By setting yourself the goal of doing a huge number of things in a short time, you are deliberately driving yourself into a dead end. After all, your current tasks will never end. Therefore, you should not strive to do as much as possible, but concentrate on important, global affairs. To succeed in work, in life, it is important to plan the right things. To consider business as a continuous process, in which each element is related to the other and has a certain value. We suggest using the Japanese Kaizen methodology for this purpose, which will help to get rid of fuss and put things in order. In our article, we will tell you what kaizen planning is. What results it produces and how to use this method in practice.
The Kaizen philosophy of business management emerged in Japan after World War II. Literally translated, the term means: “change for the better”. The essence of the concept is the constant modernization of business processes. To achieve success, all elements of a company’s business environment must be continuously improved and upgraded. Any optimization has a positive impact on overall performance. People work better, get satisfaction from the work process. Product quality improves. The company gets additional profit and achieves its goals faster.
Kaizen philosophy is applicable to all spheres of life. Many methods, techniques and planning tools have been developed on its basis. This approach is aimed not at achieving a certain result, but at getting pleasure from the very process of activity. Success is evaluated not by achievements, but by the desire to achieve them, the desire for continuous self-improvement. In this approach, each team member tries to fulfill his or her assigned role as best as possible. In this way, he/she contributes to the overall success of the team.
The kaizen concept is based on the principle of lean production. That is, elimination of processes and actions that lead to losses, optimization of the work of each department and employee, and customer orientation.
Kaizen philosophy is based on the cyclical nature of actions. They are constantly repeated in a closed cycle, contributing to the development of the company. Cyclicality is based on two key principles:
The core elements of Kaizen include:
In kaizen philosophy, the correct arrangement of workplaces is important. A special 5S methodology is used to optimize them.
|It is necessary to sort out all items present in the workplace. Items not in use are labeled and removed from the desk.
|The remaining items and tools should be kept strictly in their designated places. For this purpose, kaizen planning provides for arrangement schemes.
|The workplace must be perfectly clean. It must be tidied up after work is finished.
|The above actions should become a mandatory system. Special trainings may be held to reinforce useful skills.
|These principles are a mandatory rule for all employees. They should be further improved and developed.
The Japanese concept implies active participation of employees in production management processes. They can contribute their ideas to an improvised “bank”. Management scrutinizes and considers each of them, even if, at first glance, the employees’ suggestions seem unrealistic or strange.
Kaizen planning is performed using Kanban methodology. This methodology provides absolute transparency of work processes with visualization of tasks on a common board. Each team member can take his individual task from it, visually seeing what actions are performed by his teammates. As tasks are executed, they are moved to the corresponding columns. Therefore, the manager and executors can see which tasks have been completed or are in progress.
Kaizen planning takes place in several stages:
The Japanese use the “Ikigai” technique to define a mission to help achieve work-life balance.
Example of a personal mission statement: “I want to live a happy, secure life with benefits for society and the environment.”
Global strategic plans are written on special “annual” boards. Once all tasks are completed, the boards are removed or renamed for future use.
The first step to mastering the Kaizen methodology is to master planning skills. To structure and organize all work processes in the team according to the Kanban system, you can use an ordinary whiteboard in the office or use the modern LeaderTask service.
In the application you can make lists of tasks, categorize or prioritize them using color labels, set due dates for each task. Assign statuses to them, move them in columns. Automate routine repetitive tasks. The program will move them to the required date, send a notification about the execution time. The program functionality includes a set of time management tools for proper organization of work processes.
In LeaderTask you can also organize brainstorming sessions with colleagues to quickly solve any project issues. Organize feedback between management and executives. You can share the results of work with other employees, distribute responsibilities between employees, track the progress of assigned tasks. See a full picture of your work, personal affairs on a virtual whiteboard or calendar. The service works on all digital platforms, including without internet.
Implementing kaizen philosophy in the activities of any company is a labor-intensive process that requires a large-scale restructuring of employees’ thinking at all levels. Therefore, it is better to approach the system in small steps, constantly asking yourself the question: how to make the company better. The most important element of kaizen practice is the thoughts and ideas of employees. Performers working in secondary roles are more likely to notice small, insignificant details that are not obvious from the managerial seats.
The application of kaizen planning ensures the formation of a culture of continuous improvement at all levels of the company. Personnel motivated for development and self-improvement will strive to perform their duties efficiently and effectively. This will lead to increased profitability and prosperity of the company.