Talk:Kaizen

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Old Comments[edit]

Broken link User:stadtpark

kaizens literal meaning is improvement. Kaizen in term of TQC might means continuous improvement. FWBOarticle

How is this an encyclopedia article? This should be moved to Wictionary.

Despite the dictionary style of some sections, Kaizen is not just a word, it's an important part of the work and maybe the culture of many people in many places.

I added a brief discussion of 5S just to get something in there, but it definitely requires a lot more meat. There's at least one good description under a CC license but I think it's not compatible with the Wikipedia settings for CC. So anything anyone can add is most welcome. -- Kyle Maxwell 2005-07-06

Clean up[edit]

I hope you guys can live with my attempt to clean, structure and 'formalise' the content of the article. I found all of what was written interesting but somewhat lacking in 'encyclopedia style'. I have attempted to put that style in by changing the structure a bit and moving paragraphs to those sections, by removing sentences that may be true and deeply felt but not easily backed by primary sources and finally by removing some of the "see also" that i felt were in allied areas but did not link directly to this concept (e.g. NLP). I must admit that my viewpoint is deeply biased by Toyota and Lean and therefore my views about Kaizen are perhaps too deeply aligned with theirs. For example this had led me to remove references to Kaizen being used at senior levels and to achieve big aims. In Toyota the huge majority of Kaizen happen in a week and happen on the production line or gemba. This allows massive parallelisation of improvements and ensure successful improvements. So whilst other forms are of course possible within Toyota that is not the common usage of the Kaizen term. The views expressed in this article are still not backed by specific sources so i will add its first. Please forgive me if you feel slighted by these changes and help me keep it 'formal' but adapt it to your thinking too. Facius 14:20, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I feel there is far too much referencing to Toyota. It gives the impression that Toyota was the sole pioneer of using this philosophy and one of the few to continue using it. This is far from the truth as many Japanese firms used, pioneered and benefited from the Kaizen philosophy. It makes this article seem biased and a corporate advertisement that Toyota is superior to others for using this philosophy.Fashion cadaver (talk) 10:13, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Cost Cutting[edit]

a method of (industrial) cost cutting

Kaizen is no more about "cost cutting", than Rolex wrist watches are about "time keeping".

It had more content before... Where did it go... I miss it... :)

Reducing waste and increasing efficiencies is cost cutting and a cost cutting that effectively improves quality. If we increase outs, improve quality and improve ct by reducing reworks or becoming more efficeint, it is an immediate cost savings.

perpetual improvement

Kaizen means perpetual improvement - for the good of mankind. Perpetual refinement with benevolence. Every solution is viewed as a temporary solution, until we see how and where further improvements can be made. Increasing profits beyond a reasonable amount is not kaizen, it is greed.

5S as a Philosophy[edit]

5S is a Philosophy and a way of organizing and managing the workspace. Hiroyuki Hirano wrote an entire book about 5S called 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace: The Sourcebook for 5S Implementation. While the article in it's current form is a definition it could be expaned upon to a great degree.

5S is customarily implimented in connection with a Kaizen, lean manufacturing, or continuous improvement program. However, 5S can be a stand-alone program and handled completely seperate of a continuous improvement, or kaizen, activity. Similarly, some organizations do not address 5S as part of their kaizen activity. Therefore, since 5S is not immutably linked to kaizen, it should remain as an independent article.

I agree that 5S should be separate. Kaizen and 5S are both processes and philosophies. However, while you can apply kaizen to all 5S, you cannot apply 5S to all kaizen. When I want to read more about 5S, I don't necessarily want to wade through pages of kaizen discussion. Ehusman 21:56, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Translation[edit]

I have combined several statements into one, but does anyone with any **authority** know the real translation for "kai" and "zen"? In other words, someone fluent in both Japanese and English. I have read many books on the subject, but that doesn't mean that those authors are correct! Ehusman 21:53, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

[Reply] I'll give it a try, not claiming any **authority**, since this two words has similar meaning in Japanese as well as Chinese. I'm Chinese. "Kai (or Gai in Chinese pronunciation)" means "to change". In a simple way, "zen (shan)" means "good", as good vs. evil. But "zen" has a deeper meaning than just good/bad, or true/false, which is a little hard to translate. Combined, "kaizen" means "change for the good or for the benefit" of some purpose, or commonly interpreted in Lean as "continuous improvement" for the benefit of a company, organization, or one self. Hchen 18:40, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


Can you please add the tones on the chinese translation as the words are meaningless without the proper tone indication?


The glyphs for Japanese, Korean and Chinese writing appear to be the same. I would assume that this might be an error.

kaizen is japanese ....[edit]

could you please add the japanese names and/or history behind kaizen? kaizen seems to be a japanese word, and a japanese principle which seems to be very old. it would be very astonishing if this was an invention by taylor, bunkher, and shewart.

kaizen is one of the cornerstones of tps, like jit is. and for tps taylor&al seemed to have an influence. but for kaizen i'm very doubtful.

