Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

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


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Kaikaku is the Japanese term for “radical change” during a limited time, and is also called a kaizen event or kaizen blitz. Kaizen is more focused on incremental, daily changes.

It is typically conducted over 5 days, and was originally called “Five Days and One Night” since most participants got very little sleep that week.

  • Day 1 consists of training on the improvement methods, such as the Toyota Production System.
  • Day 2 consists of study the processes being improved to capture current state metrics like cycle time, takt time and work breakdown between value and non-value added tasks.
  • Day 3 consists of planning out the work layout and sequence, and determine how best to move equipment and processes around later that night (often going to midnight to get the changes implemented).
  • Day 4 consists of testing out the new process and training the workers on how it will work, and addressing problems and challenges that come up.
  • Day 5 consists of presenting to management what changes were made along with improvements achieved to date, and what still needs to be implemented.




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