Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma


Share This
From the Japanese words “kai-” which means “change” and “-zen” which means “good.” The popular meaning from Toyota is “continuous improvement” or “small incremental improvements” of all areas of a company, not just manufacturing.

Kaizen means all personnel are expected to stop their work when they encounter any abnormality and, along with their supervisor, suggest an improvement to resolve the abnormality.

Shigeo Shingo helped train manufacturing engineers on implementing the efficiency processes with his P-course, that later influenced Toyota’s creation of kaizen.

Masaaki Imai helped document kaizen principles and methods with his books in the mid-1980’s.

Here is a video explanation about this translation

When the improvement requires personnel outside of the immediate work area, a kaizen burst (or radical process improvement) event may be useful.

A Kaizen burst event should be part of an overall program of continuous improvement if they are to be successful and for gains to be sustained.

Watch a free video of a recent workshop on Kaizen Events below…

Download the Kaizen workshop slides and links >>>

Learn more about kaizen events at Shmula.com >>>

Additional Resources

« Back to Glossary Index