Kaizen events are short duration improvement projects with a selected aim for improvement. Typically, they’re week-long event led by a facilitator with the implementation team being predominantly members of the world during which the kaizen event is administered plus a couple of additional people from support areas and even management.

Kaizen events, although commonly promoted together off events, should be a part of an overall program of continuous improvement if they’re to achieve success and for sustained gains. The kaizen functions in an environment where they’re not supported or understood generally have profits that are quickly eroded over a brief period of your time as people revert to their original ways of working.

Types of Kaizen Events.

  • Kaizen Blitz
  • Kaizen Burst
  • Focused Improvement Workshops
  • Kaizen workshops
  • Continuous Improvement workshops
  • Accelerated Improvement Events
  • Rapid process improvement workshops
  • Kaizen events also can be targeted at specific tools or areas;
  • 5S Kaizen
  • TPM Kaizen
  • Setup Reduction Kaizen (SMED)
  • Value Stream Mapping or Flow Kaizen
  • Supply Chain Kaizen

Whatever you call them, these events all have common aims and structures and appearance to harness the ideas and creativity of your workforce in creating a step-change improvement during a specific area of your business.

The success of a kaizen event requires good leadership and careful planning, failure to supply either will often cause an occasion where most of the team stands around for the week confused about expectations.

Successfully implemented an honest kaizen event can make significant improvements, typical events generating 20% to 100% improvements in areas like efficiency, quality, and delivery performance. Kaizen events should even be applied in areas aside from just production; you’ll often generate significant savings and enhancements in commission areas of your company, usually higher than those traditionally produced in manufacturing.

Planning a Kaizen Event

You need to define what you hope to realize for your kaizen event. The subsequent steps will run through a typical series of tasks that are required to possess a successful kaizen event. Many of those steps overlap in time, and conventional sense must be applied when detailing out an idea for your kaizen blitz.

Train a Kaizen Coordinator

For any kaizen event to achieve success, you’ll need someone to steer and facilitate the development of your kaizen event. While the world manager or team leader could also be the leader. You’ll want someone experienced in lean techniques and philosophies experienced in running these sorts of events. An honest facilitator can help the team to remain within the right direction|not off course” on target and pull them in the right direction to realize the most straightforward possible results.

Failure to chose an honest facilitator can cause events that achieve nothing because the attendees become confused and disheartened with the method and cease to participate. If you’re choosing a consultant to require this role ask to speak to previous clients to get their true abilities.

Gain commitment and understanding from management

As with the other initiative, the senior management team needs to be fully behind it and involved. Failure to urge their commitment will cause mediocre results that are almost bound to slip back.

Define the boundaries of the event.

Where does one want to run your kaizen event? Define the boundaries precisely so that everyone knows what areas and departments are involved if it’s a production area as an example showing where the event will affect a plan so that everyone understands all aspects included in the project.

Define what it’s you would like to enhance

What is the aim of the event? Is it a 5S kaizen blitz to introduce 5S principles to the world, or are you trying to scale back the space haunted by a production cell to form room for a replacement product, or even you’re looking to develop things more efficient or reduce lead times? you would like to possess a transparent idea of what it’s that you simply want to realize before you begin generally terms a minimum of, this then must be developed into clear goals and measures (see below.)


Let everyone within the company know what it’s that you only are getting to be doing, don’t let this be a surprise, tell them why you’re doing it, or the rumor mill will enter the action.

Create your team

Kaizen Blitz in Process

Select the team; generally, your team leader is going to be the supervisor/team leader of the world, counting on your company structure. You ought to make sure that your team leader is positive about creating change and is fully conscious of the business case for creating improvements. A team leader that’s unconvinced or feels threatened can restrict the advances.

Typically team members should comprise of individuals that employment within the event taking place. Plus, various people from other support areas like maintenance, administration, sales, etc. it’s also worth adding a couple of people from the following area during which a kaizen event planned so that they need some experience for a subsequent event.