--ThurnerRupert 13:24, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Maazaki Isai says in Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success, "It is well known that the initial concepts of statistical quality control and its managerial implications were brought to Japan by such pioneers as Deming and Juran in the postwar years. Less well known is the fact that the suggestion system was brought to Japan about the same time by TWI (Training Within Industries [sic]) and the U. S. Air Force. In addition, many Japanese executives who visited the United States right after the war learned about the suggestion system and started it at their companies."
In the intro to Dinero's Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean, John Shook writes about a time when he was working for Toyota when he "protested to my Japanese colleague, declaring that the program as configured just wouldn't do and required radical revision before being unleashed on the NUMMI workforce." His colleague, Toyota Master Trainer Iaso Kato, "stormed out and fetched from a back room file a yellowed, dog-eared, coffee-stained copy of the English-language original training manual, just as he had received it .... To my absolute amazement, the program that Toyota was going to great expense (including retranslating from Japanese to English) to "transfer" to NUMMI was exactly what the Americans had taught the Japanese decades earlier. Of course, it was JI, the Job Instruction module of TWI. Toyota still used it in 1984 and continues to use it today ...."
You could also check out the Training Within Industry page and take the link to Huntzinger's article, "The Roots of Lean; Training Within Industry: The Origin of Kaizen".
The Japanese certainly employed the methods with much more vigor than American industry. We see improvements in quality control by such people as Ishikawa, but as Shook's experience at Toyota makes clear, the basics of kaizen were largely in place by the end of WWII. TWI was emphatic about not changing the training program without substantial examination of the proposed change, so it isn't surprising that the program survived intact at Toyota. Ohno does not appear on the list of Deming Prize winners for individuals, and the contributions of people like Akao, Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi were mostly in statistical application, root cause analysis, and other ideas related to kaizen, but didn't do much to change the daily practice of kaizen itself. As to how it could have largely disappeared in the US while it flourished in Japan, I think Waddell & Bodek's Rebirth of American Industry gives some clues: basically, after the war, American manufacturers were the only world class manufacturers left standing, and they all abandoned Ford's methods (admired by both Toyoda and Ohno) and adopted the flawed Sloan system.
Strange but true. Ehusman 14:40, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
this might be very true. but there is no taylor, bunker, shewart in this history. but they had influence on tps via jit. --ThurnerRupert 10:11, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
apart from the fact i think your short explanation above is much more worth to be put into kaizen, tps, or lean production than the information which is currently there :)
--ThurnerRupert 10:49, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Shewhart's main contribution was in statistical process control. Taylor had nothing to do with JIT; that evolved mostly from Ohno and somewhat from Ford (who had already gone into mass production when Taylor was first getting published). Don't know about Bunker - do you mean the Gilbreth's (Frank and Lillian)? They, like Taylor, did time and motion studies, but, also like Taylor, they believed that workers should work and managers should think, the opposite of the Kaizen ethic. Remember Kanosuke Matsushita's famous claim that "Yes, we will win and you will lose. For you are not able to rid your minds of the obsolete Taylorism that we never had." He knew that Taylorism <> kaizen. Ehusman 00:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wants criticism[edit]

where's the criticism section ? surely it's not all good (case in point, take word is thrown around like it's candy by the corporate droids where I work surely it can be all that good) From 216.113.99.17 on 12 June 2006

I do agree with that. What is this, a religion that cannot be criticized? 190.226.92.219 (talk) 03:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

You are correct, at my job if you voice an opinion against the kaizan religion, they fire you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.179.159.197 (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't like link to gaming Kaizen[edit]

Why put "For Kaizen, the fantasy currency used in Priston Brazil, see Kaizen Games." at the top of this article? I send people to this page so they can read about Kaizen, and the first line is BS which turns people off. From Jsong123 on 18 July 2006.

It's not BS, it's proper wiki practice and better than a disambiguation page Ehusman 23:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

reference removed[edit]

I have removed the following that was added to the "references" section, as the references section should be only for sources used for writing the article:

  • Bodek, Norman and Tozawa, Bunji (2001), "The Idea Generator: Quick and Easy Kaizen", PCS, Inc., ISBN 0-9712436-9-7

If this source was in fact used, or if it would be useful under a different section, please feel free to re-add it. --AbsolutDan (talk) 13:00, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Link Removed[edit]

I removed the link to DJ Kaizen as it was for a DJ - commercial link. statsone 03:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Disagreement with the Blue Criticism Box[edit]

Rephrasing with sesquipedalian verbosity and prolix pomposity, as essentially demanded in the Blue Box at the beginning of the Wikipedia entry on Kaizen, would be no improvement at all. I found the article succint, informative and interesting. A6zzz 03:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree - Removed TONE tag[edit]

I was surprised by the TONE tag. I read the guideline and reviewed the article. The tone seems fine.

