Saturday, March 20, 2004

The kaizen goal

On Setting Kaizen Goals

We ran a two-day kaizen last week and I learned something very useful.

If all else fails, make sure you set the goal well.
We had the kaizen dates set about three weeks ahead of time. We had a general idea of what we needed to do. But yours truly, who was in charge of the event, got trapped in the tyranny of the urgent. As such, the planning for the event was virtually non-existent. We have simple forms to do the planning (thanks to our friends from Wiremold). But I simply didn't do it.

Eating crow with my colleagues on the kaizen, I started the event by admitting the non-performance and we sat together and did the planning. We paid particular attention to the goal. Specifically, we worked it and worked it to make sure we a) met the requests of the recipients and b) stated a goal that was SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Trackable).

It delayed our actual work by an hour or so...quite a chunk in a two-day kaizen. Yet, it proved a key touchstone as we proceeded. And, at the management review at the end, the customer stated his clear satisfaction.


The goal is key. Take the time. Even if you do it late.

I hope this is helpful.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

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