Project Kaizen

Bringing the power of continuous improvement to the project setting

Day 5: Project Kaizen Blitz

Revisit and Rethink Your Project with the Project Kaizen Blitz

Hal Macomber


Earlier this week I was discussing this project kaizen series with a colleague who practices agile project management. He told me he does project kaizen routinely. In fact, he was off for two days of project kaizen. I encouraged him to write something on his weblog when he got back. It occurred to me afterwards the he was talking about a kaizen blitz. He was joining a project team to rethink and replan how they would go about organizing the work and themselves to do the project. This is the big bang of kaizen activities. (Read Norman’s recount of… Read on >>

The Birth of the Kaizen Blitz

Norman Bodek


Kaizen Blitz is a term used for running a one-time special event, normally one week long, to drastically make changes in a process. Kaizen Blitz is really a Kaikaku – a radical change while Kaizen means small incremental changes.

I met both Yoshiki Iwata and Chihiro Nakao in Japan at Toyota subsidiaries and brought them to America to run the first Kaizen Blitz at Jake Brake, a Danaher company in Bloomfield, Connecticut. We initially called it “Five Days and One Night,” meaning that you would learn and work for five days and get very little sleep during the week.

Iwata gave… Read on >>

Project Kaizen: the Kaizen Blitz

Joe Ely


The Kaizen Blitz or Kaizen Event is a technique that our own Norman Bodek was instrumental in demonstrating for the first time here in the US. At that time, they called it “Five Days and One Night”, indicative of the fact that four of the five days of work allowed for no sleep, at least symbolically.


I first learned how to do a Kaizen Event during a fateful week at Wiremold’s Brooks Division in Philadelphia. They invited me, an outsider, to fully participate with them as “fresh eyes” for the event. They did far more for me and my company than I did for them…it was… Read on >>

Kaizen Blitz for Project Teams

Jon Miller


During a Kaizen Blitz a cross-functional team makes rapid improvements in a focused scope of work over a short period of time. This is done based on observing processes, trying new things out and measuring the results. This is very applicable in making project teams more effective. There are many types of kaizen, a few of which we’ve covered this week, so first let’s put them in perspective.


The Kaizen Blitz in Perspective

Projects you may not think of as a type of kaizen, but in that the goal of most projects is to improve something or create… Read on >>

Kaizen Blitz: Team-Based Radical Innovation

Chuck Frey


Today’s topic in our week-long kaizen coblogging initiative is kaizen blitz. While kaizen represents continuous, incremental improvement, kaizen blitz is a team event, a focused effort up to a week long in which everyone in a work team or workstream works together to create a sudden, radical change in a business or manufacturing process.


In concept, kaizen blitz – or kaikaku – is similar to radical innovation. A kaizen blitz begins with a vision of the future, an ideal state that can be used to help the group work backwards to develop action steps that they can do… Read on >>

Project Kaizen: Friday

Kathleen Fasanella


Today’s theme are the drastic, fast changes of a whole project. A blitz takes time and preparation. It is intended to produce a big result.


Of all the project kaizen topics, I found this the most difficult. Worse, I avoided thinking about it. I wish I could boldly and bravely charge forward, brandishing my herald of change but I can’t. Now I realize that I fear it. Particularly big changes made quickly. Coming full circle, some points I made Monday bear iteration; that of the need to involve line people in change activities in spite of our inherent diffidence because… Read on >>

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