Kaizen Helps Being Effective at Work

Best known in the Chinese language and loosely means change for the better, the term Kaizen is more of a way of philosophy in the Japanese culture which focuses on overall life improvement. However, this specific philosophical school of thought is especially applied to all aspects within the workplace as a way of improving everything from manufacturing to work ethic. One aspect of the kaizen philosophy focuses more on a worker’s individual progress in the workplace with overall production yet at the same time seeks to improve and not overlook the human aspect of the individual worker away from work related projects. While the kaizen philosophy is a daily way of life in the Japanese culture and can be used in any workplace operation or scenario and at all levels of the organization or company. Additional to this is the fact that the philosophy’s results are closely monitored so that any needed changes can immediately be made.

The History

Featuring an approach that placed the overall workplace focus on improving production and technologies, the philosophy which came to be known as kaizen had the initial purpose of keeping the desired goals of the workplace intact; an approach that remains to this day. Additionally, the concept for the approach can be traced back to the post-WWII days when American task experts had been called upon to aid in the rebuilding of various Japanese industries. While the philosophy’s entire history surrounded the development of a training program that would be used to teach various classes where the kaizen philosophy could be implemented in the workplace the philosophy also proved and sought to increase and improve managerial skills while teaching a wide range of statistical methods that would improve things such as production and work ethic.

Keys to Success

As previously defined, the term kaizen is a term that means change for better in the Chinese language yet simplified means improvement as it relates to the Japanese culture. While both cultures seek the same idea for continual improvements within the workplace there are 7 different aspects in the workplace where this concept and philosophy can not only best be implemented but where the workplace can always seek growth and overall increases in production as well as work ethic. One of the first and simplest aspects of the kaizen philosophy can be found in the job itself. This is important for to productivity levels but is also greatly dependent upon a worker’s ability to always seek improvement on the job. Another area within the workplace that should always seek improved success as it relates to the philosophy is found in the overall relationships that are found between the company heads and the staff. This is where the implementation of overall direction starts from and is relevant to the monitoring of individual performance and overall employee output. Other areas where success can easily be found in regards to the kaizen philosophy are in the company’s ability to think open-mindedly, be dedicated, always seek input from team members, question in order to learn, and simply don’t play the blame game when problems arise.

Lean Software Development for Any Company

Lean software development comes out of the agile community where people are learning how to manage their time and energy better. It has some basic tenants that anyone can follow, and it needs to be adhered to when a company wants to be sure that they can make better products in less time. These products should be generated using the smallest amount of resources possible, and that is why these companies are trying to make sure that they can follow these principles as much as possible. They are very good for the company that wants to be sure that they can make their deadlines, and it also works for a company that wants to cut a lot of their spending because they feel like it is taking too long to get things done. They will instantly see an uptick in their productivity.

The Education and Waste

Every business that is trying to save money has to cut all the waste in all their programs. There is no need at all for any of these people to working unless they have something to do. That means that there are no empty projects, and there are no items that amount to busy work. The busy work that gets done is a drain on the company and its resources, and that is why it has to go. The next step would be to teach everyone in the office something about their job every week. Adding to the education that people get in the office will be much better than just forcing people to get the work done. They will be more efficient on more projects because they are educated. That alone will make it so much easier for the business to function well.

Empowerment and Teamwork

Everyone who is managing this work needs to be sure that they have empowered the team to get work done. There is so much more to be done when the company is run by someone who believes in empowerment, and the person who is trying to make sure that they can get better results will be sure that they have figured out how to get people to work together. The teamwork will go a long way, and it will help people be sure that they have all that they need to work. It makes more sense for a company to cut away the waste as they start to give people their own chances to work. They deserve to have the support of their leaders, and it will help people find out that they can get more software work done in a day. That delivers more to the client every time.

Extreme Programming Moves Faster Than Anything Else

Extreme Programming is an idea that has come out of the agile community where the developer is supposed to move fast and do a lot of releases so that they can adjust to what the market wants. The market is demanding, and there are people who are always submitting their input. These people are going to keep sending in their input, and they will be able to keep changing with updates that might even happen every couple days. This is a lot faster than any other method of making software, but people who are not used to doing this need to remember that they can align their whole business with this if they want to. It is all about being able to respond to the market so that people can get what they want out of the software that has been created.

Why Move Faster Than Other Companies?

There are a lot of people who are wondering why they should have to move this fast, and it is because they want to be ahead of the competition. The competition might pretend that they are doing better work, but the problem is that these companies are not actually doing work that is any better than any other company. They are just moving slower to help their customers. They are going to start to learn that they have to keep up, and a company that is moving faster will force them to do that. They will wonder how they are going to be able to pace themselves to get alongside another company, but they will have to move fast while the company is already set up to do this. Changing the whole manner in which the company is run makes more sense, and it will help everyone understand why it is necessary to do this. They will all see the results that they are getting, and they will notice that they can do two or three updates in the same time that another company will do one. The bugs get worked out faster, and the customer is a lot happier because of this.

