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Tuesday, December 9, 2008


For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

Definition and Concept

“KAI”= Change
“ZEN”= Good

Therefore, “KAIZEN”= Good Change


KAIZEN means “continuous improvement” or "continual improvement"
in the organization from the managers down to the workers (or every level of employee)

Kaizen Further Defined

  • Kaizen is an improvement suggestion to remove or rectify an abnormality in process, product and inputs.
  • Kaizen in broader terms means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life and working life. When applied to the workplace, kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone- managers and workers (employees) alike.
  • Yet this emphasis on kaizen does not mean that innovation can or should be forgotten.
  • Both , innovation and kaizen are needed if the company is to survive and grow.
  • Kaizen usually results in small improvements on day-to-day basis. Yet, because it is done continuously, ultimately gives large compounded improvements.

  • Kaizen is a part of the quality revolution initiatives that started in Japan is 1950s.
  • The famous Toyota production system is known for kaizen.

Kaizen Versus Innovation

There are two contrasting approaches to improving quality and productivity.

  • The gradual approach- kaizen
  • The great leap approach- innovation
  • Innovation is dramatic, a real attention-getter.
  • Kaizen, on the other hand, is often undramatic and subtle, and its results are seldom immediately visible.
  • Kaizen is a continuous process.
  • Innovation is generally a one-shot phenomenon.

In any organization, we need both- kaizen and innovation. Yet, kaizen is imperative.

Innovations/Breakthroughs and Daily Continuous Improvements Through Kaizen

  • Innovations/breakthroughs are brought about in any organization occasionally or intermittently. There is a high jump in improvements. These high jump improvements are incorporated in the new practices/systems/processes.
  • Then, after one innovation/breakthrough, there may be a lull. During this lull period and in absence of daily management or continuous improvements through kaizen or gemba kaizen etc, these dramatically improved processes start degrading or deteriorating. And the processes become inefficient/ineffective. Lots of advantages of innovation disappear or are lost.
  • This is where daily management through continuous improvements comes in. It insists on daily performance and also, daily improvements. It keeps on maintaining and further improving the processes. The fall or degradation of processes is now just not possible.
  • Therefore, daily management and daily improvements through kaizen, gemba kaizen, quality circles etc is in fact a management imperative. You cannot do without it (you may occasionally do without an innovation/breakthrough).
  • It may not be as stunning or exciting as an innovation, yet, effective daily management and daily improvements are the foundation on which maximization of advantages due to innovation and company viability firmly stay.

Kaizen System in Practice (The Format)

Kaizen or improvement suggestions can be given by an individual, by a small or large group or can be institutionalized as a Kaizen suggestion system.

  • It is continuous improvement in all aspects of life.
  • It has total employee involvement (TEI) at its base.
  • Suggestions are given to supervisor/manager and not dropped in a suggestion box (as in conventional suggestion scheme).
  • Kaizen emphasizes on implementation.
  • Every employee takes part and gives suggestions.
  • Kaizen suggestions are evaluated quickly.
  • Suggestions can be departmental as well as inter-departmental.
  • Kaizen improves the dignity of the employees.

Kaizen Tools

  1. Seven QC tools (old ones- conventional and more popular)
  2. Seven QC tools (new ones)
  3. 5 W & 1 H :
    What is wrong?
    Where is the problem?
    Who does the job?
    When does it happen?
    Why does it happen?
    How can it be improved?
  4. Scare :
  5. Value added/non-value added analysis :
    Draw a flow process chart
    Identify whether each activity adds value
    Analyse causes of non-value added activities
    Eliminate non-value added activities
    Evolve a new method of working
  6. PDCA Cycle :
    Plan- Do- Check- Act
  7. Why why or 5 Why Analysis: Ask ‘Why’ 5 times unless you get a problem area at the root level and it's solution(s)

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Also refer:, and

Other Topics of Interest

All Management Topics (General Management, Marketing and Sales, Service, Operations/Manufacturing, Quality, Maintenance, Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Information Technology, Life Management)

The topics are listed in alphabetic order:

