Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of productivity focused on organizing everything at work. Kaizen translates to “good change”, and is founded on the principles of constant and continuous improvement.
Unlike other productivity systems, Kaizen is more of a philosophy that can be applied anywhere and at any job. Kaizen is meant to be applied to the way you think and organize everything, from your personal work habits to project management tasks which involve other team members. At its essence, the Kaizen philosophy states that all organizations should strive to do everything possible, better. The whole purpose of the Kaizen philosophy is to enable you to make improvements daily based on how you work, so that over due you get to make significant progress.
These are the 6 key steps involved in the Kaizen method:
Many people are unaware that they are working without a process or routine. Kaizen encourages the use of processes that are repeatable. For example, if you have to come up with weekly social media content for your brand, you can create a template with the objective, links, and content ahead of time.
As a bonus, if you ever need to someone else to do the work for you, you already have a template in place to guide others, making it easier to follow. To start standardizing your work, you can write down each step involved and all the areas you want to improve. Once you begin writing all steps, you’ll easily find those you want to combine or eliminate to help you work more efficiently.
Once you’re through creating a process that works, everything will be easier. Whether you’re thinking of captions, writing content or sourcing it online, the tasks can be accomplished quicker. Documenting the first step will save you time and effort. If it doesn’t, figure out where the obstacles are and work on changing or improving it.
This step requires you to think about what you can do to complete your task faster. How can you finish your weekly social media posts ahead of time? For some people, this is simply a matter of changing the time of day you work in since others are more productive in the mornings as opposed to the afternoon. Be creative when using the Kaizen technique to come up with more efficient solutions.
4. Refine and systematize
As you continue working with the new process you’ve set in place, you’ll learn more about what’s needed in order to refine the process. Creating checklists or fill-in-the-blank templates and forms will help you work more efficiently and faster.
Most people end up just trying to complete a task without taking some time to notice how things are done. It may take some time in the beginning, but once you discover little tweaks or steps you can do that contributes to the overall success and efficiency of a task, it will save you so much time in the future.
Remember, there is always room for improvements. Even small changes can dramatically improve your productivity and efficiency. Aside from productivity, the Kaizen philosophy brings about numerous benefits such as:
Engaged and satisfied employees are more likely to stay in an organization.
Doing things productively and efficiently directly impacts satisfaction with one’s work.
Commitment and ownership
Employees feel a sense of ownership in their job and are committed to doing their best.
Better problem-solving skills
When employees look at systems and processes using a solutions perspective, it allows them to continuously solve problems as they go about their tasks.
Employee skills as well as inventory is used up more efficiently. Kaizen prioritizes the reduction of waste in any form, which can take the place of time, energy, movement, defects, over-processing, and variations.
The end users of your brand will be more satisfied as they use higher quality products and interact with more evolved brands.
The Kaizen philosophy helps teams work together and solve problems more efficiently, which strengthens teams.
Kaizen can be utilized by businesses both big and small, and can positively impact any industry. How will you start using Kaizen to improve your business today?