Kaizen Rules – 5 & 6

Tonight we continue with our multi-part kaizen rules series. For a recap of previous kaizen rules please check out:

Rule 5: Correct mistakes at once

If you are walking through your office, factory, or even home and spot an abnormality you should make every effort to remedy the situation immediately. Don’t wait to call a meeting or form a project plan and improvement committee. As James Womack says in his book, “Lean Thinking,” JUST DO IT!  Many times this may mean implementing a temporary solution (i.e. a bandaid) until a more permanent solution can be established. 

Obviously, if the problem is more complex we will need to enlist the help of others and properly document things. But we must be careful to not plan for days or even weeks while a problem continues to punish us day in and day out.  Stop the bleeding and then get the patient to surgery.

Rule 6: Don’t spend money on kaizen

Many times the best solutions cost nothing at all. It’s easy to fall into the trap that new equipment or technology will take away all our problems.

But if you take the time to really study the problem you may be in position to improve things without spending a penny, pence, etc.

If, after exhausting all other alternatives, you realize you need to spend some money the capital expenditure justification should be easy as you explain the many ways you attempted to solve the problem on the cheap.

Once you do get approval to spend some money it may be time to head to Staples with credit card in hand.

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