External links removed[edit]

Not a single external link complied with WP policy. DCDuring 04:40, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Kaizen Blitz and Kaizen Burst[edit]

Can we please also add the terms Kaizen Blitz, meaning "rapid improvement" and Kaizen Burst. A Kaizen Burst is a specific point Kaizen activity on a particulur process in the Value Stream.

Reference - Liker, J. Meier, D.(2006), The Toyota Way Fieldbook, New York, McGraw-Hill [1]

--Jasonjbridger (talk) 09:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of Kaisen issues as related to current Toyota problems[edit]

Given that Kaisen and Toyota are to some degree synonymous today, it seems only fair to characterize Toyota's recent manufacturing and safety issues as a breakdown in Kaisen, either on the assembly line or at higher levels of Toyota management. I would like to see someone address these issues here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.146.41.215 (talk) 20:56, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

The faults seem to be due to a bad design, not bad manufacturing. They were design errors, not manufacturing errors. So Kaizen would not have been at fault. 89.243.151.96 (talk) 16:39, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Kaizen is only one tool used by toyota in its management system, unless you are thinking of it in a much higher sense than most western companies use the term. Kaizen would have been used in design as well as manufacturing. It was not a failure of the Toyota philosophy that is the cause of Toyota's problems, but their failure to fully act according to the system. Unfortunately, the good practices associated with Toyota, especially when called by their Japanese names, are going to be tarnished and managers will miss out on their benefits. That is a difficult issue to address in an encyclopedic article because so much opinion is involved. --Wilhkar (talk) 22:15, 28 February 2010 (UTC)wilhkar

Might it be appropriate to make a section about problems at Toyota, but make it distinct from the "Criticisms" section? Most of the criticisms about Kaizen in here are really just complaints that Toyota doesn't always follow it... MikeNM (talk) 06:26, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

5 main elements[edit]

the items listed can be associated with an adoption of lean manufacturing, but the unreferenced and overly general list should be deleted. Wilhkar (talk) 22:29, 28 February 2010 (UTC) wilhkar

Kaizen beign the German word for efficiency[edit]

This is simply incorrect and perhaps someone should remove the notion from the article. Kaizen is no word whatsoever in German. It is occasionally used in business when refering to a certain management practice for improving things in a business - as is demonstrated by Toyota's kaizen approach but that's all.

As for reference: Look into a German dicitionary. You will not find the word kaizen anywhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.8.133.107 (talk) 14:35, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

That's right. I removed it. Gthb (talk) 18:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Daily song?[edit]

The Introduction section starts out "Kaizen is a daily song, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement", but the "song" is never explained or referenced again. Please clarify what is meant by this and how it fits into the process described in the rest of the article. --Mr2001 (talk) 22:54, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks like vandalism. I replaced it with process.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 01:07, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

Having read through the cited sources, none of them are actually critical of kaizen. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E6D91F3DF937A15751C0A9669D8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1 and http://www.nlcnet.org/newsroom?id=0030 don't even mention the word, the HMO case was about wrongheaded implementation not about kaizen itself, etc. It's all WP:SYN. Genuine academically rigorous criticism of kaizen would be fine, but this isn't, it's criticism of organisaitons that happen to be using it, for issues which even the sources don't appear to attribute to kaizen itself. Guy (Help!) 14:12, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

WebKaizen events: Why?[edit]

I've removed the following section because:

  • It seems like an ad
  • It introduces tools/diagrams we can't see, yet adds little to the article
  • It sites a book which I've found to be obscure.

WebKaizen Events, written by Kate Cornell, condenses the philosophies of kaizen events into a one-day, problem solving method that leads to prioritized solutions. This method combines Kaizen Event tools with PMP concepts. It introduces the Focused Affinity Matrix and the Cascading Impact Analysis. The Impact/Constraint Diagram and the Dual Constraint Diagram are tools used in this method.[2] wcrosbie (talk), Melbourne, Australia 06:36, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Continuous Progress through Process Improvement (CPPI)[edit]

CPPI: Continuous Progress through Process Improvement

CPPI uses four very important principles. - Lean (Eliminate Waste) - Six Sigma (Minimize Variation) - Theory of Constraints (Strengthening Weakest Link) - Training within Industry (Standard Work)

http://www.slideshare.net/CharlesSLoganMBA/cppi#!

Most companies only use one or two above. In order to have a robust program improvement process you must use all 4 of the above methodologies. When all four are used together, you can see the difference!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by C1shark (talkcontribs) 14:35, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).