Strategic Planning: Hoshin Kanri
In Japanese, the word Kaizen is formed by uniting the two words Kai and Zen. Kai means “to take something apart, to analyze critically”, and Zen “to do well”: Kaizen literally means taking something apart and then building it up again. Organizationally speaking, the equivalent meaning of Kaizen in the Western world is continuous improvement: continuously analyzing every process/activity and removing obstacles that stand in the way of improvement. Lean Organization, like many other systems for excellence, is based on the core engine that is continuous improvement. Continuous improvement applies to every process and leads to performance increase and economical/financial results. However, continuous improvement requires strong commitment and effort from management in each and every department. Kaizen is a useful aid that immediately highlights the road that must now be taken. This road, which is rugged and steep and has no final destination for rest and celebration, has to be walked by every worker. Unfortunately many pioneers are satisfied with the first meager results, and stop there to celebrate, whereas only a few continue their journey towards gold.