Saturday, September 13, 2014

Your understanding of Kaizen is wrong

Kaizen is popularly associated with continuous learning or continuous improvement.  However, where people get wrong is who should continuously improve ? 

Most Agilists and Leanists use Kaizen in the context of team improvement. That is, an agile team should continuously improve, and thus excluding the managers/leaders, rest of the company. 

This is exactly where the understanding goes wrong.   The true Kaizen involves continuous improvement across the organization starting from the CxOs, and involving HR department, Finance, PMOs, Sales and marketing. It is also about improving everyday and everywhere. 

So to conclude, you are not really following Kaizen if the expectation for improvement is only for the team(shopfloor) and rest are excluded !!!

Watch this video to hear directly from the master Masaaki Imai, founder of Kaizen Institute


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right, in principle. But here's two problems the members of a development team face: either Kaizen comes from management without a clue about what the team is doing, without the habit of listening and not at all inclined to give even a bit of authority to the team itself, and ends in a bureaucratic process with no real benefits, or the team wants to change for the better but management doesn't care, or is rightout distrustful of such initiatives. In such cases, I'd say it's not so much a wrong understanding of Kaizen as it is a pragmatic understanding of Kaizen for the team to start working on improving the functioning and the knowledge of the team itself, without too many expectations that the world around it will change too.