The Importance of Team Building
Team building is the main ingredient of a successful Kaizen event. This can precede the Kaizen itself and needs to be given a lot of importance. So how does one help in Kaizen team evolution? For this, one must understand the various phases that a team has to go through that will enable it to suggest Kaizen events that will be self sustaining.
The first step, of course, is to form a team. For this, a facilitator has to pick a small group of people from within those involved in the process being studied. The big question is whether the facilitator can function as a team leader for the brainstorming sessions that will follow. Otherwise, a team leader has to be appointed.
Once this brainstorming is done, ideas are firmed up and the team then moves to the performing stage. This is when they prepare an action list and communicate its points, along with their reasons for identifying these issues, to the stakeholders involved in the process. Communication is very important at this stage. Once the benefits are realized the team continually repeats the process to look for further scope for improvement.
One of the most important things for every member of a Kaizen team is to realize that they are working for a common good and there is no place for any personal egos. You've heard that there is no "i" in team, and managers that are aware of the benefits of Kaizen processes will also strive to involve all members of a particular process in the Kaizen event. This can be done by rotating the people involved in the forming, storming, setting of new norms and final performance. This encourages total involvement plus the constant inflow of ideas from new minds. Once such total involvement is guaranteed, there is almost no process that cannot be improved. This is, after all, the objective of the whole exercise.