Some call it a business technique and some a lifestyle enhancement method, but the basic meaning of Kaizen is “improvement.” It can be any improvement in any walk of life, personal or professional.
The word “improvement” is not new to us, but its importance increases as we focus more on it. We always seek improvement in various aspects. Starting from the individual level, we want to improve ourselves; we need improvement in our work productivity. We expect improvement in the health of our relationships; we need it all the time.
Let me ask you a question, “what do we want to improve?” the answer to this question is very subjective. Everyone wants improvement in a variety of different things. A single solution can’t explain this question, and there is no need to seek an answer because it is very personal for all. Only you can decide what’s essential for you, your priority, and what you want to improve.
But there is one question that can be answered in the same way for all. The question is, “How would we improve?” and the answer is “Kaizen.” As we know that Kaizen is all about improvement, but in a more defined way, Kaizen means continuous improvement. With the help of Kaizen, we can get many benefits in different spectrums of life.
Kaizen helps us achieve continuous improvement in a very consistent way. A lot of advantages of Kaizen are there to avail. Individuals and organizations also use the kaizen improvement process to improve workflow and achieve high productivity with minor changes.
Many production and manufacturing units use Kaizen in operations management, and many have a kaizen quality management tool. They all use it differently, but the purpose is to achieve the desired goals.
How To Make Use Of It?
It’s time to take necessary action to avail the benefit of Kaizen. The first thing that Kaizen teaches you is that you can’t achieve something in one go, or you can’t transform yourself overnight. There must be some baby steps taken to achieve a bigger goal.
However, maintaining consistency is the only thing to consider very seriously. It is good enough if you are improving 1% of something daily, but you need to maintain consistency.
Below are some important steps to take if you want to transform your life with Kaizen:
Step 1: Ask Yourself
Seeking something is the ultimate purpose of human life. The same thing applies here; you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve. Think about the biggest and most important goal and break it down into smaller steps.
Step 2: Action Plan
Now make an action plan based on the breakdown of your bigger goals into small but achievable milestones.
Step 3: Set Priority & Assign Deadline
You need to set a priority level for all the milestones in your action plan. Also, assign a deadline for each task.
Step 4: Monitor Yourself
We think more about the activities going around us and less about ourselves. But it is time to monitor ourselves closely. Note down your daily progress to motivate you and make it clear to your mind that you are going ahead with continuous improvement.
Step 5: Get Control
Gradually you will start getting a picture of what you do and how you are improving yourself now; you need to take complete control of yourself. Eliminate unnecessary things from your list, start focusing on essential items that add value to your life.
You don’t need to follow specific methods to practice Kaizen for continuous improvement. It is all about your effort for improvement and nothing about how you do it. If you need to tweak the steps mentioned above, you can do it anytime. There is only one rule in Kaizen: consistency and continuous minor improvements. If you do that regularly, it is always good to have customized action plans. Be flexible, but be consistent!