Kaizen certified?

Hey there, Skill Miner is online to share my experience in Kaizen Certification. Quite often it may happen, that you possess a skill or knowledge, but you don’t have a proof for it. For example, you graduated with a major in Chemistry but for years you’ve been working as an Industrial Engineer or a Project Manager. Getting plenty of experience and knowledge, but still feeling unconfident, because the official proof of competence is missing. Here is a bit of help in this direction. You can get a certificate online. This was my motivation when I was searching for the way how to proof my competences in Lean Manufacturing.

The story behind

The word Kaizen came into my life in 2015, as I started working in Reinforced Plastics Production.It immediately found its place and since that time I have never given up on implementing it. The company I worked for was a start-up. We had a long period of frequent audits and certifications. Some of them were imposed by the automotive industry. Kaizen is the key part of Toyota Production System.  It is a Japanese word and stands for continuous improvement. The important point here is that Kaizen is opposite to the term Kaikaku (a breakthrough), what means a drastic change. Kaizen is about making small steps. But every single day. With a high level of discipline and self-dedication.

I fell in love with this concept. Started reading books about Lean Manufacturing, Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma. The reading was reinforced with an on-site implementation of concepts in practice. It grew very fast. After some time I thought, that it would be great to receive a certificate in this field. This is how I enrolled in the course from MSI Certified.

Getting through

This course is really recommended to those, who desperately need a certificate. I wouldn’t say that it really added any knowledge or skills to my baggage. The course is full of definitions and main concepts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any spreadsheets and document blanks for Kaizen events for example or for Value Stream Mapping. But there are still slides, which you can use as templates. MSI has quite many interesting offers with nice discounts. It can be bought together as one package with 6 Sigma Black Belt for example.

Kaizen skills to mine

You can read here, how I make the evaluation of skills.

Kaizen and everyday life

Kaizen is not a skill in itself. It is a philosophy. To understand how to become good in it we have to slice it in smaller segments. They are Plan-Do-Control and Act skills united into the so-called PDCA cycle. PDCA in the right hands is the best tool in achieving your goals. It is an interface of Kaizen. The zero step is to evaluate your current state.

  1. P – Plan your future state;
  2. D – Do necessary actions to achieve this future state;
  3. C – control, whether you achieved the desired result.
  4. A – act accordingly to the result;

Kaizen is like going upstairs. PDCA is like steps of these stairs. But before launching the next cycle you must do something else. You must fix your result. It is called standardization. Without standardization, Kaizen is like climbing up a cliff. You will always slide back to the previous state. Applying standards is like cutting out steps to stay on.

Kaizen and Standards

Kaizen with standardization and without is like a difference between a sudden urge of doing something and a real habit. Being an amateur or professional. I think this is how Kaizen can be projected onto the everyday life. Standard = habit, PDCA is the vector.

Where to start with implementation? Define the process first. Afterwards, define in which state it is. You know, what to do next. I learned the German language within one year by implementing the same principle. Everyday I learned something new to improve my language. Not too long, maybe just for 30-45 minutes. But everyday. Therefore in one year, I couldn’t believe the result. My conclusion was: “Never underestimate the power of a habit (standard)”.

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