Kaizen and Project Management

Last week I got a chance to tour the Mead Johnson manufacturing facilities here in Evansville, and I was struck by how firmly kaizen is embedded in the culture of our supply chain.   The plants are clean and tidy, with performance and safety metrics prominently displayed.  Improvement ideas are posted, the author(s) credited, and the results are made available to all.

I’ve always thought that PMs could better leverage kaizen thinking, especially when they’re IT PMs in a business that values continuous improvement.  Many methodologies are out there for kaizen-inspired product or project management.  These concepts are at the heart of agile, Six Sigma, lean, etc.  In fact, I’m using some principles now, like using 5S to organize the project portfolio.  I’m also planning to get key performance reporting visible to all.

What other approaches have you seen to introduce “project management with kaizen characteristics”?  In particular, I’d like to see what has worked to promote better IT/business understanding and alignment.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Paul,
    The first thing I can associate with kaizen is the code management, especially during the peer-review.
    Then we can move (or start from) templates and communications.

  2. Paul,
    That is great to hear. In A&D we use a thing called Product Development Kaizen. It starts with capturing the needed capabilities or the program maturity assessment events. Then below those are the significant accomplishments and their accomplishment criteria.

    Only then are the Work Packages containing the work effort defined. The result is a picture of what “done” looks like.

    There is usually a “Black Belt PDK” person to facilitate the process. We’ve planned out a billion dollar test flight spacecraft (a derivative of the Orbital Space Plane) with the systems engineers, operational planners and the PP&C folks all in the same room for two week.

    If you search for “product development kaizen,” you’ll find the foundations for the process at a major Aerospace and Defense.

    I’m speaking at a MSFT Conference in September. One of the sections of my presentation is able capturing capabilities using PDK. I’ll post the briefing when it’s done.

  3. […] View original post here:  Kaizen and Project Management « Crossderry Blog […]

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