Kaizen Workshops & KAIZEN EVENTS

Kaizen Workshop Atemi Consulting Lean Management Consultant
Kaizen Workshop

Kaizen Workshops and Kaizen Events are both an integral part of Lean Management.


They represent the most effective and efficient way to achieve in the shorter timeframe World-Class performances in Quality, On Time Deliveries and Costs.


The achievement of high levels of performances requires, however, to implement some key elements and advanced principles of Lean Management that can be implemented through Kaizen workshops and Kaizen events, such as :  

  • Leadership and behaviours
  • Flow, Pull Takt (Just-in-Time)
  • Zero Variation (Built-in-Quality)
  • Problem Solving
  • Standardized operations
  • Andon systems
  • 5S and Workplace Organization
  • Total Productive Maintenance
  • Visual Performance

The elements and principles of Lean Management have not all the same complexity and as a consequence, the effort required for implementation is not the same depending of the subject.


For example, implementing key principles of Lean ; Flow, Pull, Takt and Zero Variation , are much more complex, effort and time demanding than implementing some basic Lean elements and tools.


This is the reason why the implementation of Lean is performed, depending on the complexity of the Lean principle, whether through Kaizen workshops or Kaizen events.


Key principles of Lean Management (Flow, Pull, Takt Zero Variation), are typically performed through Kaizen events usually through a 5 days dedicated workshop multifunctional. Less complex elements of Lean Management are performed through Kaizen workshops typically 2 to 3 days through a multifunctional team.


What are the key elements of a Kaizen workshop or a Kaizen event ? 

  • A two - to five-day dedicated multifunctional team activity focused on performances improvements in which the team analyse, propose and implement alternative solutions for a process, a value stream or a work area, generating rapid results.
  • The objectives of a Kaizen workshop or Kaizen event are usually challenging and measurable.
  • Kaizen activities are performed through a dedicated multifunctional team (100% availability during the lenght of the Kaizen workshop or event)
  • The duration is short : usually 5 consecutive days for a Kaizen event,  2 to 3 days for a Kaizen workshop.
  • Kaizen events or workshops need to be facilitated by an internal Lean expert or by a Senior Lean Consultant 
  • The focus is the elimination of wastes and unnecessary non value-adding activities
  • They are usaully low cost with high return on investment
  • Kaizen events and Kaizen workshops are the right forum for group crativity
  • Focus on rapid implementation (usually during the event). Kaizen events and Kaizen workshops are not limited to planning for change 

Leadership and Behaviours : 

The organisation infrastructure must be assessed and adapted prior to launching a Lean initiative particularly to enable the implementation of the Integration of All, key Lean Management principle (Integrating everyone, working in teams, no blame culture, etc..). 


ATEMI Consulting propose to facilitate top and middle management specific Kaizen workshops in order to align the organisational infrastructure; incentives, policies, business systems and processes that must be aligned and coordinated to elicit the behaviour required for successful implementation of Lean principles and practices. 

Kaizen Events

Flow, Pull, Takt,  Key Lean Management principles : 

Key elements of Lean Management, Flow, Pull and Takt (Just-in-Time) principles can be implemented rapidly through Kaizen events. These principles focus to identify and remove all sources of wastes within the business (anything that consumes resources and produces no value for the customer) to meet customer demand (delivery of products, services, etc...) exactly, on time, quality and quantity.


Typically the ratio between value added activities and non value added activities (wastes) in non-lean companies is no higher than 7%  to 10%. Removing these wastes will allow your company to achieve a competitive market advantage by enabling the following benefits :

  • Producing more with the same resources (productivity)
  • Lowering your inventories and work-in-process
  • Speeding up time-to-market for new products
  • Accelerating response lead-times to Customer demands 

Flow, Pull and Takt dedicated Kaizen Events :

  • Lead time reduction of processes
  • Process mapping
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Pull systems (Kanban) and Levelled production - (Takt time adherence, One piece flow)
  • SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) 

Zero Variation principles:  

The Zero Variation (Built-in-Quality) principle of Lean management which includes Preventive and Curative Quality, capability of processes, etc.. focus on the shift of mindset and culture from measuring the quantity of defects raised for a given period of time (usually a month in a lot of companies) to embedding a high level of quality within the designs and the processes to make sure products (and services, designs, etc...) are produced 'right first time".


