Our Lean Methodology blog series introduces business approaches and actionable insights that can lay the foundations for creating business efficiencies.
Kaizen and DMAIC are both business approaches with Kaizen being similar to Lean methodology and DMAIC similar to Six Sigma.
Learn more about our consultation services that fuse people, technology, and performance to create harmonious, human+ workforces, or read on to discover more about the difference between Kaizen and Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC).
Let’s look at the main characteristics of each approach:
Kaizen – a Japanese word that simply means ‘Change for the better’. The main characteristics are:
Additionally, the rise of AI has allowed opportunities for the fast-moving world of Kaizen to be enhanced by rapid analysis of processes.
DMAIC – a 5-step process where the 1st letter of each stage spells out DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. The main characteristics are:
How to choose the right approach
The best solution in many cases may be to combine both business approaches but the most appropriate approach can be chosen for a project by answering the following questions.
If YES, Kaizen
If NO, DMAIC
Interestingly, many practitioners have started to plan out their Kaizen projects using the DMAIC process steps. This way they ensure that everything is considered. So, it may not be a case of Kaizen vs DMAIC but instead getting the best results by choosing to apply both.
The emergence of excellent Process Mining tools such as Celonis has further accelerated the implementation of both Kaizen and DMAIC approaches. With robust and inciteful data at your fingertips, process mining tools really help you understand performance of a process and identify where the potential improvements are located.
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