Kaizen is the process of applying continuous change in process, technology, quality, culture, leadership, productivity and safety.To understand Kaizen we shall answer three questions: What is meant by Kaizen? What are the advantages of Kaizen? How to start using Kaizen principles in the process?Kaizen was developed during World War II in Japan. The literal meaning of Kaizen is “continuous improvement”. It is the combination of Japanese words 改 (“kai”) which means “to change” or “to rectify” and 善 (“zen”) which means “for good or benefit”.
In 1870, Mitsubishi was a small organization working on a small scale shipping company with three old steamships by Yataro Iwasaki. Modern day Mitsubishi emerged as an independent organization after World War II .Currently it is serving the society on social, economic and global issues.Mitsubishi is implementing Lean Six Sigma practices in its operation for the organisation. The employees are given Lean Six Sigma training to enhance quality in the system.
“There are certain principles of an organization that may serve as highly valuable guides in working out any individual arrangements”. “A principle is a general rule or truths that may be expected to work under similar conditions anywhere” (Frank M.Rachel, 1981) .There are three principles of Mitsubishi. These principles were designed by the fourth president of the Mitsubishi organization, Koyata, in the 1930s.
1) Basic Infrastructure Facility.
2) Ensuring Proper Management.
3) Effective communication between the management and the staff
4) Effective use of resources.
5) Health Care facilities for the staff.
6) Team work.
7) Making the strategies and the mission of the organization clear.
8) Performance Appraisals
- Six Sigma is a method to do a business.
Most companies are using Lean Six Sigma for process improvements. Some organisations do not use Lean Six Sigma. This might be due to certain misconceptions regarding the same. As we know lean helps in process improvement by removing the process wastes. The organisations has a lot of complaints regarding using Six Sigma, these are:
Organizational culture consists of various sub cultures. These subcultures are various sub groups which have their own identity, characteristics and properties. Even though these sub groups have diverse characteristics, they are connected to one ideology that comprises of organizational culture. The organizational culture is diversified and differentiated into various departments, operational units, units within service, line and staff personnel. The maintenance of the organizational culture is a major task for Lean Six Sigma. The socialization aids are interaction with the superiors, peer groups and senior co-workers.
Asking why has been a notable feature of a five year old child. But can asking why solve our problem. Lean Six Sigma tells us that this is the most frequently used analysis technique to find out the actual cause of a problem. This technique has been used in the analyse phase of DMAIC cycle. Now the question arises how to use this tool. It’s very simple. Just ask “Why” until you reach to the root cause of the problem. Using these techniques we use corrective measures rather than finding solutions for a problem. It helps to find solutions for the forthcoming problems. Let us see an example where this technique can be applied:
Cause and effect diagram or Fishbone analysis diagram has been an integral tool for Lean Six Sigma in analysis phase. This tool helps to identify the cause for a problem. Fishbone analysis diagram is a simple tool that is used by Six Sigma professional to understand the root cause of a problem. By this technique we can identify the areas due to which the quality is not achieved. Now let’s see a practical example where this fishbone analysis diagram is used. Every company faces latecomers in their office. Repeated warnings and excuses have become a routine in an organization. So why does an employee come late to office? The causes can be identified with the help of fishbone analysis diagram. These are the factors which can affect the timing of an individual for office:
What does culture mean? Culture means shared beliefs and values for a group of people. Sharing a common belief and value for an organisation improvement is the critical factor for implementing lean six sigma. We are seeing cultural changes in implementation of Six Sigma with the modern approach. The approach has become more customers oriented rather than focusing on departments. Now every team member is involved for the brainstorming sessions for projects.
Six thinking hats is an effective tool used for decision making purposes while conducting business analysis. This had been developed by Edward De Bono. This tool takes into consideration various factors to make an effective decision. It involves rational thinking along with the emotional factors while making a decision. It mixes skills, ambitions and various feeling. This is an effective tool used during meetings. Different thinking hats denote different styles of thinking. Now let’s discuss different styles of thinking: