Kaizen, Continuous Improvement


Kaizen is Continuous Improvement. The concept Kaizen is expressed with a word formed by two terms, Kai and Zen, meaningto "pass to a better welfare state", that can be focused to continuous improvement and that is applicable to any kind of scope, tipycally Safety, Quality, Productivity and Environment, that's why some organizations talk about 6S instead of 5S, when including an activity apart from those.

For the implementation of Kaizen, it is necessary to select a multidisciplinar team, to get advantage from knowledge and experience in all plant areas. This team must have a leader, who coordinates the meetings and links with the director. The leader chooses the members, must ensure he chooses the most trained ones with respect to the approach.

The team starts collecting data and to analyze them, at first, applying the Ishikawa diagram to determine the causes of the problems, recently also called fish tail or cause-effect diagram, and moving this analysis into tables. This information is organized in tables to generate graphs (i.e. Paretto diagrams), to differentiate among importance level of causes.

Based on this, the team consideres the Gembutsu and goes to the Gemba, this is, the affected element watching it, and the team goes to the zone where the problem appears. It is advisable to repeat the observations with small changes/variables. After this activities the team is able to develop a plan of countermeasures and tomonitor and assess results, that can take some time (i.e. evolution graphs), but that allows after some months, to decide if the measures taken are to be standards of the process, and can be extended to other parts of the company/plant.

Continuous Improvement

The process development and the implementation of Continuous Improvement tools ensures satisfactory results and global success with learning processes and a certain period of time for implementation and development. The ability of a company in terms of Continuous Improvement can be identifies by three key aspects, the problems open, global and transparent treatment and analysis, the training and sistematic use of tools and specific models and the promotion and recognition of results. All of them are strongly interrelated and are the necessary conditions for the use of knowledge, involve people, achieve their support, make effective analysis an, in general, make it posible to solve problems dynamically and efficiently.


The promotion refers to support and encourage sistematic individual support and advance actions for problems solving, as an example, to share knowledge, through the levels of a company. this is what makes easier that skills converge, accumulate and unlock to improve the increase the company resolution capacity, and strategic ability for continuous improvement. But never forget that each company is one case and has its own personality, and although the behaviours are generic, the mechanics to achieve the objectives are always carried out with different persons/facilitators and circumstances.

It is a cyclic process, that is developed in four phases, for which experienced facilitators are used to help the generation flow of ideas for improvement, from any person and company department:

  • Diagnosis
  • To see the problems (behaviour and know-how)
  • Implement changes through facilitators
  • Review and repeat

In all these processes the most adequate dynamics can be chosen, as it can be the participation way, the dynamic to perform it, etc. ATEC+ID has experience in this field, you can account for us !!!!

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