This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to apply kaizen in your everyday life.
Kaizen has its roots in Japan. Conceptually, the term refers to an ongoing process of development, both on a personal and experienced level. The term “kaizen” is usually used in management and business to describe the process of leading a team to create and implement long-term improvement and development plans.
Regardless of the situation, the main goal of kaizen is to reduce “youth”, or waste, and make processes or activities more transparent to make sure the best results.
How to Apply Kaizen in Daily Life:
1. Make tentative progress.
The basis of the kaizen concept is implementing gradual improvements over time. This requires a continuous and collaborative process of incremental improvement to maximise production, efficiency and/or quality.
This means respecting the process and making a long-term commitment to it. Kaizen works best when it’s rooted in society or culture.
2. Focus on specific actionable procedures.
The overall picture and the size of the upgrade you want to make may be too much for you to handle. Kaizen simplifies the whole situation by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable improvements. In this way, you increase your chances of long and short term success, in addition to your ability to assess progress along the way.
For example, rather than trying to totally redesign your sales approach, you might focus on improving one aspect at a time using specific techniques, such as driving sales to a selected demographic using retargeting programs or special offers.
Change can seem uncertain and cause conflict. Since the change is not scary or sudden, everybody can join in on it.
Those who subscribe to this ideology need to focus on procedures rather than results. While increasing results is the ultimate goal, focusing on how to do it will increase your chances of success.
3. Get rid of excess and trash.
Finding ways to reduce the wastage of time or resources related to a process is among the biggest ways to improve it, according to Kaizen.
For example, if you try to improve your own time management, you could identify the activities that take up most of your time and assess the value each brings to your life and/or work. It may take some effort to make sure that you spend less time in your inbox if you find that handling e-mail takes up too much time for the value it provides.
According to kaizen principles, you should focus your mental effort on considering how to do something rather than justifying why it cannot be done. The principles encourage you to take action in the here and now and to consider new approaches to problems historically deemed insurmountable.
Kaizen urges individuals to disregard the constraints of traditional thinking or the current situation when they act to make good improvements. Instead, tackle each problem or goal on its own terms.
5. Use your mental capacities.
The kaizen concept says that knowledge, not money, should be your most precious resource when making positive improvements. As a tactic, it emphasizes using the group’s intelligence rather than spending quite a lot of money to fix something.
The simplest method is to get co-workers or colleagues together to come up with a fast solution to a particular problem.
For example, if you want to improve internal communications, you can work together to develop internal rules and regulations, filters, flagging systems, and/or protocols that will solve many problems without investing in new software or hiring consultants.
In the long term, you may must make financial investments, but kaizen gives you the opportunity to maximise the resources you currently have.
6. Select the private area that needs to be repaired.
It can be a bad habit you want to kick, a positive behavior you want to develop, a talent you want to learn, or a goal you want to accomplish. Once you have a goal, you can begin using kaizen to accomplish it.
For example, you may want to become more active, quit smoking, improve your social life, or make better use of your free time.
7. Identify small, precise actions that will help you achieve your goals.
Again, you should approach your goal in baby steps, so start by setting those first. Instead of trying to change everything directly, focus on breaking your goals down into specific, measurable actions you can take to get better.
8. Prioritize your work.
Now is the time to choose an order where you’ll explore your options after you have outlined every possible action. It’s up to you how you decide to prioritize your tasks.
Start with the easiest activity to do if you are feeling overwhelmed and work your way up from there. Start with the activities that will have the most impact if you feel motivated.
9. Create a schedule for each task.
Each activity should be one that you gradually turn into a habit. Therefore, when preparing, it is best to choose a schedule that outlines your gradual progress for each step or activity.
For example, if you try to quit smoking, develop a technique to reduce the amount you’ll cut down each week.
If you want to be more physically fit, start by taking the stairs rather than the elevator on your way to work each day. Once you have established this program, you can begin exercising for 20 minutes twice a week, and then gradually increase the duration, frequency, and/or intensity of your workouts.
10. Track your progress.
You need to establish a method for tracking your progress if you want to have the ability to put it into perspective.