With this system in place, the quality standards are much higher and far less volatile, when compared to traditional quality ways of working. Additionally, not having to perfrom rework activities to process the non-quality, leads to a reduction in the Cost of Non Quality (CoNQ) and an increase in the Throughput of the system. 


Zero Variation dedicated Kaizen Events :

  • APQP (Advanced product Quality Planning)
  • Design (for assembly & manufacturing)
  • Design & Process FMEAs (Failure Mode Effects and Critical Analysis)
  • Key and critical process characteristics
  • Capability of processes
  • Pokayoke (error proofing) 

Problem Solving: 

Problem solving is a key methodology in Lean Management that helps solve the problems permanently and it is built around the disciplines of the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) cycle.

Problem Soving is designed to go to the true root cause of problems and can be used systematically in all the company processes and in the supply chain.


Problem Solving gives better understanding of problems and then help manages them. Its focus is on the process that results in problems and not the problem itself, this usually only leads to local fixes. It is applied and used multifunctionally and helps communication and promotes common understanding.


Problem Solving dedicated Kaizen Events :

  • Practical Problem Solving
  • PDCA
  • 8D
  • 5 Why's
  • Quick response Quality Control
  • 7 Quality tools 

Cost reduction Kaizen Events :

  • Design and redesing-to-cost (DtC)
  • Value Engineering & Value Management 

Kaizen Workshops

Standardized Operations Kaizen workshops: 

What are the standardized operations?

  • A clear, simple, visual standard method
  • A documented method of doing a job
  • Live and continuously updated documentation
  • Method of breaking down jobs into logical ‘steps’
  • A lean ‘tool’ for building in quality
  • Tool to make waste stand out. 

Andon Systems Kaizen workshops:

  • Andon allows timely corrective actions by alerting personnel when abnormal conditions occur.
  • Allows Shop floor support to spend less time and effort monitoring the situation, and more time solving abnormalities.
  • Allows Operation teams to monitor equipment and personnel more effectively.
  • It can act as a 2 way communication device e.g. When indicator returns to green; this tells everybody it’s ‘back to normal’ 

Appropriate use of the Andon is fundamental in highlighting Abnormalities : 

  • It ultimately eliminates abnormalities from occurring
  • Removing the causes of abnormalities and not just responding to the effects. 
  • By analysing data and frequency of Andon pulls by operator, the workgroups can identify and focus on improving, abnormality / bottleneck areas. 

5S and Workplace Organization Kaizen workshops: 

5S is a systematic approach to workplace organisation and housekeeping. Encouraging ownership and self discipline to sustain and further develop working practices. 

It aims to : 

  •  Remove waste from the workplace.
  •  Provide an environment where continuous improvement is embraced.
  •  Improve safety.
  •  Increase quality. 

Total Productive Maintenance Kaizen workshops: 

  • Operator skills development programme.
  • Allow problems to be identified and solved quickly.
  • Stop accelerated deterioration of plant and equipment.
  • An approach to stop deterioration related failures.
  • Stabilise equipment conditions (standards).
  • Develop training materials on how to run, operate & maintain equipment.
  • Planned Maintenance as part of an Effective Maintenance system takes time and to be effective has to be “a way of life”.
  • Planned Maintenance can make or break the relationship between production and maintenance functions. Partnership is the key.
  • The schedule and time required should be both sympathetic to production needs and be effective.
  • Key elements should be Lubrication Control and Spare Parts Management.
  • Establish where abnormalities will occur without disassembling the equipment.
  • Permits quality checks of repairs already made to overhauled equipment.
  • Permit estimation of repair periods.
  • Reduce maintenance costs by eliminating periodic overhauls.
  • Maintain operating conditions. 

Visual Performances Kaizen workshops: 

Visual Management is a tool used to visually convey the current status of an area compared to plan.

Visually highlighting an abnormality as it occurs


Benefits of Visual management :

  •  Abnormalities visible at glance 
  •  Improved Safety  (in time to do something about it)
  •  Floor space reduction
  •  Improved productivity
  •  Reduced search time
  •  Reduced inventory
  •  Improved communication between shifts
  •  Improved quality
  •  Reduced training time
  •  Automatic cross-training
  •  Improved morale
  •  Improved appearance
  •  Improved on-time delivery