Kanban vs. Kaizen

Both Kanban and Kaizen have been adapted as agile methodologies in continuous software development and borrowed by tech companies as process improvement methods. Both were derived from the lean manufacturing methodology from the Toyota Production System. While the Kanban is a tool for visualizing a process and identifying bottlenecks, the Kaizen approach is a continuous improvement process.

Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.
Kaizen is a process developed by the auto industry. Its roots are found in the Toyota Production System, which was heavily influenced by Henry Ford’s assembly line system. The word Kaizen is a hybridization of two Japanese words, “kai” meaning “change” and “zen” meaning “good.” Two of the basic tenets of Kaizen involve making small incremental changes – or 1% improvement every day – and the full participation of everyone. 

Read Next: Kanban, Kaizen, AgileDevOpsDevSecOpsLeanSprint, Scrum.

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