• Attila Gursel

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT (KAIZEN)


In Japanese, "Kai" means change, "Zen" means good, better. “Kaizen”, which is formed by the merging of these two words, means continuous improvement that includes everyone. This word also expresses a philosophy and a way of life. According to this philosophy, it is necessary to put in continuous efforts at home, workplace and social life, in order for each passing day to be better than the previous day.


“Kaizen” philosophy is a process of continuous improvement. This philosophy depends on everyone that is working to question the job being done and contemplating on how they can do it better. There is continuous search for improvement in thought and behavior.


Each and every business in the service sector that wants to maintain its existence has 3 main objectives: To provide its services to its customers with better quality, cheaper and in a shorter time. Businesses cannot succeed in this highly competitive environment without the goals of "quality", "cost" and "delivery time". All other management functions of businesses should serve these 3 goals.


Small but continuous improvements, especially by all employees, lie at the heart of continuous improvement. The priority of continuous improvement is processes. Problems cannot be solved without improving the process. It is the duty of everyone, especially those working in that job, to explore opportunities for improvement. No process, no flow is too perfect to make minor improvements.


Quality is everything that can be improved. Whenever there is an improvement, this ultimately leads to an improvement in quality and efficiency. Adopting the concept of continuous improvement, which is the basic element of quality management, and its adaptation to the whole business is crucial.


There are 7 principles of "Kaizen".

1. Accept the problem.

2. Choose projects that don't require a lot of money.

3. First consider "our" problems, not "theirs".

4. Economic interest should not be the only priority.

5. Determine priorities. Implement the project based on the principles of quality, cost, distribution etc.

6. Plan, implement, control, take measures through (PDCA) cycle.

7. Use the correct solution tools.



The approach of "KAIZEN" to problems is "WELCOME PROBLEMS". Because there can be no development where there is no problem.


The goal of continuous improvement is to achieve rapid development by taking a multitude of small steps over a period of time. In other words, developments and improvements should be small but continuous. Improvements are process oriented. If there is a desire to improve the results, the processes affecting that result should be improved first. Another feature is that it requires everyone's participation. Development will be achieved collectively by everyone.


In order for “Kaizen” to succeed and for the continuous improvement philosophy to be established, the way of thinking given below should not be present. The management must be encouraging for employees to be “thinking employees”.


It’s imperative not to develop the following attitudes in Kaizen.

1. TO DEVELOP A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE:

. I'm too busy to work on this.

. It’s a good idea but the timing is not right.

· It’s not on the budget.

. Theory is different from putting it into practice.

. Don't you have anything else to do?

. I don’t think what you said complies with the company policy.

2. TAKING ON AN EVEN MORE ADVERSE ATTITUDE

. This is not our job, let’s leave it for others.

. Are you not satisfied with your job?

. This is not something new, everyone knows about it.

. We know what the result will be even if we don’t do it.

· I am not in a position to take responsibility for it.

. Don't you have a better idea?


Continuous improvement consists of 5 steps:

- Identify the problem,

- Determine the solution,

- Fix the processes,

- Train employees,

- Monitor the process.

This is a cycle. An improved process is never considered fully improved and developed. The improved processes also need to be improved.


#kaizen #pdca #improvement #continuous #quality #service #business #process

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