Kaizen – Understanding Its Advantages and Disadvantages
Kaizen, or the management style of continuous improvement, is very popular these days. Originally use by Japanese companies in the manufacturing sector, this style of management is now used all over the world. If you are planning to adopt this management style in your organization then you first need to understand just what its advantages and disadvantages are.
1. It is process centered. It is thus able to identify exactly where things are going wrong and change the processes so that mistakes do not occur. Wasteful processes are reduced, and this in turn reduced waste of resources.
2. All people who participate in it get certain responsibilities, thereby giving them more purposefulness. Further, since it puts people on the forefront, employee morale increases tremendously.
3. There is reduced need for inspection since there is less scope for error.
4. Teamwork increases tremendously as a result of it and people are able to think beyond the needs of their specific department.
5. Customer requirements are placed at the forefront of company efforts and all products and services are geared to the needs of clients.
6. The long term and short term goals of the company are identified easily and there are systems to ensure that these goals are achieved.
Even though the advantages of kaizen are numerous and widely acknowledged, it has to be admitted that this style of managing a business has a few disadvantages as well. These drawbacks can be quite serious if a company pays only lip service to this management concept and implements it without really understanding why or how.
1. Some companies need to bring about an immense change in their mind set and style of functioning. This is sometimes very difficult and the initial problems created can be very bad for business overall. For instance, companies need to have a very open style of communication in order to put this management style into practice. Also, many employees think very territorially and are unwilling to let go ‘their’ work areas.
2. Very often, the initial excitement around using a new management style dies down all too soon. As a result, companies are not able to get the results they are looking for. Further, it makes people believe that this management technique will not work at all.
A good understanding of Kaizen will help you use it well to bring about great success in your company. You’ll be able to cut costs and increase productivity thanks to this management style.