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Class Journal: The Deming Cycle Methodology And The Kaizen (Essay Sample)


Process Management is about continuous improvement. Discuss similarities and differences between the Deming Cycle Methodology and the Kaizen approach to process improvement.


Businesses have always been engaging in a never-ending competition, not only for the available market and customers but also for their distinction as a brand as well. To survive the cutthroat competition that is the corporate world, they therefore have to embrace a strategy that enables them to be constantly improving. Constant and continuous improvement ensures that these businesses can remain afloat, and sustain their success for long. To ensure that they are continuously improving over time, these businesses need to work more on their products or services, in such a manner that the customers will always get value for whatever they seek from the business. As can be seen from the previous decades or centuries, the concept of continuous improvement dates back so many years ago, and can be closely related to the beginning of the industrial revolution and mass production. These companies came up with various programs that could help them in the process of continuous improvement. The most notable are the Kaizen approach and the Deming Cycle Methodology.
Kaizen is a term borrowed from the Japanese, which stands for gradual but steady and continuous improvement over time. It is a philosophy that involves everyone within the organization, as well as every processes therein, from human resource, supply chain as well as innovation. Improvement in these areas should serve to enhance the overall status of the business or organization. Therefore, the Kaizen approach encompasses each and every activity that concerns improvement. Quite similarly, Deming cycle is also use the cycle as a component of their corporate improvement strategies, since it encourages learning which builds knowledge (Liker & Franz, 2011).
The other thing about Kaizen is that it doesn’t necessarily depend on financial muscle to be effective. Instead, it is even more effective over the long-term, taking small but gradual steps towards improvement, so long as there is the participation of all the stakeholders in the organization. This is however quite different from the Deming cycle, which emphasizes more on the trial-and-error approach, where a new system is first of all brought in, then a test run is performed. This is called piloting. The success or failure of the new system would determine whether it would be implemented or not (Liker & Franz, 2011).
There are building blocks of the kaizen approach. These include, not seeking out perfection in operations, having flexibility to find a way out even when there is a dead end, staying away from excuses and always thinking on how something can be done. On the other hand, Deming’s cycle is composed of four concepts; plan, do, study and act (PDSA). These four steps are what define the cycle, as it was sometimes known as PDSA cycle (Liker & Franz, 2011).
For the kaizen approach to take root in an organization, there needs to be training, complete involvement of the stakeholders, and full understanding of operational practices or the o...
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