The Plan for The Company Moving Forward

This also means that a company can program more things at once because they are planning to move them out faster than anyone else. The company that is willing to spend that much time and money on its programming in this manner will have multiple projects come out at the same time, and they will notice how easy it is for them to get the work done that needs to be done. They can outpace the other companies around them because they have chosen to move faster. They can incite more passion in their fans because they have more things coming out, and they can start teasing new content because they planned. That is so much easier for these people to do than it is to just sit there and wait for one new project to come out.

Extreme Programming is the wave of the future because there is no company that wants to wait that long to get the results that it wants. It needs to see results right now, and they have to be sure that they have figured out how they will realign everything to make it extreme. They can get every programmer on the same page, and they can get the company to move at a pace that no one else will be able to knock out all their programming at this rate and with such success.

Kanban Helps with Inventory Control

Kanban is a Japanese card system that was created at Toyota so that the company could start to control inventory. They might not have heard of it in its original form, but it is very popular among businesses even today because they can manage their inventory without any problems at all. The cards are all set up to move to and from a single item, and they will alert the company to how it should manage the inventory it produces. This is a great concept for a company that has to ship a lot of products, and it works for the company that wants to see how they can better control what inventory they have. Sometimes they get lost in trying to control everything, and they would do a lot better to just use this system when they send out products from their warehouse.

Kanban Cards Go with Every Product

The concept at Toyota was to apply a Kanban card to the product that left the factory. The card was there to show that the product was new and ready for shipment. It would stay with the product until it was sold. The sale of the product sent the card back to Toyota, and they knew that they had to produce something in its place. This prevented the company from blindly creating products that no one needed, and it created a simple inventory chain that anyone could follow. The receptionist at the front desk could understand how much was sold, how much was produced and how much should be produced. A product that was not selling would then be taken out of production for something that could do better. Toyota has been using this system in one form or another for decades, and they have simply improved it over the years. It is all electronic now, but it gives the same results. They can see when something sells, and they can decide how fast their production lines should be going at any one time.

Kanban Helps Everyone

Kanban might be a Japanese concept, but it helps everyone who runs a large business. they can use it as much as they want on all their products. It only makes sense for people to be sure that they can get more work done, and it can be used for anything. There are many applications for the cards, and the cards can be turned into stickers that are placed on boxes or product packaging. This is much simpler to use in all cases, and it provides a very simple platform that people can use for inventory that does not involve complicated math or any other options that will need to be implemented by an expert. The company can start out with Kanban cards just like the team at Toyota did when they wanted to manage their inventory better. It is very easy to use, and it will work in any setting whether the company is making cars or making collectibles.

Timeboxing As a Concept

Timeboxing is a business concept that requires people to devote a certain amount of time to a certain task. The tasks cannot be decided upon as they work because they will use arbitrary numbers to determine what they should be working on. They will do well if they make their timeboxing plan before they start working. Begin every day with the list of things someone needs to do, and follow that timeboxing plan to the letter. Someone might not get everything done, but they will get closer than they were before. They must build in a lot of time as they do this, and that is why they need to plan the timeboxing in advance. It is a lot faster to do this work every day when they sit down with a plan they already created.

The Schedule

The schedule they make should include the work, the breaks, the meetings and the phone calls they will do in one day. They know every single thing that must be completed, and they can arrange these by priority. That important phone call they have to make can get its own block in the schedule, but a bank of phone calls will fall under a generic block of time. They must make time for working, for meetings and for their breaks. They might have a five-minute break every hour, but it gets its own block. It has to be set apart so that they know that they must stand up and stretch for those five minutes. The schedule will change every day, but they might want to create a template that they can fill in every week. A lot of things are consistent, and that is why they should keep using that template.

The Design of The Timeboxing Schedule

They need to make a timeboxing schedule that they actually want to look at. Most people will use something boring that makes them want to stop working. They need to create something that will make them want to keep working. The design of that scheme should be such that they are excited to look at it every day even though they might have a lot on their plate. They will do so much better when they have the schedule to work from, and they will discover that they can get a lot more done in the meantime. They deserve to work in an environment where they feel like they are getting more work done than normal. They are trying to create a business that anyone would be proud to work with, and the only way to be sure that they have produced a good business is to work hard. Working blindly without a plan is a waste of their time, but timeboxing will help them get a lot done in a very short period of time every day when they enter the office.