Developing a Daily Kaizen Culture

By LaWana Richmond, EdD

Our organization is in the midst of a Shingo Lean cultural transformation. While many people are familiar with Lean Six Sigma, Shingo Lean is better suited to our organizational needs. Our customer promise is that customers will be at the center of every service we provide and every decision we make. We will provide our customers with meaningful transportation choices and the information necessary to make the best choices for their unique situations. At the heart of Shingo Lean is daily Kaizen, with four key systems to drive results:

  • Strategy deployment.
  • Visual management.
  • Daily Kaizen.
  • Standard follow up.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that is translated as “change for the better” or sometimes, “good change.” Kaizen events are single, coordinated events designed to make some type of improvement during a set period of time. There are many different ways a Kaizen event can take place, depending on the type of company, what system it is being used as a part of, and more. One key thing to remember about a Kaizen event is that it should not be looked at as an ongoing effort.

Daily Kaizens, also referred to as daily huddles, are short bursts of collaborative interaction that usually take place in a five- to 10-minute long standup meeting around operational dashboards. The goal of Daily Kaizens is to do quick status checks and insourcing for solutions and innovation. Kaizen events are time spent out of flow that can take anywhere from an hour to multiple days.

LaWana Richmond, EdD, is business development manager at UC San Diego Transportation Services. She will present on this topic at the 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo, June 9-12 in Anaheim, Calif. For more information and to register, click here.