A Kaizen Event means a short, quick-burst event where you get everyone together to solve one problem. The most critical stage of any kaizen event is the preparation. Yet properly defining the problem, goal and scope can be very challenging. Try this simple but effective approach. First, team leaders should ask the following:
- What is the purpose of the event?
- What process or value stream will be targeted?
- What are the desired outcomes?
- Who should be on the team?
Answering these questions helps ensure planning and scoping are done properly, goals and objectives are realistically determined, and the right people participate.
Next, create a problem statement. Answer these questions to define the problem:
- What is or isn’t occurring, and to what degree?
- Where in the process or product does it occur?
- Who does the problem affect?
- When did it occur, and has it occurred before?
- How much impact is there, and what is the magnitude in terms of frequency, cost, time and customer satisfaction?
Below is a problem statement template to follow. Notice there isn’t a “why” or anything about what actions will be taken.
The final phase in preparing for your Kaizen Event involves clarifying the project’s boundaries. The scope should delineate where the project starts and ends and identify what it includes and excludes.