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Kaizen (改善?) , is the Japanese word for "continual improvement ". In business, kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain. It has been applied in automative, manufacturing, healthcare, psychotherapy,life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries.

Kaizens can be raised depending on small, medium or large improvements. The respective Kaizens are called Quick, Standard and Major Kaizens accordingly. On creating a Kaizen it undergoes a process of PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act).

PDCA (plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continual improvement of processes.

PLAN: Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the expected output (the target or goals).

DO: Implement the plan, execute the process, make the product. Collect data for charting and analysis in the following "CHECK" and "ACT" steps.

CHECK: Study the actual results (measured and collected in "DO" above) and compare against the expected results (targets or goals from the "PLAN") to ascertain any differences. Look for deviation in implementation from the plan and also look for the appropriateness and completeness of the plan to enable the execution.

ACT: If the CHECK shows that the PLAN that was implemented in DO is an improvement to the prior standard (baseline), then that becomes the new standard (baseline) for how the organization should ACT going forward (new standards are enACTed). If the CHECK shows that the PLAN that was implemented in DO is not an improvement, then the existing standard (baseline) will remain in place.