Kaizen Desk Reference Standard
by Raphael L. Vitalo, Ph.D., Frank Butz, and Joseph P. Vitalo
have performed a great service to those wishing to make improvements
in their workplace..."
||James P. Wallace, Regional Director, Texas
Manufacturing Assistance Center
The authors have performed a great service to those wishing to make improvements
in their workplace by eliminating waste and improving efficiency. The
Kaizen Desk Reference Standard provides much needed detailed information
about the process and the approach to make those necessary improvements.
This reference for conducting a Kaizen event is full of very useful worksheets
that structure the event. A detailed example of a simulated project is
thoroughly documented providing completed worksheets demonstrating their
use. Of particular interest, the text provides tips that are generously
scattered throughout to help those with little experience to prepare for
handling the road blocks that often occur in implementing change strategies.
There are many forms that provide structure in conducting meetings, brainstorming
sessions, documenting improvements, tracking changes, and taking corrective
actions. As a bonus, the accompanying CD provides the templates of these
forms either in PDF, M/S Word, or M/S Excel format. These useful templates
are very well structured and apply to many improvement tasks attempted
in the development of a high-performing organization.
Many of the resource tools demonstrated in the text apply to those trying
to implement LEAN in manufacturing applications for the first time and
serve to help structure a strategy for doing so. The step-by-step process
demonstrated in the text combines many of the organizational and team
leadership strategies to identify sources of wastes, develop process flow
charts, handle team dynamics, developing consensus, identifying root causes,
and documenting gains. Also, the text stresses the need for standardization
of processes and the commitment of management in the process of change.
Standardization requires accountability and responsible leadership in
which there may be reluctance to adopt.
This text is a must read primer for anyone attempting to lead a Kaizen
event or attempting to make changes within their workplace to foster the
development of a high-performing organization. The step-by-step approach
demonstrates a strategy that should yield greater success on the first
attempt. Anyone involved in recommending change, should keep a copy of
this text on their desk. It is easy to read, if full of examples, and
is accompanied with a very useful selection of forms available to use
for process improvements.
I would like to extend my thanks for a job well done.
is the most comprehensive treatment of Kaizen that I have ever
||Chris Bujak, Global Manager,
Continuous Improvement, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Nice job! This is the most comprehensive treatment of Kaizen that I
have ever seen. You are to be congratulated for a professionally executed
and thorough treatment of performing Kaizen. The book not only captures
the technical aspects of Kaizen but also accomplishes it in the true
spirit of helping people "do" this thing called Kaizen and, in the process,
improve themselves and their environments.
I give the book my highest marks for thoroughness, step-by-step logic,
having a "doing" focus with examples, combining technical content with
addressing the issues of people and their growth, and offering an invitation
to a broader community to try Kaizen. I especially found the narrative
description of an actual Kaizen, from conception through follow up, immensely
helpful. And the tool kit included with the book is outstanding.
My only add is to emphasize the importance of a high level analysis
of the business to determine the positioning of Kaizen from a strategic
perspective. Guidance is provided for this approach in the "Customizing
Kaizen" chapter. If you want to reap broad business benefits from
Kaizen, you need to go to that chapter and study carefully the sections
on Guidelines for the Sustained Use of Kaizen and Building the High-Performing
book is one impressive source for learning and applying the concepts
of Kaizen to any business model and on any
||James S. Byron, Manager, Learning and
Organizational Development, PGM Groton, Pfizer Inc.
The Kaizen Desk Reference Standard is a continuous improvement encyclopedia
of procedures, steps, tools, and principles that genuinely work to produce
proven and amazing business and personal results. Much is written in
the popular business improvement literature about the importance of execution,
waste elimination, human capital development, high-performance work systems,
building to last, etc., but most of these works fail to boil down in
a systematic and teachable way how to make these concepts come to life.
This book is one impressive source for learning and applying the concepts
of Kaizen to any business model and on any scale.
The KDRS has an adaptable two-track approach. First, serious-minded continual
improvement achievers have at their disposal a teaching tool that provides
the concepts, principles, and operations for acquiring and applying Kaizen.
Second, the KDRS is a ready reference for guiding every business leader
through the steps needed to successfully apply Kaizen to their business.
This book fills a glaring hole in the Kaizen marketplace by providing
a documented and systematic knowledge base of tools and methods to apply
Kaizen repeatedly and consistently. The KDRS is organized and referenced
for ease of use. It begins by educating the reader about the knowledge
underpinning Kaizen; it then methodically takes the reader through the
lifecycle of a Kaizen event. At every step along the way, tips and checklists
prompt and stimulate the reader to ensure knowledge acquisition and execution.
Most importantly, this practical guide recognizes that, apart from elevating
business results, the critical outcome for Kaizen is boosting the energy,
initiative, passion, and alignment of that key determinant of sustained
high performancenamely, the people of the enterprise. In fact,
the authors point out that no improvement tool will realize its potential
contribution without the engagement and alignment of the people of the
enterprise. It is the quality of these people who make the dream of sustained
high performance a reality. Few consultants and business leaders truly
realize this simple but profound insight. The KDRS authors do, and while
they are passionate about their "tool," they are uniquely honest in the
requirements needed to get the benefits of this process. This book is
a "must have" for every business leader serious about building
book worth having and keeping."
||Michel Baud in, Manufacturing Management
& Technology Institute
I like the book. It is professionally produced, the material in it is
easy to locate, and it contains a wealth of useful details. I particularly
appreciate the CD with electronic copies of the forms. The book is clearly
a distillation of the authors' personal experience, and not a rehash of
other publications. The book is entirely about the Kaizen event process
and its management, as opposed to the content of the changes that are
made to operations, which is what I have been writing about. I don't agree
with everything in the book, which is not unexpected. There are two points
in particular that I would like to share. "Kaizen" and "Kaizen
event" are not synonymous. In Japan, Kaizen designates small changes
in work methods implemented by the people who do the work themselves.
An example of Kaizen from NUMMI is wrapping tin foil around the feet of
welding fixtures to make them easier to clean, and it was implemented
by a "problem-solving team" that meets twice a week for one
hour after work in a pattern similar to quality circles. That is continuous
improvement; Kaizen events are not. The term "Kaizen event"
or "Kaizen blitz" itself is an oxymoron made in the USA. I don't
mind it and I do coach Kaizen events, but I think the distinction between
Kaizen and Kaizen events should be made. Also, I do not view Kaizen events
as the be-all and end-all of manufacturing improvement and waste elimination,
but as one tool in a kit that also includes the above problem-solving
teams as well as engineering and management task forces to undertake large
scale projects, and culture change programs involving all employees, such
as 5S. All that said, this is a book worth having and keeping.
book is one impressive source for learning and applying the concepts
of Kaizen to any business model and on any scale."
||Don Roll, WOVC and Kaizen Tool Expert
Absolutely superb reference for performing a Kaizen event from start
to finish. This book takes over where other Kaizen volumes leave off.
Most other Kaizen books deal generally with Kaizen philosophy, benefits,
and usually not at all about the detailed methodology of Kaizen. This
Kaizen reference is like having a detailed road map for Kaizen. My Kaizen
events have been much more consistent, since I started following the methodology
as described in this volume. Additionally, our Kaizen teams are rewarded
with more successful events from a team building as well as a financial
standpoint. This book has been so helpful to me that now all of my Kaizen
facilitators are trained according to the method described in this Kaizen
Desk Reference Standard. I truly wish I had this reference 10 years ago
when we struggled to put the Kaizen concepts into practice.