Kaizen continuous improvement
Promapp is an ideal software tool to complement improvement methodologies and management systems like ISO, Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning "change for better". Today the word has taken on an additional meaning referring to continuous improvement, or the practice of continually getting better. There are three parts to Kaizen:
Feedback being the driving force of the other two. This is why Kaizen practitioners love Promapp. The feedback loop being at the heart of Promapp“s software.
Kaizen & Toyota
Gaining an edge through continuous improvement or ‘Kaizen’ is at the heart of Toyota’s manufacturing activity. So it was natural that they would leverage this way of thinking to manage a significant business transition. As Grant Barling, Corporate Manager at Toyota Australia explained, using Kaizen and Lean thinking was invaluable when the company prepared to moved their sales and marketing operations from Sydney to Melbourne. They needed to minimise business disruption, engage staff and act quickly to capture the knowledge of hundreds of staff members. Here’s what they did:
- Took a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) approach, to capture process knowledge quickly and effectively and enable a smoother transition, with the bulk of their time spent in the planning stage.
- Focused on following and recording the processes themselves rather than on scrutinizing individual team members. This took the pressure off individuals and allowed for a more honest record of how things were reallydone.
- Empowered teams to look for ways the processes could be improved - rather than just transfer “as is” processes to the new operation in Melbourne, they used the move as an opportunity to improve them
- Maintained momentum and ensured management oversight and staff participation with executive support and regular reports back to the Board
Kaizen Process Improvement
Kaizen is based on the philosophical belief that everything can be improved: Some organizations look at a process and see that it's running fine; Organizations that follow the principle of Kaizen see a process that can be improved. This means that nothing is ever seen as a status quo – there are continuous efforts to improve which result in small, often imperceptible, changes over time. These incremental changes add up to substantial changes over the longer term, without having to go through any radical innovation. It can be a much gentler and employee-friendly way to institute the changes that must occur as a business grows and adapts to its changing environment.
Kaizen tools for continuous improvement
Aligned with Kaizen Promapp’s Lean Tagging enables teams to identify inefficiencies within processes, prioritise the reduction of non-value-add activities and waste, and track, manage and report on opportunities for improvement.
Lean techniques have traditionally been a popular choice for organisations seeking to work smarter and improve efficiency. However, organisations that want a truly lean organisation need to be able to translate ideas into everyday practices.
Lean Tagging now enables organisations to achieve the true benefits of lean with value-add and waste reduction ideas uncovered in lean projects or workshops successfully embedded into the day-to-day operations of the business.
Users can take the ideas scribbled on Post-it notes or whiteboards in workshops and incorporate them into easy-to-follow business processes which can then be used by teams to bridge the gap between lean initiatives and business as usual.
Kaizen Business Process.
The unique approach of Promapp enables companies to leverage their Kaizen methodology around the business processes. Promapp was built to enable Kaizen as a methodology and not force companies to adopt a business process methodology unsuited to their unique situation.
Why companies choose Promapp to manage their Kaizen requirements?
Since with Kaizen improvement feedback is crucial to the continuous improvement efforts of organisations. The intuitive feedback loop Promapp has enables not only process practitioners and Kaizen practitioners to provide meaningful feedback, but it also makes it easy for the people following the process to provide feedback. This if often the missing loop in many BPM solutions which makes Promapp ideal for organizations following Kaizen.
"In 2008 we began looking at Lean Six Sigma ways of approaching processes. Promapp was in line with them both, with the ability to provide documentation at the right level. Because, more than just processes, we were looking at a launchpad for continuous improvement that would also provide us with monitoring and measurability."