In today’s complex environment, organizational problem-solving methods demand regular improvement based thinking to move towards a long term goal.
“Kaizen”, a Japanese word, translates as “change for better” and refers to the activities used to continuously improve business processes. Furthermore, a kaizen event is a short term business improvement process aimed to resolve problems in an organization. The objective based model of a Kaizen event effectively guides businesses-and those involved-through complicated problems to create community vision and stance in a competitive market. In today’s blog, we are discussing how your business can solve and overcome problems by leveraging Kaizen Events.
In today’s fast paced businesses demanding flawless executions in each operation, kaizen events excel by focusing on improving specific areas of work processes. Lasting about three to five days in total, it serves to eliminate organizational waste and improve work processes. Furthermore, kaizen events can be applied to any business area; manufacturing, administration, and quality control are some of the many sections which benefit.
With the growth of your business, expect to encounter additional complicated issues. Kaizen events serve to help you no matter the issue.
How Kaizen Events Can Improve Your Organization
Encourage teamwork: As employees partake in the activities of Kaizen events by improving processes, they feel a sense of importance. This increased sense of belonging drives their enthusiasm in producing positive change. Additionally, management can further trust their employees in completing tasks and working with a purpose.
Increase collaboration: As employees work together to implement future focused changes, their teamwork combines a wide ray of skill sets. By contributing their talents and working with others, they enhance their interpersonal, listening, and communication skills.
Establish leadership: In any Kaizen event, a team leader is elected to organize and coordinate the functions. This presents opportunities for individuals in non-management positions to demonstrate their leadership skills.
Don’t neglect the hard tasks
The clear and straightforward kaizen approach increases overall confidence in your organization by breaking down workable components from the overwhelming big picture. By setting small, achievable milestones, this method can be completed by everyone no matter their level of training. With an overall sense of unity driving the motivation of each individual in your organization, the bigger obstacles shrink down to an attainable form.
However, as with most techniques, there is downside to an emphasis on small and simple problems. If you are not careful, you may begin working in reverse and avoid your more challenging problems by focusing on the outcome versus the projected time investment. While not a problem initially as you fix a few of your smaller problems, apprehension sets in when faced with bigger, more complex ones.
As we challenge our minds and practice newer skills, we become better, thus improving our methods of approach to tackle future complications.
Request Various feedback
Generally, kaizen ideas stem from individual efforts to fix simple problems with palpable solutions. By definition, this is not so for complex problems that have multiple interacting causes.
For this reason alone, utilizing cross functional team efforts to create an engaged environment allows a broader view as team members share their diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and ways of thinking.
Visualize the Problem Structure
While not required to solve simpler problems, the practice of visualizing the problem structure enables you the strength to solve complex problems. However, skipping this it’s skipped even when visualization would be helpful. The bias towards quick and easy can prevent organizations from learning how to create value stream maps, draw cause and effect diagrams, make a business model canvas, or visualize process flowcharts.
Whatever the visualization method, team members spend time during kaizen events to arrive at a common understanding of the problem. They do this by creating the picture together, drawing on data, gathering different perspectives and experiences, and laying out a logical plan of attack. When we rely only on preconceived solutions, our efforts may lead to dead ends. When we have a visual breakdown of the problem, we can revisit and reframe the problem to take a different approach, even when we get stuck.
Realistically, not every problem can be solved all at once-nor is it effective to continue resorting to the kaizen approach at the sight of an issue. A week-long kaizen event can’t solve each complex problem your organization encounters; they should instead be utilized as a series of sprints forward based on your overall plan to improve your processes.
By taking breaks from strenuous work , we recharge our mental ability while allowing us to refocus and return with a fresh perspective. Often, your employees will develop new insights as they mull over the problems in their minds within the timeframe between kaizen events.
Reinforce Good Problem-Solving Patterns
What makes kaizen events so effective? In short, with cross functional teams working in focused workshops to implement innovative solutions while providing meaning, valuable insight is created. To solve complex problems in today’s workforce, finding solutions requires more than getting the best people in the room.
By following a process like the Kaizen events, the path to uncovering and implementing groundbreaking solutions becomes more clear.
As business methods and procedures continue advancing at an expeditious rate, unfamiliar problems emerge with them. While impossible to foresee issues you are not yet aware of, it’s crucial to support an effective problem solving approach. If you find you and your team overwhelmed with emerging issues, we can help.
With extensive experience helping businesses navigate through the most complex problems, our personalized and strategic approach here at MCDA CCG, INC. will demonstrate improvement based thinking to drive your business towards it’s long term goals.
With other perceptive business owners taking advantage of streamlining their processes to sustain their position in the marketplace, take one stride further and contact us today.