Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy

Knowledge Center


Gradual, continuous (incremental) change (improvement). Explanation of Kaizen.



Kaizen 5S frameworkKaizenWhat is Kaizen? Definition

The Kaizen method of continuous incremental improvements is an originally Japanese management concept for gradual, continuous (incremental) change (improvement).

Kaizen is actually a way of life philosophy. It assumes that every aspect of our life deserves to be constantly improved. The Kaizen philosophy lies behind many Japanese management concepts such as: Total Quality Control, Quality Control circles, small group activities, labor relations.

Key elements of Kaizen are: quality, effort, involvement of all employees, willingness to change, and communication.

Japanese companies distinguish between: Innovation, a radical form of change, and Kaizen, a continuous form of change. Kaizen means literally: change (kai) to become good (zen).

The five foundation elements of Kaizen

  1. Teamwork.
  2. Personal discipline.
  3. Improved morale.
  4. Quality circles.
  5. Suggestions for improvement.

Out of this foundation, three key factors in Kaizen arise

  • Elimination of Waste (muda) and inefficiency.
  • The Kaizen 5S Framework for good housekeeping.
    1. Seiri, meaning tidiness (Eng: Straighten)
    2. Seiton, meaning orderliness (Eng: Sort)
    3. Seiso, meaning cleanliness (Eng: Sweep, Shine)
    4. Seiketsu, meaning standardized clean-up (Eng: Standardize)
    5. Shitsuke, meaning discipline (Eng: Self-Discipline, Sustain)
  • Standardization.

When should the Kaizen philosophy be applied? Although it is difficult to give generic advice it is clear that it fits well in gradual, incremental change situations that require long-term change and in collective cultures. More individual cultures that are more focused on short-term success are often more conducive to concepts such as Business Process Reengineering.

Kaizen compared to Business Process Reengineering

When Kaizen is compared with the BPR method it is clear the Kaizen philosophy is more people-oriented, more easy to implement, but requires long-term discipline and provides only a small pace of change. The Business Process Reengineering approach on the other hand is harder, technology-oriented, it enables radical change but it requires considerable change management skills.

Book: Masaaki Imai - Kaizen -

Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Forum
  Personal Experiences with Kaizen
Kaizen has been wonderful for me having practiced ...
  Kaizen Prerequisites
I believe self-discipline is a mandatory pr...
  Kaizen is Based on Kata
Kaizen is more than we can think in Japanese cultu...
  Formal Kaizen Programs
Kaizen should be practised within a formal program...
  Start the Change Within Yourself
The most important thing before starting Kaizen is...
  Kaizen and Quality and Toyota
Small incremental changes in quality can be accomp...
  Gauging Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction has a direct effect on profi...
  Organizational Change Must Be Slow and Incremental
Change in organizations should be slow and increme...
  Linking Kaizen to Goals of the Organization
Linking Kaizen to goals is a sure way to ensure im...
  Kaizen is a Philosophy | Kaizen Background
I am led to believe Kaizen is more of a philosophy...
  The Kaizen Philosophy
Kaizen is really a way of life philosophy. ...
  Building Blocks of Kaizen, Continual Improvement
It's interesting to see the clarification we recei...
  Kaizen is More than the Housekeeping techniques (5S) !
Kaizen 5S is not just housekeeping techniques...
  One of the Best Management Practice that anyboy could have.
Kaizen is one of the excellent management practice...
  Kaizen in my Company
We use Kaizen to improve continuously. We also han...
  Kaizen in Human Resources
I agree that Kaizen is the right way to increase o...
  Kaizen basis for Lean Six Sigma
I think the Kaizen is the same as Lean Six Sigma, ...
  Loss Function Analysis
Loss function analysis can be used for controling ...
  Kaizen vs Business Process Reengineering
In ideas companies like film production, televisio...

Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group

Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Education & Events

Find Trainings, Seminars and Events

Best Practices - Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Premium
  Kaizen is a Way of Life
I believe that Kaizen has not been well understood...
  Quotes on Kaizen. Quotations
Do you know some deep, famous or funny quotes on K...

