In this blogpost I shall touch upon the differences between ISO and Kaizen. By the way, when I mention ISO, I am referring to ISO 9000 series.
Just as there are similarities between ISO and Kaizen, there are several stark differences too. I have enumerated few differences between ISO and Kaizen below. Make sure to take cognizance of them before initiating continuous improvement culture at your workplace.
Differences between ISO and Kaizen continual improvement techniques-
ISO focuses on product ‘Quality’.
ISO focuses on product.
In ISO, process improvements happen to maintain product quality.
ISO focusses only on the processes impacting Quality Management Systems.
ISO focuses on process control and compliance to existing standards.
In ISO process improvements happen on big scale.
ISO works with Measure- Monitor- Analyze principle.
ISO needs a single person (called as ISO champion) in each department, supervised by a lead champion to install ISO system within the organization.
ISO requires creation of standard operating procedures (SOP) and other heavy documentation as a part of the certification process.
ISO is a continual / continuous improvement methodology.
ISO certification incurs significant expenses. It is a budget heavy continuous improvement technique. Hence, it can be implemented by mid-size to large companies who have good financial muscles.
Kaizen focuses on product ‘Value’.
Kaizen focuses on customer.
In Kaizen, process improvement happens to delight the customer.
Kaizen focusses on ALL processes within the organization including quality processes, that bring value to the customer.
Kaizen focuses on continuous improvement for improving standards.
Process improvements in Kaizen are small, incremental, done regularly over a period of time.
Kaizen works with PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle.
Kaizen needs teamwork. Every employee in the organization must be directly or indirectly involved in the process improvement endeavor. Kaizen increases employee engagement.
Kaizen needs only SOPs. No documentation at all. Reporting happens on a single A3 page.
Kaizen plays dual role i.e. it is continual/ continuous improvement methodology as well as a change management model.
Kaizen works on a meagre budget. Hence, can be implemented by all companies including startups and small businesses.
Kaizen increases value a customer gets for his/her money. This increases sales as well as market share. Moreover, Kaizen fundamentally improves the way a business operates which increases profit figures and EPS (earnings per share). Kaizen therefore directly increases a company’s top line as well as bottom line.
Further, Kaizen implementation is simple and easy. The small, incremental improvements done regularly via Kaizen bring-on exponential benefits. Kaizen is the method of choice to bring about quick organizational transformation.
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