Quick Guide to your Kaizen Event for Manufacturing: Part One

posted on: Monday October 17, 2016

As we discussed in this article, scheduling Kaizen events can simplify yourchecklist-1622517_1280 approach to lean manufacturing. They help you break up your tasks and execute them in a timely, organized fashion. Once you understand some key ingredients to the events, you can start to put your first one together. Here is a quick guide to help you make the most of the Kaizen Blitz.


Before you can make decisions about anything, else you need to identify your goals. Define what you want to accomplish by the end. Identify exactly where the Kaizen event will focus. Include a floor plan so that people have a visual of what to expect. Remember, you can break up the events by departments if that makes the most sense for you.

Choose your facilitator

As we mentioned in our previous article, you need someone with experience to lead your events. It is recommended that you hire an expert for your first few workshops to ensure your bases are covered. You can train someone along the way, or if you’re set up to train someone onsite to run the first event, do what makes sense for you. Just don’t cut corners in this important process or you won’t gain as many benefits.

Assure management commitment

It is very easy for employees to slip back into old habits. Once you’ve established new processes, your management team needs to ensure that they are carried out consistently. Get a commitment from your management team to follow through on this every step of the way.

Build a team

A strong team consists of:

  • A staff lead – usually the supervisor of the area you’re focusing on
  • People who work in the area of focus
  • People who support the area, like sales, admin, etc.
  • People in the next are of focus to give them some experience with the process

Create and implement performance measures

At the end, you will need to compare the new performance with the old, so you have to gather data that reflects your current state. Use information that shows the current performance that you plan to improve. This might even involve photos or videos. Some ideas include:

  • WIP
  • Lead time
  • Output (per person per hour, for example)
  • Space utilized

Pre-event training

Employees won’t know what to look for or how to tackle challenges without some training. If you are going to use 5S, train them on that. If you want to use Just-in-Time, make sure they understand exactly what that is. Additionally, you should train them on the eight wastes of lean so they know what to look for:

  • Transport
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Over production
  • Over processing
  • Defects
  • Skills

Before moving on, be sure that you are not missing any of the steps outlined here as they will help you make this event a success. Once you’ve checked that you’re on track with everything above, continue on to the next important step, pre-event planning found in part two.

For solutions to productivity and/or safety issues you uncover, contact Load Mover Inc: 952-767-1720; info@loadmoverinc.com.