Expert Tips - Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Premium

Comparison Kaizen vs. Innovation

In 1992, A. Meckel made this useful comparison of ...
Usage (application): Appreciate the Differences...

Tools to Attack Waste

What tools you can use for every waste you can fin...
Usage (application): Waste Management, Waste Tools Overview

Building blocks of Kaizen: QCD

Imai mentions three main building blocks of Kaizen...
Usage (application): Kaizen

Leadership Strategies for Change

In response to the high rate of change failure, Ke...
Usage (application): Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change

Benefits of Kaizen

There are several benefits of using Kaizen or K...
Usage (application): Continuous Improvement

The 8 Wastes of Lean Explained

T - Transport - Moving people, products & informat...
Usage (application): Waste Management

Alternate Process Improvement Model

The IDEAL Model.
Originally, the IDEAL model ...
Usage (application): Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, CMM

Why Kaizen is Needed for Wastefree and Flexible Manufacturing

According to Masaaki Imai, founder and chairman of...
Usage (application): Anecdote

Types of Change. Classification

Organizational change varies along at least to dim...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change, Expected/Unexpected Change, Incremental/Radical Change

Kaizen The Keys to Continuous Improvement

This learning package provides you with everything...
Usage (application): Facilitating a Kaizen Workshop

How to Focus your Improvement Efforts?

Very often organizations consider continuous impro...
Usage (application): Achieve More With Less, Kaizen, BPR, JIT, Lean, Value Chain

Kaizen Best Practices

When starting a Kaizen program, remember to:
Usage (application): Preparing a Kaizen program

Kaizen: An Essential Tool

According to Imai, founder and chairman of the KAI...
Usage (application): Kaizen = Continuous Improvement in Every Facet of Life

Resources - Kaizen Method | Kaizen Philosophy Premium

What is 5S

5S, abbreviated from the Japanese words Seiri, Sei...
Usage (application): Workplace Organization

5S Framework

In depth presentation by GREAVES LIMITED....
Usage (application): 5S House Keeping

5S Strategy for Performance Excellence

5S is the foundation, the building blocks, for a “...
Usage (application): Kaizen

5S Program

Presentation on implementing the 5S-es....
Usage (application): Workplace Organization

The Nature and Complexity of Organizational Change

Presentation about organizational change. The pres...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

5S Game: Introducing 5S Before You Start

Before you start a 5-S on a GEMBA use this Numbers...
Usage (application): Kaizen Method, 5S Exercise

Masaaki Imai Redefines KAIZEN

In this video Masaaki Imai, founder of the KAIZEN ...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of Kaizen, Kaizen Definition

8 Wastes Assessment and 5S Analysis in Office Environments

In the office environment, our work does not take ...
Usage (application): Lean, 5S , WASTE

Kaizen Diagrams

Download and edit these 12manage PowerPoint graphi...
Usage (application): Change Management, TQM

News about Kaizen Method


News about Kaizen Concept


Videos about Kaizen Method


Videos about Kaizen Concept


Presentations about Kaizen Method


Presentations about Kaizen Concept


Books about Kaizen Method


Books about Kaizen Concept


More about Kaizen Method


More about Kaizen Concept


Compare with: Deming Cycle  |  Hoshin Kanri - Policy Deployment  |  Training Within Industry  |  8D Problem Solving  |  Six Sigma  |  Quality Function Deployment  |  Forget Borrow Learn  |  Value Chain  |  Just-in-time  |  Organic Organization  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance  |  Change Phases  |  Six Change Approaches  |  Core Group Theory  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Change Management  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Force Field Analysis  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Eight Attributes of Management Excellence  |  Five Disciplines  |  Ten Principles of Reinvention  |  Fourteen Points of Management  |  People CMM

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |   Ethics & Responsibility  |  Human Resources  |   Program & Project Management  |  Strategy  |  Supply Chain & Quality

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2018 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V14.1 - Last updated: 22-9-2018. All names ™ of their owners.