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What Is the Continuous Improvement Model in Lean? 

Now let's dive into it.

In Lean, continuous improvement is also known as Kaizen. The continuous improvement model refers to a never-ending strive for perfection in everything you do. 

Kaizen originated in Japan shortly after the end of the Second World War. It gained massive popularity in Lean manufacturing and became one of the foundations of Toyota’s rise from a small carmaker to the largest automobile manufacturer on the planet. 

In the context of the Lean methodology, continuous improvement seeks to improve every process in your company by focusing on enhancing the activities that generate the most value for your customer while removing as many waste activities as possible.

Olive Oil Bottles

Olive Oil production

The main types of waste in Lean are Muda, Mura and Muri.

Muda

The seven wastes

Muda consists of  7 Lean wastes:

 

transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects. 

Removing all of them completely is nearly impossible; however, focusing on minimizing their negative effects on your work is crucial for successfully implementing continuous improvement.

Mura

The waste of uneveness

Mura is caused by unevenness or inconsistency in your process. It is responsible for many of the 7 wastes of Muda. Mura stops your tasks from flowing smoothly across your work process and therefore gets in your way of reaching continuous flow.

Muri

The waste of overburden

Muri is a major problem for companies that apply push systems. When you assign too much work to your team, you place unnecessary stress on both your team and the process.

Muri is usually a result of Mura, and if you want continuous improvement to become part of your culture, you need to focus on getting rid of those wastes.

The 6 benefits of implementing  Continuous improvement...

1

2

3

4

5

6

Increased
Efficiency

Improved 
Quality

Cost
Savings

Employee
Engaging

Enabling
Transformation

Supporting
Innovations

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