All entries for Tuesday 19 November 2013

November 19, 2013


The process of Kaizen has been briefly mentioned in class several times but with no real depth of explanation offered or explored, so I have decided to do some reading on the subject. The process of Kaizen, meaning Good Change, originates in Japan, and comes from Dr. Deming and Lowell Mellen. The phrase itself relates to incremental improvement which is not necessarily continuous or long term focused (although it is implied in Japanese/Deming ideology that it must be continuous (and subsequently, Kaizen ends up being continuous in most cases)).

Toyota is a well known advocate of Kaizen. This is through where if a defect occurs, the whole production line ceases to work with a solution being required (and offered) by everyone involved to solve the problem and improve the process. This would subsequently see an incremental improvement - or a Kaizen. Kaizen itself is heavily based on the Shewhart cycle (which is similar and inspired a certain W.E. Deming...) and consists of standardising an operation, measure the operation, gauge measurements against the requirements, innovate to meet these requirements and/or improve, standardise the new process and continue the cycle.

Therefore Kaizen, like many other quality improvement measures, is similar in what it is and how it works. It is a phrase that describes an improvement that occurs incrementally and is based on Deming's and Shewhart's ideologies.

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