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Practising your personal Kaizen

Japanese system of management gained great popularity after the introduction of the same into Toyota by Toyota Production System. Kaizen is one such practice adopted by the Japanese to ensure continuous improvement to one’s activities. The word Kaizen is derived from Kai which means continuous and Zen which means wisdom. Contributing incessant improvements add to the personal development of the individual.

Many business entities have adopted the Japanese system of Kaizen into their management practice to guarantee continued efficiency in the output from the employees, which have the impact on the company productivity. The success stories produced by the implementation of this system into the management practice induced the people to experiment the same into their personal lives for personal development.

Kaizen is a gradual process which requires the conscious effort by the people. The Kaizen technique works on smaller improvements when added together can make a significant contribution to the overall output. Changes are made to the processes adopted by the people using this technique.

The first step involved is the identification of the areas for improvement. “Getting things done” method can be adopted in Kaizen to break up the area of improvement into smaller fragments. The break-up facilitates easy identification of techniques to be adopted for improvement. This measure must be adopted for a few days until it automatically becomes a part of the new routine, thereby paving way for new improvements. Once done, the next path to improvement can be identified and steps to achieve it can be performed. This is an on-going process until the overall strategy is attained.

Techniques like 5S can be used to gain command over this area of expertise. 5S includes seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke meaning sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Sorting involves eliminating the unnecessary tools or process that are an obstacle to the current plan of action or are not of much assistance for it. Then the place for everything must be finalised and everything should be kept in its place. The surroundings must be cleaned at the end of the day to facilitate easy access to the tools the following day. The whole procedure must be standardised to ensure the performance of similar action until it works like automation.

The adoption of Kaizen into the personal life can help to overcome the weaknesses, through the use of tools defined by one. This technique aims at improving the thinking capacity of the individual and he learns to work smarter with ease to achieve his goals. The work is no longer considered to be a burden as he recognises the ways to progress his actions relentlessly. Constant small improvements results in improved quality, faster delivery and greater satisfaction. Identification of ways to improve oneself through new channels makes one more innovative. He can use the aid of a coach who can give the necessary backing and make corrections for the suggestions put forth by the individual.

Adoption of the Kaizen technique can guarantee personal success and attain higher levels of satisfaction, adding to self morale, thereby furthering the process to better ends.

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