Kaizen is an everyday activity, so tracking your progress with a calendar is a fantastic idea. Simply record your daily efforts towards your goal. Charts or checklists are additional alternatives you can use to evaluate your progress towards your goals.
In addition, tracking your progress will let you make necessary adjustments. You must continue to plan, act and alter over time, because kaizen is an ongoing process. It’s time to change your approach if you are not seeing the results you want.
11. Add more steps until you reach your goal.
Once the process is perfected or the practice has been successfully integrated into your life, it is time to move on to the next step, which will support the whole process.
12. In the work environment, identify what needs to be improved.
You may want to focus on quality, efficiency, or productivity in a particular department, product, or service, in addition to customer or employee happiness. List all the areas you’d like to improve, then select the one you want to focus on initially.
If you are not sure where to start, try looking at techniques for prioritizing your goals (1). For example, you might want to start with the areas that have the most potential for immediate growth or the areas that have the greatest impact on your customers.
13. Analyze the process in its current state.
You need to spend time evaluating and recording your current work procedures to focus on implementing the kaizen concept. This should include documenting the steps being carried out, the time and resources required for each step, and the final results of the process.
For example, if you’re evaluating a design process, you’ll need to record each step in the process, together with the people, time, tools, and costs involved in each step. In addition, you need to understand how much is produced and how much is obtained using existing methods.
Value stream mapping, where each step in a process is mapped and evaluated in terms of the value and/or waste generated by that step, is a common method used by companies for this purpose. It’s easier to determine areas for improvement if you have an understanding of how each step is carried out.
You will be in a better position to improve the process if you have more knowledge, advice and data about how it’s working today and what results it’s producing.
14. Determine the desired future state.
It’s helpful to have a direction in mind for where you want to go when trying to make improvements in an area. By doing this, you may see a gap between where you are now and where you want to go. This is the place where you must apply the concept of kaizen.
If you are working to improve customer support, for example, you may notice that a current status requires a typical response time of 72 hours, but future statuses require a response time of less than 24 hours.
15. List potential responses.
Once you have outlined the details and desired outcomes for your target process, it is time to consult with everybody involved to identify possible improvements. The chances of getting a wide range of ideas increase if you include lots of individuals with different points of view in the brainstorming session.
16. Plan concrete, measurable steps that will bring about change.
Your ideas for improvement should be broken down into a series of small changes or steps. Establish a reliable timeline for implementing each incremental adjustment.
For example, if you want to improve the quality of a particular product, you might start with better processing of raw materials, then focus on improving production equipment, and eventually improve quality control methods.
17. Start using the “5S technique”.
“5S Technique” (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, shisuke) (2) is a typical kaizen action plan to improve workplace procedures. The steps are: sorting, straightening, polishing, standardizing, and maintaining. This means eliminating what is unnecessary, sorting out what is left, keeping the process freed from waste, standardizing how things get done, and constantly maintaining and improving the standards you have set.
If you are applying this to a manufacturing process, for example, you could start by removing all the equipment that’s not really needed, ensuring the remaining equipment is logically organized for workers, and ensuring there is a maintenance plan in place to keep the new space tidy and functioning properly. Good. Then, using your progress, you can create new production procedures that you continually review for possible changes to make them more efficient.
18. Make sure everyone seems to be included in the planning process.
Regardless of level, everybody involved in the process must be included in kaizen planning and decision making. This ensures that those with the most knowledge of the process are available to suggest potential changes. In addition, it shows that everyone seems to be already “on board” by making small improvements to the practice.
19. Implement the action plan and then observe the results.
Keep the process flowing by guaranteeing everybody has the latest work plan or task list and the required deadlines for each phase. To make sure the approach is effective, track progress over time.
For example, if you’re using kaizen to increase the productivity of a manufacturing process, you should track how much time has been saved and how many units are produced each hour. This way, you can see if the changes you are making are literally producing the desired progress.
Kaizen advocates routine process evaluation. After completing the first round of upgrades, it is important to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments or upgrades.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to apply kaizen in your daily life. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.