaizen and Kaikaku work to improve production processes but are two very different approaches. Where Kaizen is focused is focused on continuous incremental changes, Kaikaku works to make fundamental changes that will have a significant impact. Kaizen projects are typically smaller, require less resources, and project timelines are relatively short. On the other hand, Kaikaku changes are larger projects that require more resources, more staff, and a longer period of time to plan. Although more time, effort, and cost are put into Kaikaku efforts, changes will likely have a much more dramatic impact on efficiency and the bottom line.
Key performance indicators are the performance measurements that help us understand how we are performing. An Effective KPI is tied to the organization's strategy with stakeholders assigned to monitor them. KPI's should be well-defined and quantifiable, thoroughly communicated to everyone, understood by everyone and cover one or more of the 4 general areas of a balanced scorecard.
Kata is a martial arts reference which describes a system of individual or team training, exercises or techniques that are used to develop skill sets.
Kaizen is the Japanese term for continual improvement. The word kai means "change" and the word "zen" means good. Continuous improvement involves an entire organization.
Kanban is one tool within the just in time production system. Kanban is used to connect information flow to the necessary action or production of a customer need. The Kanban system works off of the pull of the customer creating a more demand driven enterprise which results in lower inventory levels, less waiting and better control of production amounts. The Japanese word loosely translated means card, billboard or sign but often times other sensory notifications such as empty spaces, cones or lights are used to notify a supplier of a customer need.
A Kaizen event is a set of activities usually over a predetermined time which is carried out by a team, department or organization for the purpose of improvement. Kaizen events are a form of implementation within the larger strategy Lean. To learn more about Kaizen consider enrolling in one of our courses or enlisting in one of our training programs.