KAIZEN is a Japanese word that consists of two words KAI (Change) and ZEN (Good) and simply means “Change for better” or “Improvement”. It is a philosophy and methodology for promoting quality and productivity improvement and uses personal creativity and ingenuity to identify and develop ideas to solve problems and to achieve tasks.
AS a philosophy, KAIZEN focusses on “it could be better” meaning that what we do today must be better than yesterday and what we do tomorrow must be better than today.
As a methodology, KAIZEN is a scientific based problem-solving tool and comprises easy to understand steps of solving a problem or achieving a task in a systematic way following the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle or simply the QC Story. The QC story is both a problem-solving method as well as an improvement reporting procedure.
KAIZEN involves everyone in an organisations, and its final goal is to achieve 3Q (Quality organization, Quality products or services and Quality people) resulting into business excellence and consequently competitiveness.
KAIZEN is usually conducted in small groups called Quality Control Circles (QC Circles) and with good teamwork, there is self and mutual human capacity development. A single KAIZEN activity may be a small step of improvement but having continuous KAIZEN activities with all hands together leads to achievement of 3Q, ‘Continuity is Power’