In the quest to find an ideal way of developing growth, the Japanese developed the Kaizen and Kanban systems. There is a slight difference between Kaizen and Kanban project though the two are inseparable in their implementation. Kaizen is the Japanese word for continuous improvement and used in business to imply all activities that progressively improve the business’ functions. Kanban is a method for managing knowledge work. Kanban experience helps one to create a balance between work to be done and available capacity to start new work. These systems work on certain principles as discussed here below.
One of the Kaizen principles states that any change must be gradual rather than being radical. When a company seeks to improve a certain line of production, the changes towards such improvements should be incremental rather than radical. This gives employees time to adjust to the new changes swiftly.
There is also a principle that says no one should pass on the blame to others. This principle also addresses the need to treat others well, as you would want them to treat you. It seeks to make the working environment suitable for innovators to do their work without fear of blame.
Base decisions on data not opinions
This Kaizen principle seeks to dispute the idea of basing decisions based on opinions. Making judgments based on measurable set of data is important. Such decisions will result to better performance than relying on opinions.
Don’t wait for perfection
To make an improvement, a company should not wait for perfection. There is always room for improvement on a daily basis. A 50% improvement is better than no improvement at all. Therefore, you should not wait for the perfect moment to make improvements.
Focus on customers’ needs and expectations
The first and perhaps the most important Kanban principle is the one on meeting customers’ expectations. It is important to focus your products on your customers’ needs and strive to meet their expectations.
Evolve policies to improve outcomes
This principle states that policies should develop with the aim of improving customer and business outcomes. It is important to ensure that policies are constantly favoring customer and business outcomes. You should not stick to the same policies even when they are not working.
Start with what you know
This Kanban principle complements the Kaizen principle that requires business owners to seek improvement without waiting for perfection. You should start with what you know as you strive to discover new things in the company.
Encourage acts of leadership at every level
As a way of improving your business, this Kanban principle requires you to Encourage acts of leadership at every level. This helps in creating a sense of responsibility by employees and end up organizing themselves better for productive work.