Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

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

Masaaki Imai

Masaaki Imai is a Japanese management consultant, known for his work on quality management, specifically on Kaizen.

In the late 1950’s, Imai worked for five years in Washington DC at the Japanese Productivity Center, where he was responsible to accompany groups of Japanese businessmen on visits to American plants.

In 1986, he founded the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) to help western companies to introduce the concepts, systems and tools of Kaizen.

His first book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, helped popularize the Kaizen concept in the West.

SDCA and PDCA with Kaizen Graphic
From “Kaizen” book, showing comparison of PDCA and SDCA


  • Taiichi Ohno
  • Kauro Ishikawa
  • Hitoshi Takeda
  • Kenji Takahashi
  • Yukio Kakiuchi
  • Ichiro Majima
  • Kenichi Nakaya
  • Zenjiro Sawada
  • Kohei Goshi
  • Yoshiki Iwata
  • Japan Productivity Center
  • Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers
  • Japanese Productivity Center
  • Japan Management Association






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