What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. 


The concept was originally introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, in 1986. Today, kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. Kaizen is continuous improvement that is based on certain guiding principles:

  • Good processes bring good results
  • Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
  • Speak with data, manage by facts
  • Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
  • Work as a team
  • Kaizen is everybody’s business
  • And much more!

One of the most notable features of kaizen is that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. However, this has been misunderstood small changes. In fact, kaizen means everyone is involved in making improvements. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as kaizen events.

Kaizen Word Picture




KAI      =   CHANGE









ZEN     =    GOOD






 Kaizen = Continuous Improvemnt

 ...by Everybody! Everyday! Everywhere!


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