Kaizen, a Japanese Management Philosophy, promises big change in performance through Continuous Incremental Improvement.

Masaaki Imai, founder of Kaizen Institute, defined it as a resource of continuing improvement in personal life and workplace. At the workplace, (here we are concerned about work place - Gamba!!) Kaizen means continuous improvement involving everyone from top to bottom to work for performance. The Kaizen strategy involves everyone in an organization working together to make improvements which may not require large investment.

According to me Kaizen is nothing but an objective based Brain Storming Sessions by a Disciplined Cohesive Team comprising all concerned. Depending on the type of Problem Team may be Uni-Functional or Cross-Functional. Normally in Chemical Industries functions like Production, Engineering, Quality System, HSE, and Supply-Chain are part of any such team. Team Discuss about the problem and Analyses it, Find Out Most-suitable Solution.

Team takes the ownership to Implement Improvement Actions. Team Monitors the Result of Implementation and work for further improvement whenever it is necessary.

All of us know about PDCA Cycle which we use widely to improve operation. PDCA is a never ending cycle because we can not grow if we can not improve our performance. PDCA also advocates Continuous Incremental Improvement.

Incremental Improvement can be successfully implemented by Practicing Kaizen Events by everyone associated with a process / system / organization. It flows from the top. One should never loss heart because good ideas come when the going gets tough. Never say No to Kaizen Event. Continue to practice it through out the life cycle of the process.

"A Kaizen Event is an Organized Efforts of All Employees with a clear cut Objective to find out a better way to manage a process so that Organization Excels." Safety at our work place is of prime importance because it has multiple effects on business if we fail. So there is no Choice but to improve on it.


How It Can Happen

  • Try to forget old theories
  • Let us look for new ideas
  • Do not look for excuses, find ways to make it happen
  • Say " NO " to status quo
  • Do not worry about being perfect
  • Even if you get half way, start now
  • If something is wrong fix it on the spot
  • It does not have to cost a lot of money to improve the process
  • Look for wisdom from the Team rather than one individual
  • Do not stop asking questions until Root Causes of problems are established
  • Never Say No for a Kaizen Event

There are simple tools / concepts / methodologies like 5S, TPM, potential Failure Mode Effect Analysis / Material and Information Flow Analysis (MIFA) / Single Minute Exchange of Dyes (SMED) and last but not the least Root Cause Analysis can give a Boost to the performance to our organization.

All these tools can be used to improve System Safety and its Management. However most important is "Look for wisdom from the Team rather than one individual".

The author is Chemical Engineer having Diploma in Industrial Safety & Hygiene and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

Shri Roy has 23 years of working experience in organizations like Grasim, Cyanamid India Ltd., Indian Organic Chemicals Ltd., Colour Chem Ltd., Albright & Wilson Chemical Industries Ltd. (Rhodia). At present Shri Roy is working as Head of Operations, Jubilant Organosys Ltd., Vadodara.

He has received good amount of training and exposure in Safety in Cyanamid, Colour Chem (a subsidiary of Clariant) and Rhodia, using Principle of Kaizen to improve Safety System.