Kaizen methodology for software companies
KAIZEN methodology starts after WWII as response to quality control need. During this time, Japan was suffering serious difficulties in society:
- Low investment
- Lack of raw materials
- Low motivation level
So, based on the classic text Dào Dé Jīng attributed to Laozi, the Japanese authorities developed a methodology to be used daily as a continuous improvement way of doing. It was designed both for individuals and groups of people. It became a philosophy whose principle was the use of very small steps to improve a habit, process or products. Basically it stands for a very small changes to get improvements.
The most famous implementation of this methodology came with Toyota. The whole strategy can be found in the book “Toyota Kaizen Methods: Six Steps to Improvement” (Art Smalley, Isao Katō, 2010).
Applying Kaizen to companies pretend to involve the whole organization in the process of continuous improvement. From the top management to the lowest levels, everyone can find a better way to complete a task, optimizing the general performance.
The PDCA cycle is the reference for the methodology application. It is iterative and involve four stages to complete a betterment.
During this stage, the person has to search for activities to improve and set the objectives to be achieved. If we are team-working is importante to listen to everyone’s idea to start improving, pretending not leaving anyone behind.
Here is when the person goes to the action. Changes are made, converting the ideas to reality. Pilot tests could be made to practice the changes.
The improvement is established for a determined time to verify its performance. Control tools are used in this stage for measuring the solutions.
Once the trial period has finished, outcomes have to be analyzed and compared with the performance before the changes for deciding next steps to take.
Kaizen is applicable both for professional and for personal life, providing fast and strong successful changes.
“When you improve a little every day, in the end great things happen”John Wood, NCAA (succesfull) coach