Business Excellence Consulting
Leading Edge Methodologies

What is Kaizen?

Process Maturity versus Lean & Kaizen Methodologies
Process Maturity versus Lean & Kaizen Methodologies
  • The word ‘Kaizen’ has been adopted from a Japanese phrase, meaning ‘change for the better’, or ‘continuous improvement’
  • The Kaizen philosophy is that your people are empowered to improve the processes they operate or are responsible for
  • Kaizen teams use the Lean methodology to plan, execute and review their changes as a continuous part of their everyday roles
  • As Lean focuses on eliminating waste,  applying Lean through Kaizen improves process efficiency
  • However, Kaizen at it best is much more than this - it is also a fantastic way of promoting cultural change, by encouraging people to take an interest and then make positive changes to the things they care about!
  • It is highly effective at improving poor to moderate business processes. However, good processes also benefit from Kaizen,  as its many tools, techniques and philosophies lay the foundations for process excellence
  • A variation of Kaizen is the ‘Kaizen Blitz’, also known as ‘Kaikaku’, which is Japanese for ‘instant revolution’
  • As the name suggests this is a very quick improvement exercise, which can result in step change
  • Best of all, Kaizen is fun, exciting, challenging and addictive!

Why we get results

  • We have substantial experience deploying Kaizen
  • We can help you specify the best approach for your business (see Diagnostics for more details), or simply provide whatever consultancy, training and coaching you require
  • We’re practical and pragmatic - our focus is always on getting results (we’re practitioners - not just trainers!)
  • We tailor our services and approach to meet your needs (please see methodology deployment requirements diagram below)

There are three main Methodology Deployment options

There are three main Methodology Deployment options

There are three basic levels to deploy any methodology:

  • At a basic level a methodology can be used to solve a specific problem
  • Methodologies can also be deployed strategically to resolve strategic issues across the business.  Generally, this involves developing capability within the business to achieve this
  • Often, businesses decide to apply a uniform approach to business improvement across their entire business.  This, ‘total immersion’ approach, involves developing a 'critical mass' of capability within the company, with support structures to ensure that it is self-sustaining
  • We can help you, whatever deployment model you choose - please contact us to discuss your requirements

Capability Development

The level of capability development is an important factor in Strategic and ‘Total Immersion’ deployments

Stages of Capability Development: Training; doing supported by coaching; Community infra-structure development

Stages of Capability Development: Training; doing supported by coaching; Community infra-structure development
  • Training provides knowledge, but real understanding is only developed by doing
  • We offer a range of coaching services, to guide capability development and ensure that results are achieved
  • Beyond having people that can do, you’ll need your own, sustainable, support structure to ensure the continued growth and success of your capability - we'll help you create, or develop, your infra-structure to achieve this

Training, Coaching & Support

Besides full deployments, we also offer the individual components, to support and supplement existing programmes:

Change doesn’t have to be top-down…

…cultural change can be delivered 'bottom-up', empowered through Kaizen

  • Kaizen training: bespoke and ’off-the-shelf’, from awareness and champions training, through to detailed courses for practitioners and train-the-trainer courses
  • Kaizen coaching:  a range bespoke of support options to ensure that both personal capability and business results are achieved.  These range from providing a full-time support team to remote support options, as appropriate
  • Kaizen community infra-structure: Bespoke services to design, develop and install appropriate capability support and development infra-structure

Please contact us to discuss your requirements

Next Steps

We’d be glad to provide more details, or discuss your requirements with you. Please contact us

Related Tools, Techniques & Methodologies

We offer consultancy (diagnostics, project definition, projects, deployments, training, coaching and results with the following Lean related tools, techniques and methodologies:

Basic Lean Concepts

  • Value Add / Non-Value Add (VA / NVA)
  • Taiichi Ohno’s 7 Wastes (Muda)
  • TAKT time
  • Deming Cycle
  • Just In Time (JIT)
  • Kanban
  • Go to the workplace (Gemba)
  • Kaizen & Kaizen Blitz (Kaikaku)
  • 5S
  • Mistake Proofing (Poka Yoke, Poke Yoke)
  • Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)
  • Cost of Quality (CoQ, CoPQ)

Advanced Lean Concepts

  • Goldratt - Theory of Constraints & Bottlenecks
  • Level Scheduling (Heijunka)
  • Runners, Repeaters and Strangers
  • Autonomation (Jidoka)
  • Agile Design and Manufacture (Mass customisation, late point differentiation)
  • Supply Chain Flexibility Mapping (P-time studies)
  • Zero Defect Manufacture (ZDM) / Zero Quality Control (ZQC)
  • Cellular Manufacture, Group Technology & Flexible Manufacturing
  • Moments of Truth (MoT)
  • Product Design Tools – see Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) section

Basic Quality Tools

  • Process Chart
  • Flowcharting
  • Pareto Analysis
  • Cause & Effect Diagrams (Fishbone, Ishikawa)
  • Concentration Diagrams (Measles chart)
  • Check Sheets
  • Five Whys
  • Spaghetti Diagrams

Advanced Quality Tools

Graphical Data Analysis

  • Histograms
  • Run charts (Time series plots)
  • Scatter diagrams & basic correlation

Organisational Tools

  • Affinity Diagrams

Process Control

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  • Out of Control Action Plans (OCAP)
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  • Process Capability (Cp, CpL, CpU, CpK, Pp, PpL, PpU, PpK, PPM)
  • See Statistical Tools page

Statistical Tools


  • Hoshin Policy Deployment
  • Management Systems
  • Short Interval Control (SIC)
  • Project Status Reporting
  • Critical Path Analysis
  • Gantt Charts
  • Network Charts
  • PERT Charts
  • Time Management
  • Mental planning models (GRPI, TSRE, OSCA)
  • Multi-Generation Project Planning (MGPP)
  • See Management Tools page

Tactical skills

  • Change Management
  • Conflict Management
  • Effective Meetings
  • Faces of resistance
  • Facilitation
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • See Management Tools page

More Tools

Please contact us to discuss your requirements