Kaizen - the path to excellence

    Kaizen, kaizen (Japanese 改善 kaizen, Kaizen romaji; the wrong version of kaizen is found) is a Japanese philosophy or practice that focuses on continuous improvement of production processes, development, supporting business processes and management, as well as all aspects of life.

    In this article, I will describe several useful, recommended, and simple tools for Kaizen practice that you can start to apply without significant effort.

    But first, a little history. Philosophy arose in Japan after the Second World War, since then it has taken root in the country's manufacturing sectors and has increased the level of quality of Japan's goods and services by an order of magnitude. There is no doubt about the effectiveness of this philosophy. After so much time, it is still in use and has long gone beyond the boundaries of production and is used in any areas that you can imagine.

    The most remarkable thing about kaizen is that it is just a cultivation philosophy; it is by definition applicable to all aspects of life. Based on this philosophy, many tools and mechanisms for setting up production and software development have been developed. As you may have guessed, the article will focus on the use of kaizen in the IT field. At the heart of kaizen lies the idea, the idea of ​​improving and optimizing any processes. The following principles can be distinguished.

    Kaizen Principles:

    • People directly performing work as a source of optimization ideas.
    • Decision when implementing any idea.
    • Using tools and techniques to find new ideas.

    In fact, you can come up with a lot of principles. And since kaizen is still a philosophy, not an exact science, I won’t upload you “thank you cap” lists.

    In my opinion, the key point here is determination. In some cases, ideas for improvement are obvious, but require actions that were never taken because of procrastination. In other cases, they require changes in the "microclimate" around, which is not easy to implement, given the conservative nature of man and possible changes in lifestyle.

    For example, Jeff Sutherland , one of the creators of the Scrum methodology, considers kaizen as a means for the process of eliminating interference. The key point is that the whole team is engaged in the search for interference, and not just the scrum master. And the task of eliminating the most serious interference is included in the next sprint reserve.

    Kaizen can be abstracted at different levels of development and activities in the IT field, from organizing the developer's desktop to the development methodology in a large company. But the basis for all is the same - to improve the development process, make more efficient use of time and available resources in order to ultimately get a quality product.

    A lot of kaizen methods have been invented, the lion's share of them was created to optimize processes in companies, but I will try to project 2 kaizen methods for professional needs of a person in the IT field.

    5S / 5C / 5U

    The method includes 5 points, the observance of which will help bring Feng Shui order to the desktop (real and virtual) / room / office / in life.
    The S Eiri
    the C lear up closeup
    have elete
    Understand files / items on a table or room. Remove / remove from the desktop all unnecessary. Be honest with yourself and do not leave what is already covered with a centimeter of dust.
    The S eiton
    the C onfigure
    have decent
    Arrange the files / items that remain. The most used should be in a convenient place, everything should be in place, which is not desirable to be confused.

    In factories, the so-called shadow method is used - where the tool should lie, a contour is drawn, a sticker is glued. This is done so that immediately visible instrument that does not lie in its place.

    Therefore, if your cup on the table left a circle, then this is certainly Seiton.
    The S Eiso
    the C lean up closeup
    have taken
    Clean up. Wipe the dust, clean the computer, take a photo of the desktop background, wash the cup, which finally left the outline on your table.
    The S eiketsu
    the C lean
    Do Biran
    Keep clean. Keep it the same. You will be much more pleasant to work.
    The S hitsuke
    the C ustom
    U indigenous
    Take compliance with these principles as a rule. Do not stop before cultivation. Follow all principles.

    It is important that comfort and cleanliness contribute to productive work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a computer desktop, a workplace, a room, an office, a server room or a warehouse.
    This topic has already slipped Habré , but for a long time.

    Elimination of seven losses

    This is one of the principles of Toyota's production system. In the analysis of production, they combined all the actions for which they suffer losses in 7 categories. Here they are:
    1. (Re) movement
    2. Plain
    3. Overproduction
    4. Treatment
    5. Marriage
    6. Transportation
    7. Inventories

    Isn't that familiar? Not? Below I will define each of the points and try to draw a parallel with the development.

    (Re) movement
    Movement within a confined space without creating added value
    In productionIn developing
    Search for materials, parts, drawings or documents. Search for materials, modules, documentation or files.
    Stretching hands up to tools. Stretching your hand to the mouse / keyboard.
    Lifting drawers with parts. Raising the boxes with beer.

    Downtime caused by a lack of necessary people, materials, information or equipment
    In productionIn developing
    Waiting for parts or drawings. Waiting for a module or documentation.
    Waiting for information. Waiting for information or how should it work?
    Waiting for machine repair. Waiting for a bug fix in the module or in the program that you are using.
    Waiting for people.What can I say. People always have to wait.

    Production beyond customer needs
    In productionIn developing
    Production for stock.Writing individual parts of the application unnecessarily, without TK. Perhaps the implemented part will never come in handy.
    Production in large quantities with subsequent readjustment of equipment. Writing most of the software product with subsequent modification of the documentation for it.
    Production of a large number of products with subsequent after-sales service. Creating a large number of parts of products that require technical support.

    Efforts that do not create value added from the consumer’s point of view
    In productionIn developing
    Unnecessary operations. Excessive ornate application.
    Bad design. Poor design immediately after the first viewing will force itself to finish. Design should be user friendly. (the beauty of design is a completely different story)
    Repeated cleaning / tidying. Protect memory, resources. Do not leave anything unnecessary in the application.

    Imperfect product
    In productionIn developing
    Scratch. Bug
    Defects. Baaaaag !!!
    Damage to the user. Oh, what is this window?
    Missing parts. Where is this function that we need so much?

    Movements between factories or office premises that do not add value to finished products or services
    In productionIn developing
    Moving parts or equipment to and from stock. Change application repository.
    Irrational arrangement of equipment. Not a rational application layout. Test application, work, etc.
    Testing should not be too difficult.
    Transportation of parts between processes. Exporting libraries for use in another project.

    Availability of materials in excess of the required volume
    In productionIn developing
    Raw materials. Of course, disk space is now not so expensive, but you should still monitor the amount of data stored, especially if you use paid services with a limited memory size.
    Unfinished production. Incomplete applications that will never be released and for which you will never receive a reward.

    Improve yourself, friends. Get started now.

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