Define and Implement measures of performance

You need to become more specific about what improvements you would like to form and put in situ measures to point out current levels of performance. So if you’re looking to enhance efficiency, then you would like to place in situ measures and start to collect data from pointing out the present performance, which you’ll then compare against the event, when finished.

  • Typical measures are:
  • Output per person per hour
  • Space Utilized
  • Travel Distance
  • Lead time
  • Work in Progress (Inventory)
  • Reject Levels
  • Take photographs and even videos of the world so that people can compare before and after.

Note: If one among the aims is to enhance efficiency and thus reduce the human resources required, you want to make sure that everyone knows that this is often to free for other work to reduce redundancy. No improvement project should ever put people out of work; nobody will exerting to enhance anything if they risk losing their job. All persons released should be utilized elsewhere or trained up to make further improvements.

Pre-Event training

The team that’s to be trained in identifying the seven wastes of lean:

  • Transport
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Overproduction
  • Over-processing
  • Defects

Also, they’re going to need training in basic lean principles and, in most cases, the 5S process as most layout improvements involve aspects of 5S. Select appropriate training for the changes that you simply got to make. This overview training should happen around every week approximately before the particular event.

Pre-Event Planning

For any event to be a hit, you would like to possess an overview plan of what you’re likely to be doing during the blitz. Planning is often where an honest, experienced facilitator comes in very handy, they’re likely to remember what things are likely to be changed and needed for your event.

Map out a rough timeline for your event

  • Training, data gathering and analysis
  • Analysis and modeling
  • Changing of layout
  • Layout refinement, standardized instructions
  • Refinement, presentation to management, Pizza dinner

If you’re getting to be rearranging production workspace, then you’ll need to get electricians, moving equipment, and other support arranged for the likely day/night that things need moving. If you’re getting to be creating flow with defined areas and transparent labeling, then you’ll need floor marking tape, paint, labeling machines, etc.

Think and plan and make sure that you’ve got in situ everything that you simply are likely to wish for the precise project you’ll run, from cleaning materials to cranes.

The Kaizen Event

Depending on the character of your kaizen event, have a rough schedule planned out. Your facilitator should provide training and support to the team as needed, also as ensuring that the pace of change is maintained. It’s essential to make sure that folks are enthused and occupied for the majority of the project; failure to stay them involved will cause you to lose their enthusiasm and support for the changes.

If you’ve got a vision of what should be achieved don’t be surprised if the team select something else; they’re those that really skills things add their areas and that they know what is going to make their work easier. Don’t drag them back to your vision of what things should appear as if, let the facilitator aid them in creating their ideal solution. Ideas that the team come up with are more likely to be sustainable than approaches forced onto them.

Take photographs and videos because the event unfolds. For the top result, a storyboard showing before and after results may be an excellent way to coach and obtain the commitment of teams for brand spanking new areas.


Present the action plan to management. These events always manage to form surprising advancements that are satisfactory for everyone at all levels.

Have the team present their storyboard showing before and after pictures also because the benefits gained through the kaizen blitz, if data is out there to point out the impact of the measures, then this could also be presented.

Reward Your People

Often we frequently fail to recognize our people for employment well done. Rewarding your employees with food and or gift cards is a cheap but effective way to show appreciation for a job well done.

Review and Improve

Japanese kaizen is about making many small improvements continuingly, your team needs now to continue the work within the event by continuously monitoring the performance of the work area and arising with more advancements.

If you fail to offer the team the time and motivation to improve, eventually still any gains that you simply have made through your project will slip back.

Rinse & Repeat.

Plan your next event in another area of the corporate. A kaizen blitz doesn’t show how to unravel a crisis facing the business but an ongoing series of improvements. Events count on the dimensions of your organization, each even during a different area or with a particular focus. Each area should be revisited for brand spanking new events daily, kaizen is a continual change for the improvements.