From improvement opportunity to improvement activity

Improving starts with collecting improvement opportunities. Better yet: by recognizing waste and targeting improvement opportunities. However, how do you transform improvement opportunities into improvement activities? Cierpa combines the Deming circle with the Kaizen method to really get to improvement activities. Take these four steps to turn insight into effect, and create fundamental progress.

Deming Circle

William Edwards Deming developed the Deming circle in the 1950s. It’s a quality circle that continuously guards whether the desired result is actually achieved. The Deming Circle divides essential process management into four slices:

Plan– What result do you want to achieve and how do you get there? This step also takes the costs and results of the activities into account. This leads to a plan.

Do- Execute the plan.

Check– Compare the Do step to the Plan step: how much of the desired result from the Plan step is actually achieved?

Act- The last step again calls for action: guide and adjust the results from the check phase (re-act), and look back on which lessons can be used for the next process (pro-act).

The Kaizen method

Kaizen is a way of thinking. It originates from the Japanese words Kai (to change) and Zen (to become proficient). Kaizen represents a changing improvement culture. When your employees master well-known improvement techniques like Kaizen, they can implement targeted and lasting measures to eliminate waste.

Left to right: a simple improvement action, Speedy Kaizen, and 15-step Kaizen

The Kaizen method is perfect for both small and big improvements. A small improvement, handled by one person, requires a simple improvement activity. Bigger improvements require an improvement team. Different techniques can be used, according to the complexity of the question. Speedy Kaizen is great when a team needs quick results on a non-complex issue. The really tough issues can be addressed with 15-step Kaizen. Cierpa Kaizen also supports other project methods.

Want to know more? Read more on Cierpa Kaizen and Speedy Kaizen.

From improvement opportunity to improvement activity in practice

Cierpa combines both the Deming- and Kaizen methods in the improvement process. It takes four steps to go from chance to activity:

  1. Detect the problem and find the solution (Plan)
  2. Execute the solution (Do)
  3. Compare the solution to the original goals and adjust (Check)
  4. Consolidate and grow towards the next step in the improvement plan (Act)

The planning phase is an important part of the improvement process and keeps pace with the complexity of the problem. The tougher the problem, the more energy the planning phase requires to reach the right solution. Techniques like a fishbone analysis and maki gami support you to analyze during the planning phase.

Cierpa Kaizen

Cierpa Kaizen helps you to take those steps. The specialized Cierpa Kaizen action list is where you easily organize all actions, big and small. Also, you can measure progress, who participates (involvement), the costs and revenues, and whether the overall amount of improvement actions stays on target. An action list that shows progress both clarifies and motivates.

Cierpa Kaizen shows you the goals, the implementation, and the assigned roles. Through progress charts, visual status coding with PDCA cycles, and mean lead times you will know if you are on track, during and after the implementation of the ideas. The involvement of all team members is measurable, even in decentralized organizations. Independent improving is really visible and is made easy.

Cierpa Kaizen gives you a different and more effective approach to improvement opportunities. You’ll find the entire organization adopts action-oriented thinking.


  • Visual PDCA status coding, instead of a text-based action list
  • Ready-to-use prints for whiteboard meetings
  • Grip on large amounts of ideas, thanks to insight and detail
  • Combines improvement actions with cross-project improvement teams
  • Convenient reference guide of best practices and guidelines
  • Impact expressed in Euros
  • Refined rights model, includes the separation of internal and external rights

Cierpa Kaizen in 3 minutes

Cierpa Kaizen in 3 minutes

More about Cierpa Kaizen

Want to learn more about Cierpa Kaizen and the accompanying action list? Then contact us! We love to give you an online demo and think with you on the possibilities of Cierpa Kaizen for your company.



Cierpa Software enables you to improve your organization continuously. LEAN manufacturing changes your work floor processes towards better and faster results and ultimately reduces any waste. With our LEAN software for companies, it’s possible to manage this ongoing process quickly and easily. Our Cierpa improvement consultants can also offer help.

Techniques and methods like 5S audit, Kaizen, OEE and the underlying LEAN thought principles are at the very core of our software suite. With Cierpa OEE, Cierpa Kaizen, Cierpa Quality, Cierpa Competence and Cierpa Assessment, Cierpa Software really speeds up all your improvement processes!

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From improvement opportunity to improvement activity