What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is a Japanese word which is interpreted in the quality field as "continual improvement."  It seems like a broad approach to quality which could be implemented in unlimited ways, but to make it more specific, some examples of Kaizen "wins" are:

  1. The implementation of any improvement, large or small
  2. The idea that small improvements are made daily and have a significant impact over time
  3. Small improvements which can be implemented nimbly in a short amount of time without many levels of approval
  4. Improvements to individual work stations
  5. Improvements to flows and processes
  6. "Humanization" of the workplace including ergonomics and minimizing overly hard or cumbersome work
  7. Encouraging workers to embrace a culture of continuous improvement