What is improvement
The Japanese term Kaizen actually means change for the better and expresses the pursuit of continuous, infinite improvement. However, this is not to be thought of as a method that can be applied to a problem if necessary. Kaizen Rather, it should be understood as a process-oriented way of thinking in the sense of an attitude of mind that simultaneously represents the goal and basic behavior in daily (work) life.
With the same meaning in terms of content Kaizen in the Anglo-American language area as Continuous Improvement or Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) and referred to in the German translation as permanent improvement or continuous improvement process (KVP). The American Deming describes this way of thinking that is created by the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (PDCA cycle) is clearly presented, both as part of its 14 points and as an independent part of its corporate philosophy.
Kaizen Continuous improvement must therefore be part of a company-wide effort to improve with regard to the Quality target understood, whereby each individual workstation and all management or Hierarchy levels are included.
In the literature will Kaizen also described as an overarching, all-encompassing strategy based on the knowledge that customers must be satisfied and their requirements met if a company wants to operate successfully and continue to exist in the future. In order to achieve this goal, quality is correctly recognized as a fundamental starting point, the increase of which in turn leads to higher productivity. The Quality concept in the context of Kaizen not just the product quality, but the quality of the entire company, which includes social components and thus relates to all aspects of human activities. As one of the Quality improvement The upstream process is considered to be the improvement itself, beginning with recognizing its need through recognizing a problem. Any improvement in a company ultimately leads to an improvement in quality and productivity.
Accordingly, will Kaizen understood as a customer-oriented improvement strategy, which assumes that all activities in the company should ultimately lead to an increase in customer satisfaction.
The character of Kaizen as a continuous process, i.e. an evolutionary approach in small steps that takes place continuously and is never considered to be completed, is particularly evident in comparison to innovation. This is understood to mean a major change in the direction of a comprehensive renewal in a certain area. The innovation usually takes place in a revolutionary way, attracts everyone's attention and is usually a one-time, completed process.
This way of looking at things becomes even clearer when you look at it Kaizen as a target and at the same time as a target achievement strategy that integrally superimposes methods and techniques. The visual representation of this overlay is often in the form of a screen.
In connection with Kaizen Particularly noteworthy are the terms Gross Functional Management and Policy Deployment, which can also be viewed as components of a comprehensive management strategy for achieving quality and productivity.
Cross-functional management means the coordination of the activities of different organizational units in order to achieve the cross-functional goals of Kaizen and the Total quality strategies. The interdisciplinary cooperation between the individual specialist departments and open communication with one another are of particular importance here. In this sense, cross-functional management primarily emphasizes the horizontal integration of activities within a company. The special goals of the departments are subordinated to the overall goals of the company, one-sided optimization is avoided. In this way, with the involvement of all those involved, the entire product development process is consistently and consistently aligned with the goals of quality, costs and delivery reliability. These cross-functional goals can be considered to be synonymous with the goals of quality, productivity, productivity; and customer satisfactioni. customer satisfaction; or fulfillment of customer requests; be considered.
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