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Everything can and should be improved
‒ look for improvement opportunities constantly.



Kaikaku and Kaizen

Kaikaku is a lean production term that means radical change, transformation, a revolution. It means radical overhaul of an activity to eliminate all waste (muda in Japanese) and create greater value. It is a rapid and radical change process.

In lean terms, there are two kinds of improvement.

  • Kaizen is evolutionary, focused on incremental improvements.

  • Kaikaku is revolutionary, focused on radical improvements

Kaikaku is a breakthrough rapid and radical improvement, of any activity, It is similar to radical innovation, though innovation is not necessary for Kaikaku.

Kaikaku is also known as Breakthrough Kaizen, Kaizen Blitz, Flow Kaizen and System Kaizen.  



Kaikaku-Kaizen Synergy  >>>

Kaikaku is sought in addition to Kaizen, not in place of Kaizen. 

Kaikaku is a rapid change event as opposed to Kaizen which is smaller incremental improvements. Kaikaku is revolutionary while Kaizen is evolutionary.

Kaikaku sometimes used as a precursor to Kaizen activities. Kaizen is essential for a long-term lean transformation.

Example of a Lean Value Chain

Kaikaku is necessary to break paradigms and elevate the awareness of people to a higher level of understanding. When approaching a problem situation, it might require radical improvement to start with (Kaikaku), then be continuously improved ( Kaizen).

Without Kaizen you are building Kaikaku on sandy foundations. And vice versa >>>

Kaizen Culture: 8 Key Elements

KoRe 10 Kaikaku Tips

❶  Strive to amaze your  customers, both internal and external; ask yourself "What would an ideal customer experience be?" and look for ways to make maximum contribution to that ideal state

❷  Develop a creative dissatisfaction mindset;  ask yourself  "What would an ideal process or workshop look like?" and search for opportunities to make radical improvements

❸  Look for opportunities to do much more with much less; apply the 80/20 Principle to everything  >>>

❹  See problems as opportunities to make things radically better and to hone your  winning skills for creative problem solving

❺  Challenge assumptions and the status quo; recognize that the current practice may entrap people in old ways of seeing and thinking  >>>

❻  Take different perceptual positions and look at the current practice with new eyes; ask "Why and What If?" questions

❼  Know how to sell your radical ideas to other stakeholders and how to overcome resistance to change.

❽  Brainstorm creative solutions with your group; go wild; think outside the box; look for synergies

❾  Think positively and act promptly ‒ start improving things and learn as you go  >>>

❿  Follow the radical improvement action (Kaikaku) with continuous small improvements ( Kaizen>>>



"Excellent firms don't believe in excellence only in constant improvement and constant change." ~ Tom Peters


Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions