Kaikaku or kaizen?

As you know, kaizen means continuous improvement. This means a bunch of small improvement over some period of time. Small continuing improvements have many virtues to recommend them.

But what if we need a big change? What if we can make a big change? What if a big change is the only thing that makes sense? (e.g., small changes in isolation won’t show any improvement until a bunch of other changes are also made.)

Then we have kaikaku.

A rapid, large, revolutionary change (as distinguished from a set of small evolutionary changes… kaizen).

In Agile, one example is a two-day Scrum course for the whole team, followed by immediately diving into doing Scrum.

Even kaikaku does not attempt to change everything at once. But it does make a group of changes “at one time” that together are major.

All the time, the Agile coach is asking, “Is it time for kaizen, or time for another kaikaku?”


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