3 Principles of Kaizen

The 3 principles of Kaizen are:

  1. gemba: the place where work is done
  2. gembutsu: the actual product
  3. genjitsu: the facts

In order to have a successful Operational Excellence culture by embedding a Kaizen philosophy of work, it means people perform hands-on problem-solving by going to the actual place of work (gemba). Then working with the actual product (gembutsu) and determining the facts (genjitsu) about the situation at-hand.

Following this path is referred to as: Genchi Genbutsu, translated as “go look, go see” and is predicated on the viewpoint that value creation is best understood – and, problems best solved – right where the hands-on work is performed.

Kaizen Japanese symbolKaizen is a Japanese word that means “small, ongoing good” (kai) and “good, little, for the better” (zen). The term has come to mean small, continuous improvements by hands-on workers all the time.



The Kaufman Global White Paper: Implementing Lean Manufacturing, describes in detail how to achieve kaizen.

If you don’t want to download, you can read it online in our blog here.

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