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Kaizen

Resource Page: Kaizen

Kaizen is a Japanese term that means continuous improvement, taken from the words kai, which means continuous or change, and zen, which means improvement or good. A Kaizen event gathers operators, managers and leaders in one place. An existing process is reviewed and all team members – generally comprised of those directly responsible for or…

Readying Middle Management for Culture Change at Bosch

This is the second of two excerpts iSixSigma.com is publishing from Creating a Kaizen Culture. This week’s excerpt looks at ways to engage middle management in a culture of change at Bosch. Last week a team in a Fabrication Department at Hill-Rom Industries learned about continuous process improvement from Shigeo Shingo. We have seen that…

A Kaizen Event with Shigeo Shingo at Hill-Rom Industries

iSixSigma.com published two excerpts from Creating a Kaizen Culture. Here a team in a Fabrication Department at Hill-Rom Industries learns about continuous process improvement from Shigeo Shingo. A second excerpt looks at engaging middle management in a culture of change at Bosch. In July 1985, Mike Wroblewski was still a junior industrial engineers in the…

Managing to Standard Work in the Office

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Fairbanks Morse Engine had to swallow a tough message from its customers: You are too slow and we are not going to take it anymore! After an extensive voice of the customer (VOC) effort, it was clear that our lead times for aftermarket parts were missing customers’ expectations. Although…

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A Plan for a Five-day Kaizen

In a previous article, “Kaizen – ADHD Therapy Using Continuous Improvement: Tools to Keep Employees Continuously Occupied,” we discussed what a Kaizen event is, focusing on how to organize and scope the event. This article looks at some common tools and techniques for planning a successful Kaizen event, and identifies some pitfalls to avoid. Data,…

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Gemba Walks Come to Life at Fairbanks Morse Engine

Editor’s note: In a previous article, author Lindquist describes what a gemba walk is. Here he presents three examples of gemba walks. Gemba walks at Fairbanks Morse Engine demonstrate the importance of the sometimes-overlooked basics of process improvement. Case Study One Single Process – Pama Machining Center Observation: The objective of a series of events…

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The Many Sides of a Gemba Walk

Editor’s note: A follow-up article features three specific examples of gemba walks. With so many tools available to a continuous improvement professional, it is easy to get overwhelmed and consequently focus on a narrow grouping of tools. Experience expands the practitioner’s toolbox, but sometimes it is just as important to return to the foundations to…

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What Is Lean Six Sigma [VIDEO] – With Rick Murrow

Historically, Lean and Six Sigma were used to solve two different types of business problems. Today, Lean and Six Sigma are integrated into one methodology and toolset for solving any process problem in any type of organization, from Fortune 500 companies to small private businesses to nonprofit institutions. In this introductory video, you will learn…

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Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

A recently released study of compensation trends at manufacturing companies across the country contained some reassuring news for quality professionals: The deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methods remains strong in the manufacturing sector. Within the more than 1,000 pages of the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey on salaries and benefits, conducted by consulting firm…

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Manufacturing Survey Finds Widespread Use of Lean Six Sigma, 5S, Kaizen

With manufacturers across the country looking to save costs in every place possible, it’s no wonder that Lean manufacturing and safety have become the cornerstone of financially responsible business practices. Saving thousands on inventory, resources and workers’ compensation claims, these programs have aided many companies in surviving the recession. The 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey…

Phillips Industries Expands Mexico Plant Using Lean Principles

Phillips Industries has announced it is expanding its Saltillo, Mexico facility to over 70,000 sq ft to accommodate growth in sales. The extra space will allow the company to expand its trailer harness assembly line, improve process flow and offers more finished product storage area, the company said. “Significant focus has been in quality and…

Using Kaizen to Gain Buy-in at Boat Manufacturer

What is the best way to gain buy-in at a manufacturer that is resistant to culture change? iSixSigma spoke with Zack Chehaitli, Master Black Belt and director of continuous improvement for Sea Ray Boat Group, about his experience with Lean Six Sigma and how he helped bring continuous improvement principles to the boat manufacturing industry…

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Driving Financial Services Excellence with Kaizens

Last year, business process outsourcing firm Firstsource, based in Mumbai, India, was one of the participants in the iSixSigma Live! Summit & Awards program in the Most Successful Start-up category. Recently, iSixSigma caught up with Chandeep Singh, Executive Vice President, Process Excellence and Workforce Management, at Firstsource to discuss some of the recent accomplishments of…

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Why Choose Six Sigma Over Kaizen?

Message: 8897 Posted by: Carlos Castillo Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 What are the benefits of choosing 6sigma over Kaizen, 6 sigma seems a great deal more expensive and more bureucratic. I have obtained great gains from Kiazen with minimal investment. Message: 8899 Posted by: mn Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 ——————————————————————————– I…

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Is This a Six Sigma, Lean or Kaizen Project?

