A company's attitude toward product development is as vital as the company's attitude about growth. The Japanese business philosophy known as Kaizen encourages the creation of more innovative and engaging products. This is integral to the company's culture.
What is Kaizen?
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning good change. It represents a philosophy that emphasizes the necessity of continuous improvement. In terms of an organization, it influences how resources are dedicated to leverage a constant flow of innovation and open collaboration across groups. In the realm of product design, it influences the incorporation of advances in every attribute of a product’s design from the first stages of conception.
Kaizen focuses on quality above all else, but also on teamwork, personal discipline, attention to morale, and a feedback mechanism for moving toward improvement. The main results include economic efficiency and standardization of mundane tasks to free up minds for creative purposes. Ideally, Kaizen becomes sufficiently rooted in a company's culture that employees embody it unconsciously.
Effective implementations of Kaizen need the participation of everyone in the company to analyze and improve processes. The philosophy extends to the frequent re-examination of processes throughout a product's lifetime to identify new opportunities for improvement.
Adopting the Mindset
In practice, the Kaizen philosophy of consistent improvement applies throughout the product development cycle, including early market research, design and development, test marketing, and post-launch market research. A Kaizen mindset aims to create products that have an evolution over time that can be adjusted based on user needs. Rather than focusing on rapid product development, we strive for a production system that results in a rugged product that exceeds expectations. Slight alterations to reduce costs or improve ease of production, such as improving productivity at a workstation by reducing unnecessary work, are an additional, indirect byproduct of Kaizen.
Katana Graph has adopted Kaizen as an instrument of operational excellence. The company encourages its employees to seek incremental improvements in their work, their lives, the company, and its business, and to always learn from mistakes. The Katana Graph culture is one of empowering innovation and creativity while pursuing perfection through continuous improvement.
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Katana Graph was born of cutting-edge research and scientific rigor, and these beginnings have a powerful effect on who we are to this day. We’re devoted to problem solving and are relentless in our pursuit of more effective and more efficient solutions to real-world challenges. Continuous improvement is the very foundation of our success.