Kaizen Events


Kaizen Events are focused efforts to solve a problem or improve a process. Central Coast Lean supports multiple Kaizen approaches and formats from paid facilitaion to “free-sultants” to student projects. If you have a candidate problem or process that you think would benefit from a Kaizen Event, please contact Eric Olsen for more info.

Do-it-yourself Kaizen Kit

Here are the links to our:

  • Kaizen Setup Checklist (.DOC.PDF ) and,
  • Kaizen Participants Workbook Sample (.DOCX.PDF )

Feel free to use and modify these docs/samples to meet your needs. We would like to hear back on your kaizen experience. Email Eric Olsen at eolsen@calpoly.edu.

Lean Leadership Do’s

  1. Show interest – attend events, respond to emails, notice changes.
  2. Ask questions – have team members explain their thinking and actions.
  3. Learn about lean through your teams.
  4. Challenge proposed changes – the normal criteria of logic, good judgment, and cost effectiveness still apply in a lean world.
  5. Provide sincere praise for results, as well as the process and progress.
  6. Ask for more improvements – this shows respect for the efforts already made.
  7. Ask, “How can we lock in improvements?” – beware of backsliding.
  8. Maintaining improvement is generally a lot more work than we think. Make sure teams do this work rather than jumping too quickly to the next
    improvement. Lean is long term.
  9. Ask, “How will we measure improvements?” Asking, “How will our customers see/feel the improvements?” is a good way to focus on the right

Ten Commandments of Continuous Improvement

  1. Open your mind to change.
  2. Think “Yes we can, if…
  3. Always attack processes, never people.
  4. Seek simple solutions.
  5. If it’s broken, stop to fix it.
  6. Use creativity, not capital.
  7. Problems are opportunities in disguise.
  8. Find the root cause.
  9. Wisdom of many, not the knowledge of one.
  10. There is no final destination on the improvement journey.

— Per Gemba Academy, 2010