Planning a Kaizen event takes significant foresight, but by breaking it down into simple steps that lead you through the process, you can easily plan a successful Kaizen Blitz. In part one, we left off at pre-event training. Here we will pick back up with pre-planning and the project itself.
You want to go in with a rough timeline of your event. This will help you understand what you want accomplished and how long it will take. It will also help you determine whether you’ve achieved your goals at the end. This is a good step to do with your chosen facilitator, as he or she will have a realistic idea of what to accomplish. Your outline might resemble:
- DAY 1: Training
- DAY 2: Gather and analyze data
- DAY 3: Model and analyze
- DAY 4: Change layout
- DAY 5: Refine layout, detail instructions, and present results
Part of your pre-event planning is to identify whether there are any other outside contractors you need on hand or to do work ahead of time. For example, will you need electricians to rearrange your layout? Will you need extra staff on hand to move equipment?
The event itself
Keep the momentum going for everyone involved in this. Get them excited to make some positive changes. Make sure they feel like they are contributing to the success of the company.
Also, document and record the event as it goes. Note any hiccups, great questions, and best practices. Take pictures or video of the process and the transformation. This both reminds workers of all they have accomplished throughout the week and also serves as useful training materials.
Present the project
At the project’s end, the team should present their achievements to management and all relevant workforce. You’ll typically find that the team is really proud of all they have done. This helps build momentum, solidify future commitment, ensure confidence, and accelerate success.
While success in itself is rewarding, do make sure to show appreciation for your employees’ extra hard work with dinner, dessert, treats, or anything else that your employees would like. It’s so important to make sure they feel valued.
Review and improve
Kaizen means continuous improvement, so your team’s job is not done at the end of the project. They need to monitor performance and continually identify any areas they can improve on further.
If you aren’t sure where to start, Value Stream Mapping is a good way to get an understanding of your entire process. Read our article on that here. You can make your first event to do the Value Stream Map (VSM), or if you’re planning out really far in advance, you can do the VSM first and see where it leaves you.
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