Kaizen Rules – 3 & 4

Yesterday we discussed the first two rules of kaizen. Tonight we will discuss excuses and perfection.

Rule 3: Stop making excuses. Start questioning current practices.

When we encounter a defect or failure we should not make excuses or play the blame game. Instead, we must go to the gemba to see what is really happening.

Does the worker know how to do their job? Are there visible work standards? Have all the workers been trained? Does the work area resemble the living quarters of a pig?

If there are gaps in any of these areas the leadership must assume responsibility and remedy the problem. Perhaps some 5S and Standard Work is a good place to start.

If everything seems in order we must realize that no standard is infallible so perhaps we need to improve them (standards) after some hansei.

Rule 4: Don’t seek immediate perfection.

For many of us we want it all and want it now. However, aiming for immediate perfection is not the kaizen way.  To be sure, perfection is our ultimate goal but it will never be achieved with one single initiative.

Our mission, if we should choose to accept it, is rapid improvements again and again.  These quick improvements create momentum that is difficult to stop.  And this, my friends, is when kaizen is at its best.

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