Many businesses employ continuous improvement using Lean and KAIZEN™ methods and tools. The results are great and visible, but it is common have the trouble in maintaining the implemented changes in a lasting way.
This is the outcome of an absence of support for improvement activities as well as standards to help the management and monitoring of said initiatives. Added to this is the lack of adjustment between projects, natural teams and business strategy. To support teams in these processes, the KAIZEN™ Support model helps build the necessary basis in daily management and Lean leadership that will eventually lead to a continuous improvement culture within an organisation.
KAIZEN™ Support is responsible for assuring every activity that supports continuous improvement, from organising and training to communication and audit. Its main goal is to increase the involvement of employees, improve the visibility of achieved targets, align continuous improvement activities with business strategy, all the while assuring that the business is sustainable. KAIZEN™ Support activities are mainly carried out by the KAIZEN™ Promotion Office team.
Implementing this model is done in four different stages.
Stage 0 is called Support KAIZEN™ Planning, which is when the current state of the continuous improvement support structure is identified and when support improvement events that should be deployed during the following 6 months are planned.
Stage 1 focuses on setting up the support mission control, which will allow everyone to see and understand the status of the various actions that support continuous improvement deployment, assuring total transparency of process.
Stage 2 is dedicated to support events. These are the first step to deploying the vision designed in stage 0. The main goal is to sketch out the solution, test it in a pilot program and plan the deployment.
The third and last stage begins with closing events (support event closing), which guarantees requirements are defined and the process is stable, as well assuring the whole organisation is compliant with standards.
In a nutshell, KAIZEN™ Support is essential for organisations to achieve their desired results in continuous improvement programs and to ensure the empowerment of change through deployment of continuous improvement skills and behaviours throughout the organisation.