Photo: A TRANSFORMATIONAL WEEK:

The typical Kaizen event lasts a full week. On Monday, it begins with a macro look at the process that's being improved, followed by detailed mapping of the current situation. By Friday, the Kaizen team is presenting its analysis, plans, and projected results. This photo album will show you what happens as the week unfolds.
Photo: SETTING THE COURSE:

Every Kaizen is carefully scoped beforehand to ensure that it's set up for success. Scoping defines the process that's being improved. It determines the team membership, which includes people who do the work at all key points of the process. It also clarifies the major goals for the event – and these are reviewed at the start of the Kaizen event itself, when team members first get together to begin their work.
Photo: SEEING THE SITUATION FIRST HAND:

Whenever possible from a logistical standpoint, the first day of a Kaizen event includes a visit to the work area(s) where the process unfolds. That's the scene in this photo, where a team is listening as an employee explains what goes on in this particular part of the office. The walk-around gets all team members on the same page from the very start of the Kaizen event.
Photo: STARTING WITH A HIGH-LEVEL VIEW:

All Kaizen events take place in a dedicated meeting room that serves as the team's work location for the full week. The work begins with introductions along with instruction on the Kaizen process. Then team members plunge in with guidance from LeanOhio system improvement consultants – creating a SIPOC as their first major step.

The SIPOC acronym stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers. Teams start with process, defining the entire workflow in just 5-7 major steps – shown in the picture by the blue sticky notes. By getting into strong agreement on the big picture in terms of key components of their process, team members get well-positioned to dive into the details.
Photo: MAPPING THE CURRENT STATE:

One of the most challenging activities in a Kaizen event begins on the first day, as team members develop a detailed map of the current process. Every step and decision of the current workflow is identified, agreed upon by the team, and written down – in order to show everything that happens from start to finish.

In many cases, team members who work in one part of the process end up learning about the full process for the first time. LeanOhio facilitators guide this important map-building activity, but team members provide all the input. By the time they're done, they have an extensive process map like the one you see in the photo – which they put to work in the next phase of their Kaizen event.
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A TRANSFORMATIONAL WEEK:

The typical Kaizen event lasts a full week. On Monday, it begins with a macro look at the process that's being improved, followed by detailed mapping of the current situation. By Friday, the Kaizen team is presenting its analysis, plans, and projected results. This photo album will show you what happens as the week unfolds.

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