Agile, Kaizen, Organization Development, Personal, Software Development

Kaizen

A key measure of a successful product organization is its ability to deliver on Quality commitments. This usually is the cost of entry in a competitive market landscape. There is no magic formula for an organization to get there. Key remains building a culture of continuous improvement.

In Japanese, there is a term that describes “continuous improvement” mindset well. It is called “Kaizen”. Toyota actually mastered this and it later became part of the DNA of various Japanese companies causing them to win the marketplace primarily on the basis of Quality.  

Kaizen emphasize the culture of continual small improvements that yields large results in a form of compound productivity improvement over a period of time. The “zen” in Kaizen emphasizes the learn-by-doing aspect of improving productivity. Idea remains smaller experiments, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are suggested.

In our industry one way to measure Quality is considering how its “Quality curve” looks like during product development. It is plotting number of defects on y-axis during various phases of product development. A traditional organization that deals with quality late in the development cycle may look like the following:-

to another with the emphasis of bringing quality early on during the development cycle:-

So watch out next time as you encounter bumps that can be improved. What you do to get around those bumps and how you address it has an impact towards building winning organization. Every effort counts.

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