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Apr 19, 2015

“Kaizen” is Japanese for “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” in business activities.  This could be beneficial to accountants when you consider the problems of “digital disruption” and Standard Business Reporting (SBR).


Kaizen is a business philosophy of continuous cost reduction, reducing quality problems and waste and delivery time reduction through rapid team-based improvement activities.


For change to happen in the workplace, you have to change actions.  If you work the same way today as you did yesterday, you will end up with a same result.  The key factors within Kaizen include:

·        planning the job;

·        work backwards from the shipping date;

·        dissect the job into its components;

·        set a time for the job;

·        use a production management whiteboard;

·        set targets; and

·        measure the performance.


Kaizen embraced the Five S framework of:

·        good housekeeping

·        tidiness

·        orderliness

·        cleanliness

·        standardised clean up practices


The management’s role in the Kaizen system is to:

·        secure the work;

·        itemise the details of the job;

·        establish management systems so that actual performance can be measured;

·        encourage suggestions from team members; and

·        introduce small rewards.


The team’s role is to sort the job out for themselves.  Do it first then think.  Try and improve productivity and tidying up.


Kaizen’s overall strategy is to empower individuals to improve their productivity.  In other words, today, we do something different.  I believe that understanding the Kaizen culture will assist accountants to meet the challenges of 2015.



Peter Towers



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