Published By: SME
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The lean function is a necessary resource for making an enterprise kaizen-ready. Readiness is largely achieved by developing a demonstrated excellence in kaizen event planning, execution, and follow-through. It is ultimately proven when the organization has transitioned into one that regularly employs principle-driven kaizen events, projects, and daily kaizen. The transition to kaizen readiness is enabled by: sensei guidance, effective transformation leadership, and solid short-term wins. Effective transformation leadership is a prerequisite for kaizen readiness. Consistent with the lean implementation action plan, it entails establishing and nurturing a lean function. The second phase, create a new organization, roughly prescribed as between the first six months of the lean launch and year two, calls for reorganizing by product or service family (becoming a value stream-based organization). Shortly after this reorganization, the plan requires the creation of a generically named lean function. This function is none other than the kaizen promotion office (KPO). It goes by other names such as the just-in-time promotion office (JPO), lean office, company production or business system office, or continuous improvement office.