Total Quality Management

December 1, 2008



Published with Permission of Norman Bodek author of book "The Idea Generator."

Kaizen is a Japanese word. It is basically composed of two words “KAI” means change and “ZEN” means better. In other words it means change for betterment or improvement.

Kaizen is a philosophy that defines management’s role in continuously encouraging and implementing small improvements involving everyone. It is the process of continuous improvement in small increments that make the process more efficient, effective, under control, and adaptable.

Improvements are usually accomplished at little or no expense, without sophisticated techniques or expensive equipments.

It focuses on simplification by breaking down complex processes into their sub-processes and then improving them.

The Kaizen improvement focuses on the use of:

  1. Value-added and non-value-added work activities.
  2. Muda, which refers to seven classes of waste-overproduction, delay, transportation, processing,inventory, wasted motion, and defective parts.
  3. Principles of motion study and use of cell technology.
  4. Principles of material handling and use of one-piece flow.
  5. Documentation of standard operating procedures.
  6. The five S’s for workplace organization. (Already explained in Lean Production Post)
  7. Visual management by means of visual displays that everyone in the plant can use for better communications.
  8. Just-in-time principles to produce only the units in the right quantities, at the right time, and with right resources.
  9. Poka-yoke to prevent or detect errors.
  10. Team dynamics, which include problem solving, communication skills, and conflict resolution.

Kaizen relies heavily on a culture that encourages suggestions by operators who continually try to incrementally improve their job or process.



  1. Good Post Mashallah! 🙂

    Comment by Hamid Yahya — April 11, 2009 @ 5:34 am

  2. Very Informatiive

    Comment by Casper — October 14, 2009 @ 1:11 am

  3. good introduction of Kaizen. pls send me example of small project. thanks

    Comment by sam — November 23, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  4. its really nice

    Comment by nandha shiva — August 6, 2011 @ 7:44 am

  5. This gave great info. I now feel smarter after reading this. ps loving da 5s

    Comment by John Stape but my friends call me Peter — April 23, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  6. im loving the 5s gguys! 😀

    Comment by Olly dolly — April 23, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  7. loving the crop marks on the dining floor

    Comment by k. — April 23, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  8. very informative thnx…

    Comment by Gul ghani — March 19, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

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