Conducting Kaizen Events 191

Conducting Kaizen Events provides a comprehensive overview of kaizen events and how they work. A kaizen event is a focused project conducted by a cross-functional team that targets a particular problem area. Kaizen events produce both quantitative and qualitative benefits, although there are some potential challenges. During a kaizen event, a team analyzes the current state of the target and plans improvements for the future state. Kaizen events require preparation, training, and follow up.

Kaizen events are an important part of lean manufacturing that often lead to dramatic changes and significant results. Kaizen events optimize processes and eliminate waste, which improves quality and reduces costs. After taking this class, students will have a foundational understanding of why kaizen events are held and what happens during a kaizen event. This familiarity prepares students to participate in, and eventually lead, kaizen events.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 18

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Kaizen and Kaizen Events
  • The Purpose of Kaizen Events
  • Benefits of Kaizen Events
  • Obstacles to Kaizen Events
  • Who Should Participate?
  • Encouraging Kaizen Culture
  • Kaizen Event Basics Review
  • Choosing a Target
  • Setting Goals
  • Preparing for a Kaizen Event
  • Training
  • Assessment and Planning Tools
  • Kaizen Implementation Plans
  • Kaizen Implementation Plan: In Action
  • Follow-Up
  • Stages of a Kaizen Event Review
  • Kaizen Event Example
  • Kaizen Event Example: In Action
  • Describe kaizen events.
  • Describe common reasons for holding a kaizen event.
  • Describe the benefits of a kaizen event.
  • Describe the possible obstacles to a kaizen event.
  • Describe kaizen team members.
  • Describe methods of encouraging employee support for a kaizen event.
  • Describe the methods used to choose the target of a kaizen event.
  • Describe how kaizen event goals are set.
  • Describe typical preparations for a kaizen event.
  • Describe training for a kaizen event.
  • Describe the purpose of assessment and planning tools in kaizen events.
  • Describe effective methods of carrying out a kaizen implementation plan.
  • Describe effective methods of carrying out a kaizen implementation plan.
  • Describe how to effectively follow-up a kaizen event.
Vocabulary Term

angled start

A fastener tip that decreases slightly in size. Angled starts makes it easier to insert fasteners into holes.

base ring

A thick metal disc that connects the various parts of a hoist ring. The bolt holds the washer against the base ring and pins attach the U-bar to the base ring.


A specific number of the same part that moves through the production cycle. Small batch manufacturers produce a variety of different products, but in low volume.


An activity in which an individual or group rapidly lists ideas, problems, or solutions in order to identify possible problem causes and solutions. During brainstorming, all ideas are accepted and recorded.


Angled or beveled along an edge. Chamfering allows parts to fit together and protects against damage.

continuous improvement

The belief that an organization must constantly measure the effectiveness of its processes and strive to meet more difficult objectives to satisfy customers. Continuous improvement is typically associated with lean manufacturing.

current state flow chart

A visual tool that documents the present condition of a manufacturing environment, including any flaws or errors. Current-state charts are sometimes called present-state charts.


Factual information that is used for analysis and problem solving. Data is often in the form of values or numbers.

future state flow chart

A visual tool that shows how the process can look after improvements have been implemented. A future-state chart shows the process with flaws and errors eliminated.

hoist ring

A metal lifting device with threads that fasten securely to the object being lifted. Many hoist rings are designed to swivel to allow the object to turn freely.


Using power applied via the motion and pressure of fluids. Hydraulic tools may be powered by water or oil.

implementation plan

A strategy for executing the changes necessary to achieve the desired future state of a targeted area. An implementation plan includes goals, to-do lists, and other tools and aids that help outline the future state of a process.


A method of continuous improvement that requires everyone in the company to seek and eliminate waste and errors. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means "change for the better."

kaizen event

A multi-day, hands-on event that targets a particular problem or area within a company. Kaizen events often utilize a cross-functional team to effect dramatic change.

lean manufacturing

An approach to manufacturing that seeks to reduce the cycle time of processes, increase flexibility, and improve quality. Lean approaches help to eliminate waste in all its forms.


Measured variables that are tracked and can be used to detect errors or variation and make improvements. Metrics can include cycle times, inspection data, and other forms of information.

Pareto charts

Visual tools used in troubleshooting to identify the causes of problems that occur most frequently by distinguishing a problem's major factors from its minor factors.


A cylindrical non-threaded fastener used to secure the position of two or more parts. Pins attach a hoist ring's U-bar to its base ring.

process flow charts

Visual representations of the steps in a process. A process flow chart can be used to show all the steps required to manufacture a product.


Measuring characteristics. Typically, any data that is not in numeric form is considered to be qualitative.


Measuring an amount or number. Quantitative data typically includes anything that can be counted or measured numerically.


Income that a company receives from normal business activities such as sales. Increased revenue is a quantitative benefit of kaizen events.

root cause analysis

A study to determine the true origin of a problem. This analysis focuses on identifying a problem's root cause, as opposed to any resulting symptoms or effects.

spaghetti diagrams

Flow charts that use a continuous line to trace the path of a part through all phases of manufacturing. Spaghetti diagrams expose inefficient layouts and large distances traveled between process steps.


Organizations that provide products to manufacturing companies. Products are often passed in a chain from the supplier to the manufacturer to the customer.

task lists

A list of the activities necessary to implement a kaizen plan. Task lists include what steps will be taken and who will perform them.

torque rating

The amount of torque required to properly tighten a threaded fastener. The torque rating indicates how much force is required to tighten a bolt securely.


A U-shaped piece of metal used for lifting objects. The U-bar of a hoist ring attaches to the base ring with pins.


Any part of the production process that improves the product for the customer. For a process to be value-added, a customer must be willing to pay for it.


A flat metal disc with a hole through the center. Washers are used with threaded fasteners to spread the load and control joint tightness.


Any thing or process that does not add value to a product. Scrap is the most common form of waste.


WIP. A type of inventory that is currently in process. WIP is measured in days.