The Kaizen Blitz And Kaizen Event

Published: 11th May 2008
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The Kaizen BlitzKaizen Event is a powerful tool in the lean manufacturing process. The blitz enables quick results to occur and often is one of the first things companies do to begin their process.
The Kaizen Blitz is a decisive, quick attack on a particular area or process in order to improve it. Kaizen means, in general terms, continuous improvement, and the blitz is a great way to get people's attention and make something happen quickly. It also means that there is little time for resistance to form, or opposition to a new program to develop.
The advantages of a Kaizen Event
Immediate results. This is very helpful so that workers can see something positive happening. Since there is no time for them to object, their potential resistance is overcome by the nature of the blitz.
Good tool to use in the beginning. The dramatic and quick results help to shift the company paradigm.
When the company has put up posters, or informed the workforce of the coming program, the blitz is a good way to positively reinforce the good aspects of the new program.
Shows that this is a well thought out, integrated program that gets results.
The disadvantages of the Kaizen Blitz
The training is shallow. Because it is a blitz, there is simply no time to talk or train.
It does not allow the full overview of the lean manufacturing program to be understood. Since it is a one-time event, it may be seen as a disconnected part of a program.
The overall program might suffer as a result. People tend to like immediate results and can develop pockets of efficiency, while the entire operation is a wreck.
The blitz is no substitute for an overall strategy. There may be a tendency to see the blitz as the entire program, rather than the event that it is.
What kinds of Kaizen Events are there?
The blitz, or event, can be used for various aspects of the lean manufacturing process. This would include 5S implementation, work cell implementation, and setup reduction.
It is advisable to start out small in order to learn the process. Over time, a 5S blitz will yield dramatic results in almost any work area, including the office. A plastic injection molding company is a prime candidate for lean manufacturing, and a kaizen blitz does wonders in such a workplace.
It is a lot like the 15 minute clean up drills we sometimes have at home. Especially with children or teenagers, a lot can get done in a short amount of time by using the blitz idea. Yet, you can see at home as well, that this does not really instill good habits of putting things away or picking up after yourself.
The Kaizen blitz is a powerful aspect of the lean manufacturing process. It should be used in the beginning to obtain dramatic results in order to break down resistance to the overall program.
The blitz should be seen as a part of the whole. It is not the end, but just a tool to get results and it should be used as such.
You can learn all about Lean Manufacturing at

Randy Hough has been a master injection mold maker for over 30 years, as well as a Christian youth pastor and the father of 8 very lively children. You can visit his family stress blog or learn all about Lean Manufacturing and>Plastic injection molding on his sites.

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