Kaizen is Japanese for “improvement” – activities that continuously improve all function and improve all employees.
Honda believes in constant improvement. Yesterday’s achievements may be celebrated, but there is no resting place. Because the best never rest. Kaizen is guide to finding new ways to improve.
Documentation is everything. The first step of Kaizen is to document how a process really happens. In the ideal world, we may know what is supposed to happen, but what really happens is all that matters. Take a moment to document all the variations of a process to identify waste.
Once wasted effort has be identified. It is time to eliminate as many unnecessary steps as possible. This will increase efficiency. Once these changes are in place it is now time to inspect this new reality.
Maybe the fixes didn’t really fix everything? Time to make more changes. Verify that these changes have been made. And measure the improvement, comparing to where the process started. Once the improved process makes progress, standardize the changes as the new way to conduct operations.
Now is the time to celebrate this achievement. The celebration is a necessary step in Kaizen, because efforts made should be recognized.
Enjoy your success, but remember there is no resting place. Now it is time to improve again. This is important! Continuous improvement is necessary to prevent falling behind.