Friday, August 19, 2011

Kaikaku and Kaizen

Kaikaku and Kaizen are concepts in Japanese production philosophy that relate to each other. Both have origins in the Toyota Production System. Kaizen, quite familiar to agile adopter and coaches, is continuous changes often focused within a certain area of a production system, with the primary goal of solving a specific set of problems.

Kaikaku means a radical change achieved during a limited time. Kaikaku is about introducing new knowledge, new strategies, new approaches, new production techniques or new equipment. Kaikaku can be initiated by external factors, e.g. new technology or market conditions. Kaikaku can also be initiated when it is apparent that ongoing Kaizen work is beginning to stagnate and no longer provides adequate results in relation to the effort. Kaikaku projects often result in improvements in the range of 30-50% and a new base level for continued Kaizen. Kaikaku may also be called System Kaizen.

10 Kaikaku Commandments
By: Hiroyuki Hirano
  1. Throw out the traditional concept of manufacturing methods.
  2. Think about how the new method will work, not how it won't work.
  3. Don't accept excuses; totally deny the status quo.
  4. Don't seek perfection; a 50% implementation rate is fine as long as it's done on the spot.
  5. Correct mistakes the moment they are found.
  6. Don't spend money on Kaikaku.
  7. Problems give you a chance to use your brains.
  8. Ask "Why" five times.
  9. Ten person's ideas are better than one person's knowledge.
  10. Kaikaku knows no limits.


  1. Hi, i'm doing a master thesis in Sweden. Do you mind if I use your Kaikaku as a reference? Furthermore, I would like to interview you via email if you have some free time.

    1. Of course you can, send me your email address and we can get started.