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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