Operational Excellence through Continuous Improvement by Mr-Sushil Macwan
Mr. Sushil Macwan, Consulting Partner Concept Business Excellence Pvt. Ltd.
- In present competitive scenario, all organizations are facing challenges in Customer Service, Product/Service Quality, Quick Delivery to customer & cost reduction.
- To achieve the above requirements, organizations have to face roadblock like “MUDA”, “MURA” & “MURI” i.e. Non-Value added activities. In order to eliminate/reduce Non-Value activities and to enhance business performance, there are various techniques such as Just in Time (JIT), Total Quality Management (TQM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Kaizen, etc.
- JIT is a strategy for inventory management in which raw materials and components are delivered from the supplier just in time when they are needed.
- TQM is a philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes. TQM emphasizes on the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers and even customers in order to meet or to exceed customer expectations.
- TPM is a systematic approach to eliminate waste associated with production equipment and machinery. TPM emphasis on minimizing downtime, i.e. reducing unexpected breakdowns, fully utilizing machines’ capabilities and tracking equipment life cycle cost.
- Kaizen is a technique/philosophy is that focuses on ongoing improvements involving everyone – top management, managers, and workers.
- Kaizen is a Japanese word derived from two different words;
- In short, Kaizen means “Continuous Improvement” through little steps in personal life, home life, social life & working life.
- Kaizen helps the organizations to generate a process-oriented way of thinking and develop strategies that assure continuous improvements involving people at all levels of an organization hierarchy. The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should pass by, without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the organization.
Kaizen & Management
- The above figure shows management level wise responsibility in maintaining the standards, Implementing the Kaizens & role in Innovation activity of the organization.
- In the above figure Maintenance refers to those activities directed towards current technological, managerial and operating standards. Kaizen refers to those activities directed towards improving current standards with small & incremental steps with zero/very little investment. Innovation refers to those activities directed towards drastic improvement as a result of high investment in new technology and/or equipment.
While designing Strategic Business Excellence Initiative we consider:
- Practical Requirements
- Effort Orientation
- Evaluation Criteria
- Long-term & Long-lasting but un dramatic
- Small Steps
- Continuous & Incremental
- Gradual & Constant
- Collectivism, Group Efforts, System Approach
- Maintenance & Improvement
- Conventional know how & State of the Art
- Requires little investment but great efforts to maintain it.
- Process & Efforts for better Results
- Works well in slow growth economy
- Short-term but Dramatic
- Big Steps
- Intermittent & Non-incremental
- Abrupt & Volatile
- Few People
- Rugged Individualism, individual ideas & efforts
- Scrap & Rebuild
- Technological Breakthroughs, New Inventions, new theories
- Requires Large Investment but little efforts to maintain it
- Results for Profits
- Better to fast growth economy
Three Levels of Kaizen
There are three levels/segments of kaizen, as follow;
- Management Oriented Kaizen:
- The first level of Kaizen is management oriented Kaizen. It is a crucial pillar concentrating on strategic issues providing momentum to keep up progress and morale. A manager should spend at least 50 % of his time on improvement.
- Group Oriented Kaizen
- The second level of Kaizen is Group Oriented Kaizen. Kaizen in a group works as a permanent approach expects the team members not only identify problem areas but also to identify causes, to analyze them, to suggest and implement solutions, and to test new countermeasures and establish new standards and/or procedures.
- Individual Oriented Kaizen
- The third level is individual oriented kaizen, which is manifested in the form of improvement ideas. Individual oriented Kaizen works on the maxim that one should work smarter, if not harder. Individual Operator Kaizen has almost infinite opportunity. Kaizen’s starting point is for the worker to adopt a positive attitude towards changing and improving the way he works.
- Individual Oriented Kaizen is often regarded as a morale booster, and management does not always ask for immediate economic payback on each improvement idea. Management attention and responsiveness are essential if workers are to become “thinking workers” always looking for better ways to do their work.
- Follow PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle for implementation of Kaizens. PDCA cycle is a series of activities pursued for continuous improvement. It begins with a study of the current situation. The gathered data during the study have to be used for formulating a Plan for improvement. Once this plan is finalized, implementation stage (Do) executes this plan the same. After implementation, during Check stage, it is verified if anticipated improvements are achieved or not. If implementation is successful, the final action (Act) of sustaining the gains by methodological standardization is taken. However, if there is a gap in obtaining the results, fresh round of P-D-C-A cycle starts.
Commandments of Kaizen/Continuous Improvement
- Keep Your Mind Open to Change
- There is no way of changing things when prefixed ideas are around. The key to Kaizen is to challenge the “status quo “. The mind must be freed of preconceived notions and must be allowed to think uninhibited.
- Think of Ways to make it possible
- Instead of telling people what they shouldn’t do, it is better to think about how it could be done. It is a way of encouraging evolution through active mind allowing ideas flow with ease.
- Always attack Processes, Never People
- Many people tend to assume that the main cause of bad functioning of machines or any other problem is the worker. However, why-why analysis for finding out root causes always reveal system or process deficiencies.
- Seek Simple Solutions
- It is not a matter of looking for perfection. Perfection is impossible. Kaizen aims at 60/70% solution, which is good enough.
- Correct the Mistake Right
- Don’t let the magic moment pass. You just found a solution to a problem, correct it straight away and don’t let it continue on making you lose precious time and money.
- Use Creativity, Not Capital
- Don’t waste your money in things that can be solved with thinking. Invest in people and their capacity of solving problems.
- Problems are Opportunities in Disguise
- It is in those times when difficulties arise, there are opportunities to improve .Grab them with both hands.
- Find the Root Causes
- As mentioned in pt. 3), it is necessary to find out the real reason for problems before trying to solve them in the wrong direction. For that to happen, it is good to respect the “5 Whys” and then try to find a solution.
- Wisdom of Many, Not the Knowledge of One
- To consider the ideas of ten persons instead of waiting for the brilliant idea of one person will provide better results. Not only because it will encourage more ideas to appear, but because small ideas are generally cheaper and easily applicable.
- There is no Final Destination on the Improvement Journey
- This is the key to kaizen. Ideas never stop improving the situations. It is a continuous, never ending journey. It is not only useful in many industries and service sectors, but becomes useful even at social organizations, even at homes.
- It becomes our second nature, it comes in our blood and it becomes our habit.
- Remember continuous improvement in the organization is everyone’s responsibility. Together we can achieve the Excellence.