Operations in your organization are likely to be smooth when all functions are streamlined, duties evenly distributed among employees and the management has a sense of direction. The realization of these goals may be possible when you decide to stage kaizen events which may last for between three to five days.
However, apart from buying the necessary kaizen supplies, kaizen events ought to be carefully planned. The following are the five steps in planning the event.
Selecting An Area
The first thing to do is to identify a number of high-priority kaizen opportunities by Value Mapping Stream. Still, there are many other selection ideas that can be used including;
i) Identifying an area with high potential for success. The first kaizen event should be able to register success within a short time to provide momentum for subsequent events.
ii) Identifying an area that can be used to demonstrate success for the rest of the company. The ideal area should be small and relatively independent.
Selecting team members
A good team for the kaizen event should be comprised of between six to twelve members. The team should be cross-functional and include; members from the selected area, staff from production, warehousing, purchasing, engineering and customers – depending on the selected area.
The team leader should have relevant experience and should not be from the selected area. For the first kaizen event, hiring a consultant is recommended.
Preparing the venue
The kind of kaizen supplies that have to be availed will depend on the selected area. For example, if a production area is selected, some of the supplies that will be necessary include, tape, stop watches, card boards, hand tools etc. However, irrespective of the selected area things like flip charts, erasers and markers are necessary.
As much information as is possible on the area should also be gathered upfront. Information on customer demands, procedures and flow charts should be available to the team on the first day.
The actual event
If the event is to run for five days, it may proceed as follows:
Day 1 – lean training
Day 2 – complete building
Day 3 – brainstorming
Day 4 – development of action plan
Day 5 – Final report
A follow-up to the action plan can be done internally by using relevant kaizen supplies or by the consultant, as part of the project. Holding regular meetings until all the items are completed is recommended. All pending items should be kept posted in the area until they are done.