This is a familiar question that is often addressed by organizations. In fact, it is the wrong question. These concepts are nothing more than tools in your management toolbox. You don’t fix a watch with a hammer, and you get the same results when you deploy Six Sigma, Lean and Kaizen incorrectly. The fact is,…

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Improving Emergency Department Flow Through the RME

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is a 330-bed hospital with one of the busiest emergency departments in San Diego County, California, USA. In 2005, the wait time for emergency department (ED) patients had noticeably increased, driven by a growing demand for services, combined with staffing and space constraints. To identify bottlenecks, the ED manager and…

Lean Improves Physician Office Medical Records Flow

In October 2006, Virtua Health, aided by a team of Black Belts and Lean consultants, completed a Kaizen event at Tatem Brown Family Practice. A Kaizen event is a three-and-a-half day burst of continuous improvement activities where changes are brainstormed, try-stormed, validated and implemented by a small team of process experts (frontline staff) primarily from…

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Power of Lean in the Laboratory: A Clinical Application

Improvement ideas are frequently considered in most organizations, but it is all too rare that these ideas are pursued and implemented. Lean offers a powerful set of tools to address this issue. Born in the automotive industry, Lean focuses on eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) throughout a process. Reducing or eliminating needless steps – such as…

Histology Technology and Lean Healthcare Hand in Hand

Many in the healthcare industry, as well as other industries, think that new technology – automated systems and expensive equipment – can assure vastly improved workflow. In reality, too often new technology is infused into old processes, therefore greatly reducing the benefits of the investment. That was the initial experience at Virtua Voorhees Histology Lab in…

Hospital Uses Lean to Improve Safety and Satisfaction

Abington Memorial Hospital is a 570-bed not-for-profit regional teaching hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania. As part of an ongoing effort to enhance performance across the organization, the Performance Outcomes Department was established in the fall of 2006. The department will be providing new services to existing hospital departments and programs, such as process redesign, improvement leadership…

Converting Skeptics and Keeping Them On Board

A powerful process improvement tool since the 1980s, Six Sigma has grown in popularity over recent years while less effective initiatives have faded away. Yet some still believe Six Sigma will ultimately share that same fate. These skeptics are people who feel burdened by the disruption Six Sigma has caused in their responsibilities and authority….

Carefully Planned Kaizens Can Lead to Immediate Change

Kaizen events – concentrated meetings that are designed to bring about rapid change – are often misunderstood by those who have not completed one. From the outside, the events may simply seem like advanced all-day meetings with fanfare. What many organizations do not fully appreciate is the investment required to pull off such an orchestrated…

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Six Sigma Helps Public Healthcare Meet Community Needs

Public health is tackling a broad range of challenges, from smoking, obesity and alcohol abuse to mental and sexual health. While the majority of public health departments and community-based healthcare providers are racing to meet the Healthy People 2010 objectives, disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have brought concerns related to a lack of systematic processes…

Kaizen with Six Sigma Ensures Continuous Improvement

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continual improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities can improve every function of a business, from manufacturing to marketing and from the CEO to the assembly-line workers. Kaizen aims to eliminate waste in all systems of an organization through improving standardized…

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Keep it Simple: Choose the Best Tools for Kaizen Events

Kaizen events are deceptively simple. The tools used are often considered to be less rigorous than the more analytical tools that are the hallmark of Six Sigma. But in practice, Kaizen events can be challenging to facilitate effectively because participants are pulled from their regular roles, requiring the events to be short and focused, and…

Fast and Intense: Kaizen Approach to Problem-Solving

Perhaps it was impatience with how long traditional projects take. Often it was an awareness of how hard it is for people to concentrate on improvement when they keep thinking about getting their work done. To some extent it was a matter of their innate respect for the people who do the work. For all…

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Kaizen and Six Sigma Together in the Quest for Lean

Kaizen is seductive and efficient. It can deliver results quickly and on a significant scale, utilize the collective insight and experience of those who know most about the process and inspire employees with a relentless curiosity about and discomfort with waste, defects and constraints to throughput. But it is also overrated. Kaizen Alone In the…

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Lean: Relentless Pursuit of Product Value and No Waste

Lean, like other process improvement methodologies, is based on the big idea from the 1980s that a business is composed of a series of processes, a value stream, that delivers value to its customers. A process is Lean if it uses only the absolute minimum of resources (material, machines and labor) to add value to…

Choosing Kaizen to Overcome Challenges in ED Project

What happens when an emergency department (ED) undergoes major upheaval in the midst of a Six Sigma project? Just such a situation befell a newly trained Black Belt who was working on her first project at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas, USA. One month into the project to reduce cycle times, the ED…

Roadblocks into Results: Lean Benefits Surgical Center

Virtua Health System has applied Six Sigma, change acceleration process and Work-out across its four-hospital system in New Jersey since 2000. Recently, as the institution was co-sponsoring and serving as a training ground for a Lean seminar, it was adding Lean to its process improvement toolkit. About Summit Surgical Center The Summit Surgical Center is…

Consider Kaizen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Pirsig’s 1974 book about the metaphysics of quality entitled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance relates a father’s journey with his son, during which are delivered ideas of quality, philosophy and formal dialogue against the backdrop of a good old American road trip, all from the seat of a motorcycle. His allegory for…

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Kaizen: Easiest, Fastest Way to Improve Office Processes

“What do you mean, special handling is waste? We can’t stop doing that! Eighty percent of our invoices require special handling!” — Medtronic accounts payable employee, May 24, 2005 Lean Six Sigma at Medtronic Medtronic has combined Lean and Six Sigma to achieve impressive results. In the last two years, Medtronic has graduated 579 Lean…