Kaizen Tools & Templates

Easily implement and monitor continuous improvement efforts using a mobile app.

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Published November 19th, 2020

What are Kaizen Tools?

Kaizen tools are primarily used in the manufacturing industry to eliminate 8 wastes or DOWNTIME (Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra-processing) and optimize business processes for global competitiveness. Kaizen tools help employees and management implement and monitor continuous improvement efforts in the workplace.

This article will briefly discuss:

What is the Importance of Kaizen Tools?

Since kaizen means “change for the better”, the use of kaizen tools results in more efficient ways of doing tasks and more effective communication between shifts, work areas, and organization levels. Taking advantage of mobile-ready kaizen tools and templates can help cross-functional teams easily identify wastes, execute action plans, and report new changes.

What is the Kaizen Technique?

Kaizen as a business improvement technique is often practiced through a top-down approach, where the management demonstrates its commitment to operational efficiency. The kaizen technique of eliminating wastes to streamline workflows can be practically applied through a project-based format which is often called a kaizen blitz.

What are the 4 Main Kaizen Principles?

There are actually 5 fundamental kaizen principles according to the Kaizen Institute, founded by Masaaki Imai—widely considered as the Father of Kaizen. It is unknown how the notion that there are “4 main kaizen principles”, sometimes 10 or even 15, developed, but they are probably variations or compressed/expanded versions of the 5 kaizen principles:

  • Principle #1: Know Your Customer
  • Principle #2: Let It Flow
  • Principle #3: Go to Gemba
  • Principle #4: Empower People
  • Principle #5: Be Transparent

Kaizen Tools: Success Factors

Continuous improvement begins with the admission that every organization has problems which provide opportunities for change. Here are 3 key factors cross-functional teams can do to successfully implement kaizen:

  1. Focus on improving the process

    Organizations usually fail in implementing kaizen because of reverting to a conventional approach of continuous improvement: “employees are the problem”. In implementing kaizen, apply a process-emphasis approach with kaizen tools by measuring performance, eliminating wastes, and changing the process for the better. Employees and management should understand how their job fits in the process because good processes bring good results.

  2. Enable people to do better

    The people most knowledgeable about a task are those that perform it, so ownership of the process is raised to its highest level by involving them and showing confidence in their capabilities. Kaizen tools enable cross-functional teams to go where the real work happens and grasp the current situation because big results come from small changes everyone does on a daily basis.

  3. Commit with data-driven decisions

    Performance and improvements should be tangible and visible, so everyone is constantly reminded of implementing kaizen. Employees and management should practice speaking with data and managing facts.

Mobile-ready Kaizen Tools & Templates

iAuditor by SafetyCulture can help organizations easily implement and monitor continuous improvement efforts by easily accessing kaizen tools anytime, anywhere, and on any iOS, Android, or Windows mobile device. Take photos and make annotations in the app and automatically generate and share kaizen reports to members of your organization.

Use for free with small teams. Unlimited storage and real-time analytics for premium accounts. With iAuditor, you can empower people with the following mobile-ready kaizen tools:

  • Kaizen Report Template
  • 7 Wastes Checklist
  • 8 Wastes Checklist
  • Gemba Walk Checklist
  • 5S Audit Checklist
  • 6S Lean Safety Checklist
  • 5 Whys Template
  • 8D Report
  • FMEA Template
  • DMAIC Template

Author

Shine Colcol

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.