What is Continuous Improvement?
Continuous Improvement, also known as Kaizen (改善), is a relentless effort to improve processes, products or services. The objective is to ensure that the organisation’s business processes stay efficient, effective and competitive.
What Are the Common Continuous Improvement Methodologies?
The objective is to create more value for customers with lesser resources
Focuses on waste elimination, improving flow, reducing lead time
Consists of 5 Principles:
Value – specify value from the stand point of customers
Value Stream – identify all the steps in the value stream in another words, process clarity.
Flow – Make the value stream flow smoothly
Pull – Let the customer pull value instead of pushing products / services to customers
Perfection – Continuous improvement towards perfection
The objective of Six Sigma is to eliminate defects and reduce process variability. This in turn will lead to improvement in the quality of products or services.
Six Sigma consists of 5 steps:
Define – Define the problem and goals
Measure – Measure current processes to establish a baseline
Analyse – Analyse the data collected, find the root cause of the problem
Improve – Improve the process
Control – Control the process for sustainability
Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma is a hybrid of Lean and Six Sigma. It combines the characteristics of Lean’s focus on waste reduction and flow improvement, with Six Sigma’s emphasis on process variability reduction into a powerful methodology.
Strictly speaking, Kaizen is not just a methodology for continuous improvement, it is a philosophy, a way of life. When fully embraced, everyone in the organisation participates in making improvement in all business areas, resulting in sustainable improvement in processes, products, workplaces and people.
At the heart of Kaizen is the Shewert Circle or Deming wheel that is more commonly known as the PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act):
Plan - Plan what needs to be done.
Do – Take Action test the potential solution
Check - Check if the potential solution worked
Act - If the solution worked, implement it. If it doesn’t, repeat the PDCA cycle with a different plan.
Why Implement Continuous Improvement?
Businesses must constantly renew themselves to stay competitive and relevant. The business environment is constantly changing at an unprecedented speed, and some describe it as VUCA ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous ).
Some of the impacts of the changing environment include:
Product life cycles are getting shorter and shorter
New technologies and disruptive innovation are challenging the survival of traditional business models
Customers are getting more demanding as search for alternative suppliers / service providers is only a mouse click away
0ld business models and business processes that worked well in the past decade may not work anymore going forward
Organisations which fail to adapt and respond to the VUCA environment are not likely to survive. Only those which can swiftly change their business model and business processes to suit the environment can continue to exist and flourish. Continuous Improvement is their best approach to achieving this objective in a systematic manner. Continuous Improvement is hence not an option, but a key to business survival. A well-executed Continuous Improvement programme can turn the adverse VUCA environment into tremendous opportunity when traditional competitors are being displaced without a clue.
We provide a wide range of training on Continuous Improvement methodologies tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Check out our training programmes that are grouped into the following categories:
Six Sigma Training
Lean Six Sigma Training
Continuous Improvement Training
Soft Skills Training
We provide customised consultancy solutions in the following areas:
Continuous Improvement methodologies
Process Improvement / streamlining
Business process improvement and redesign
Lean Six Sigma project coaching
Why Kaizen Consulting Group?
Proven Track Record of Success - We have an unparalleled proven track record of success in implementing Continuous Improvement in organisations of different sizes from private to public sector and across different industries.
Experience - Our consultants are Master Black Belts (MBB) with more than 20 years of experience in implementing Continuous Improvement across different industries and different business functions.
Commitment - We are passionate about Continuous Improvement and are committed to your success.
Results - We deliver measurable and significant improvement results.
Contact us now and our friendly customer service consultants will be in touch with you to design the best training / consulting solution that is tailored to your requirements.