Kaizen Event - Which tools to use?




I seem to have been searching the forums for few nights now and the more I'm reading the more I seem to be getting confused :confused:

Just as a bit of background info, I am currently studying a home learning course in Quality Management. My next assignment is to manage a small project and demonstrate how I have used 'quality to improve business performance'. As my employer won't let me do this during work time, I will be carrying this out in 'theory'.

Through reading the course literature provided and looking through these forums I think I have a half decent understanding of most of the quality tools. My main problem I am finding is what to use them for and when?

Now in the place that I work we seem to have a 'bottle neck' for the process of hydro testing valves. Therefore I think this would be a good area to try improve/stream line and possibly reduce the time it takes to test the valves.

My plan is hold a 'Kaizen Event'. I've never done this before so I will list out my planned steps and hopefully you guys can give me some feedback.

Before Kaizen Event
-Pre Plan - Define scope, goals (SMART) and timeframe of Kaizen event, gain buy in from top management
-Small Presentation on what a Kaizen event is

During Kaizen event.
-Gather team - I will use a cross functional team in order to gain knowledge from all departments.​
-Collect data on current state by Value Stream Mapping - I will walk through the process and time how long it takes for each operation and try identify other causes of waste. Determining value added and non value added actions. Maybe use Spaghetti diagram or 5S​
-Brainstorm ideas on how to reduce waste, pareto the non value added actions​
-Decide on solutions and their ease/effect of implementation​
-Prioritise solutions​
-Implement improvement​
-Re-measure value stream mapping​
-Determine benefits & savings​
-Follow Up​
-Formalise new process​

Does this seem like I have covered most points? Could I add any of the other quality tools in at any stages just to demonstrate use. Please provide examples.

Any feedback, positive or negative is welcomed!

Thanks in advance


Trusted Information Resource
Hey [boothy10], welcome to the forum.

That looks like a logical flow to me. Too bad about your employer not being interested, but that's something you can work around. Your interest in Quality Management will pay off if you continue to pursue it.


It looks good to me as well.

My only warning would be that often it doesn't actually happen linearly.

Meaning you may work up to, say, step 6, then with new information realize you have to jump BACK to step 2 and continue again - it can cycle.

Having said THAT, you then have to watch out for what is called "scope creep." You may start a good dynamic that generates ideas and start this iterative cycle and suddenly your well defined, manageable project grows into a monster.

What I am trying to say is - they are as you describe - tools. And in general, there is a "method" that you follow in their application. But the method is a guide.

They keys to success from the very high level view are:
1) Keep focused on what you are trying to solve, avoid scope creep.​
2) Familiarity with the right tool to use, which comes with experience.​
Welcome to the fight.


Thanks for the advice ncwalker & normzone. I think my employer basically sees it as I'm doing my personal studying during work hours, and not the fact it could actually help the business.
It's reassuring to know I'm not a million miles away though seen as it's my first one!

I just needed a bit of confirmation before I started, as I didn't want to get half way in and realise it had some major flaws.

Cheers guys


Super Moderator
In a recent Kaizen event at my company, we also had stakeholders and a champion. They were very interested in the progress we made and it helped the team, knowing that we had the support of upper management and others who would benefit from the project.


Hi All,

As part of my assignment I have to 'provide justification of my improvement project'. As I mentioned before the project will be done in theory, so I have no set guidelines.
I have already identified the problem as a bottle neck in the hyrdotesting of valves, but how do I justify this?

Some of the effects of this issue are:
-Other processes further down the line are waiting for valves to be tested frequently (people stood around waiting)​
-Customer complaints​
-Fines/penalties for late deliveries​
But how can I measure these in terms of data? There is probably a simple answer to all this but at the minute my mind is blank!

Thanks in advance

Since posting this I've thought I could maybe do a pareto analysis on customer complaints for this year. Making the data show that Late Delivery of valves was the most prominent problem.

Any other ways I could justify the above?

Last edited by a moderator:


Trusted Information Resource
I don't know how your on time delivery numbers are tracked and analyzed, but if valves affect that number at all then you should be able to find some data, or somebody willing to provide anecdotes to support that. In the absence of hard data a conservative estimate works for me.

In the Kaizen I've found that having somebody play the role of "clueless outsider" is valuable. A different perspective comes in handy - somebody who will ask "How come I can see the emperor's butt in his new clothes" when everybody else won't. Or will ask "But WHY have we always done it that way ?"


Starting to get Involved
You can use
Pareto Analysis,
VOC(Voice of Customer)

After defined problem you can use
six panel format(like six sigma) or you can use attached form for kaizen activities list form


  • Kaizen.xlsx
    82.8 KB · Views: 472


Quite Involved in Discussions
I use BMGi's SCORE methodology to structure the kaizen event.
SCORE stands for


those are the preparation stages


and finally post-implementation stage


for each phase BMGi has recommended tools to use, you can visit thier site for free materials. But as for me I did not adopt it.
As is always the advise in these forums, you need to customize based on your organizations' culture, needs, and current capability.
For me it's not what you can teach, it's what the organization is ready to absorb and use.
Top Bottom