Continuous improvement or kaizen is a business improvement technique that transformed Japanese factories in the 1970s. Kaizen, literally ‘good change’, was applied to tackle inefficiency and waste in the production process.
Contact Remarkable to find out how you can implement continuous improvement in your organisation.
What do you want to fix? Continuous improvement usually involves incremental change but the approach can also be used to manage a larger issue.
Define and record your priorities.
Make sure that the proposed change fits with your business strategy and core values. Core values drive behaviours and can be used to support change.
While some processes can be improved upon, some need to be removed altogether. Decide where you need to apply the change and how you will tailor the solution for your organisation.
Make sure that that the leadership team supports the change and nominate a person or team to help drive the change.
Share as much information as possible about the change and its benefits. Clear, regular updates help to manage expectations.
Break the change up into a series of small goals that are easier to implement and monitor. Show progress and only move on to the next goal when you are ready. Be aware that needs change over time so make sure plans are flexible enough to accommodate potential alterations.
Ask for feedback from the people closest to the change to identify issues, inefficiencies and also potential solutions. Encourage an open discussion to manage concerns.
Measure the impact of the change on overall performance.
Continuous improvement involves a culture change which, to be successful, has to be adopted by everyone in your organisation.