(Home Pages for All the Management Topics) and
(Building Leadership and Management)
(Alphabetic List of All Management Topics)
(Home Page for Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar)
(5S Housekeeping)
(Activity Based Costing- ABC)
(Anger Management)
(Assessment Centers)
(A to Z of Management Systems)
(A to Z of Quality Techniques)
(Balanced Scorecard)
(Basic Statistics)
(Behavioral Safety)
(Body Language or Non-verbal Communication)
(Books- Best Management Books)
(Business Ethics and Ethics in Management)
(Business Plan)
(Business Process Reengineering- BPR)
(Career Planning within Organizations)
(Case Method)
(Case Studies in Management)
(CEO Roles, Qualities and Competencies)
(Change Management)
(Competencies- Life Management)
(Competency Matrix)
(Conflict Management)
(Corporate Governance)
(Cost Management)
(Cost of Quality- COQ)
(Counseling at Workplace)
(Creativity and Innovation)
(Critical Thinking skills)
(Cross Cultural Etiquette and Manners)
(Customer Orientation)
(Customer Relationship management- CRM)
(Daily Management)
(Decision Making)
(Design for Manufacture)
(Dining Etiquette and Table Manners)
(Discipline at Work)
(Do This Today)
(Dream Exotic)
(Effectiveness and Efficiency)
(Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Efficiency Techniques: Work study: Motion and Time Study)
(Efficient Work Methods or Practices)
(Email Etiquette)
(Emotional Intelligence)
(Enterprise Resource Planning- ERP)
(Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur)
(Executive Etiquette and Manners)
(Exit Interview)
(Financial Ratios and Financial Ratio Analysis)
(Financial Services)
(Functions of Management)
(Gemba Kaizen)
(Genuine Professional)
(Global Mindset)
(Goal/Target Setting)
(Group Discussion)
(Group Dynamics)
(How to Be a Good Boss)
(How to Get Promoted)
(How to save Money)
(HR Dynamics)
(HR Strategies and Functions)
(Human Capital Architecture)
(Human Relations)
(Human Resource Planning)
(Human Software- HSoftware)
(Internal Motivation or Self Motivation)
(Interpersonal Relations)
(Interview Skills)
(Interview Preparation for Job Seekers)
(Interview Questions)
(Just in Time Management- JIT)
(Knowledge Management)
(Lead Time Management)
(Lean Enterprise)
(Learning Organization)
(Life Management: Competencies)
(Life Management: Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Life Management: I Am Liberated)
(Life Positions and OKness)
(Life Skills)
(Management Anecdotes)
(Management Book- Best Books)
(Management Information System- MIS)
(Managing/conducting Meetings)
(Management Notes- Free and Authentic)
(Marginal Utility)
(Marketing Management Overview)
(Marketing Management Tasks)
(Marketing Orientation)
(Market Research)
(Market Segmentation)
(Musings of Shyam Bhatawdekar on every topic on the earth)
(Negotiation Skills)
(Negotiation Tactics)
(Objection Handling)
(Organization Development- OD)
(Organizational Culture)
(Out of Box Ideas)
(Ownership on Job)
(Paradigm and Paradigm Shift)
(Performance Management and Appraisal)
(Positive Strokes)
(Presentation Skills)
(Problem Solving)
(Profit Improvement)
(Project Management)
(Public Speaking)
(Quality Circles History)
(Quality Circles)
(Quality Function Deployment- QFD and House of Quality)
(Quality Gurus)
(Recession Management)
(Recession and Opportunities)
(Recruitment and Selection)
(Research Methodology)
(Safety and Health Management)
(Sales/Selling Process)
(Sales Promotion)
(Self Motivation or Internal Motivation)
(Self Development)
(Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Articles on Management)
(Six Sigma)
(Six Thinking Hats)
(Soft Skills)
(Spiritual Quotient/Intelligence)
(Statistics- Basic)
(Strategic Management)
(Stress Management)
(Stress Management)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Supply Chain Management)
(Supply and Demand)
(Talent Management)
(Team Building)
(Telephone Etiquette)
(Three Sixty Degrees Appraisal System)
(Time Management)
(Total Productive Maintenance- TPM)
(Total Quality Management- TQM)
(Training and Development)
(Trainers’ Qualities)
(Transaction Analysis- TA)
(TRIZ- Inventive Problem Solving)
(Value Engineering/Analysis)
(Winners and Losers)
(Work Study: Method Study and Work Measurement)
(Work Methods or Practices: Efficient)
(World Class Manufacturing)
(Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar on Management)
(Written Communication)
(Zero Based Budgeting)

Counseling: General and Psychological
(Anger Management)
(Children’s Behavior Problems)
(Cholesterol Control)
(Counseling: Psychological)
(Counseling: Psychological)
(Cross Cultural Etiquette)
(Do This Today)
(Executive Etiquette and Manners)
(Family Counseling)
(Health: Homeopathy)
(LifeManagement: Competencies)
(Life Management: Effectiveness Management: HSoftware)
(Life management: I Am Liberated)
(Marriage Counseling)
(Ownership on Job)
(Parental Responsibilities)
(Qualities of Spouse)
(Quit Smoking)
(Self Development)
(Spiritual Quotient/Intelligence)
(Stress Management)
(Stress Management)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Success in Life or Success)
(Swine Flu and Its Prevention)
(Telephone Etiquette)
(Winners and Losers)

About All the Products
(Home Page for All Products)
(Greeting Cards)
(Mobile Phones)

Home Tips
(Home Page for All Home Tips)
(Do This Today)
(Entertainment: Movies)
(Oscar Award Movies)
(Entertainment: Recommended Hindi Movies)
(Entertainment- Hindi Movies of Your Choice)
(Plagiarized, Copied or Inspired Hindi Movies)
(Health: Homeopathy)
(Housekeeping at Home)
(How to Save Money) or
(Jewelry Design)
(Recipes: Easy to Cook)
(Recipes: Exotic)
(Stories for Children)
(Travel and Sightseeing- India)
(Travel and Sightseeing- World)
(World Heritage Sites)

General Knowledge and Out of Box Ideas
(General Knowledge- GK)
(General Knowledge- Top 5 of Everything)
(General Knowledge- Top 10 of Everything)
(Out of Box Ideas)
(Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Knols)
(Running Commentary on the Run)