A Kaizen event is essentially a structured, usually multi-day working session focused on developing workable solutions to targeted business problems/opportunities. It relies extensively on the knowledge and experience, as well as the creativity and practical capability, of the participants in the event.
The following is an example of a typical Kaizen Event & Workout Session Agenda. Pivotal Resources can customize the event to client requirements, as well as objectives.
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Up-front effort is devoted both to selecting and scoping the issue or process to be addressed during the Kaizen event, and establishing team and leadership responsibilities. Key activities include:
- Identifying and verifying appropriate opportunities for a Kaizen approach (often, cause-known problems or where waste or cycle time are high)
- Preparing draft Value Stream Maps of the affected process areas and gathering initial data
- Refining the extent of the likely solutions and outlining any critical constraints or assumptions that need to be addressed in the event
- Selecting the Kaizen team leader, team members and support resources
- Briefing the Champion and/or Sponsor on their roles and ensuring their readiness to follow the groundrules essential to a successful Kaizen event
The following is a sample agenda for a three-day event — typical for improvements in a service or transactional process. Events in a warehouse or plant environment often are longer, but also involve direct implementation of the solution.
- Review any available VOC data.
- As Is Value Stream Mapping (VSM) presentation.
- Group discussion and agreement on the “unit” going through the process.
- Current State VSM (usepre-Event work as needed).
- Review and agree upon wait and work times and non-value added activity in the Value Stream map.
- Consolidate findings.
- Report-out to Champion/Sponsor
- Team agreement on status of work.
- Note observations on map; identify opportunities for improvement, including Kaizen “bursts.”
- Create Future State map(s) – phases of successive improvements may be needed.
- Validate recommendations and summarize.
- Identify appropriate performance metrics.
- Report/update Champion (or, may be one-on-one update, depending on extent of changes). Brief other stakeholders if needed. For example, if scope has changed drastically.
- Review Future State Map.
- Prioritize and select improvement areas.
- Use Impact/Effort matrix to narrow list if needed.
- Finalize key performance metrics.
- Develop an action plan for 30/60/90 day deliverables and responsibilities.
- Note projects that are more investigative, requiring longer time frame and additional tool sets.
- Prepare summary for Stakeholder report out.
- Report out to key stakeholders in a planned report out session.
Post-event Actions & Reviews
Post-event implementation and evaluation activities are critical to success of the Kaizen effort. Immediate activities are defined during the event itself and focus on preparing and executing the identified improvements and ensuring support from key stakeholders.
For leaders, we recommended a schedule of project reviews to assess progress and results (more frequent and less formal communication with sponsors will also be important). Because of the speed typically driving Kaizen-focused improvement, leaders will play an especially important role in gaining buy-in and securing adoption of new procedures and processes.
In many cases, ongoing evaluation and management of the Kaizen-driven improvements will lead to new or refined performance measures. These may be temporary—important during the implementation and initial assessment of results—or may be integrated into the organization’s measurement “dashboard.”