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Kobetsu Kaizen

Kobetsu Kaizen Abstract

‘Kobetsu’ basically means individual or focused. This is a Kaizen driven for a very specific issue, in comparison to a broad approach that some Kaizen address. “Kai” means change, and “Zen” means good (for the better ). Basically kaizen is for small improvements, but carried out on a continual basis and involve all people in the organization. Hence Kobetsu Kaizen is basically a group of individual who work for change to minimize the losses to zero level in order to bring out continuous improvement in a company.

Kobetsu Kaizen Video

What is the role of KK sub-committee ?

Kobetsu Kaizen


KK sub-committee has a team of upto 7-8 members in a large company representing the heads of different departments and the chairman is usually the Plant Head. The committee has following roles: Recording, categorizing and analyzing 16 losses(except break down and defect loss) machine-wise, department-wise, unit-wise and company-wise : Calculation/Analysis of OEE and set targets for minimizing/eliminating each loss. In some cases, companies are also including specific losses that affect their business. In other words the formula for OEE may be different at different stages of TPM in a company and specific to the constraints a company may have Based on business need, set priorities on losses and projects looking at resource constraints.

How Kobetsu Kaizen Works?

By breaking down Overall Equipment Effectiveness into it’s key elements of Availability, Performance Efficiency and Quality Rate, we then begin to stratify each category to it’s elements:
Availability Issues – Breakdowns and Changeovers
Performance Issues – Minor Stoppages and Speed Losses
Quality Issues – Rejects and Start up Losses

Once we have done this we continue to break down these element to find out what type of breakdowns, rejects, changeover times, etc. You will pick the top loss from one of these categories and implement focused improvement activities driven to create a zero loss. This means one loss at a time until we eliminate all losses. The goal is to drive to zero.

Which losses to be addressed by KK ?

KK pillar deals only with those losses that cannot be handled by any other pillar. All 16 losses have to be considered by the KK committee and make up the loss structure for the company. (Losses due to defect/rework losses through Quality Maintenance, failure losses through Planned Maintenance). Next, the KK sub-committee will identify the priorities and assign project teams to work on specific losses on different machines and areas. Remaining losses will have to be addressed by KK sub-committee. Usually, they address the following losses:

Each company has to make up their list and collect data. The highest losses will be the priority for the KK pillar. In some companies this list may be different. This is only an example:
Loss no. 2: Set-up
Loss no. 3: Tool change
Loss no. 4: Start-up loss
Loss no. 5: Minor stoppages
Loss no. 6: Reduced speed
Loss no. 9: Management Loss
Loss no. 10: Operating motion loss
Loss no. 11: Line organization loss
Loss no. 13: Measurement and adjustment loss
Loss no. 15: Tools, jigs and consumables loss
Loss no. 16: Yield loss


Responsibilities of Kobetsu kaizen:

Selecting Kaizen themes based on losses, setting targets and assigning teams to take responsibility for each identified project. :

  • Identify bottleneck areas, fix targets and set priorities
  • Launching of project teams with pilot projects
  • Helping all support functions to arrive at the Loss vs. cost matrix and the P,Q,C,D,S,M measures.
  • Identifying aim and scope of KK, training requirement and guiding the facilitators to focus losses on company performance.
  • Knowledge sharing through horizontal deployment activities
  • Develop the Master plan for KK and track progress of Kaizens and OEE
  • Motivate people to do Kaizens.
  • Giving inputs to the education and training pillar for training matrix development.
  • Working in close co-ordination with other sub-committees for achieving the PQCDSM targets. This committee will meet at least once a week or month for the above mentioned points.


  • Since it checks out the minimal level of losses and brings out the change from basic lowest level to the high level, it reduces the loss of the production at the root level at minimal cost.
  • It works on the demand of the employee n production instead of the owner and products. Hence consider all the aspect of the company’s production

This is the only process through which a company can gain its reputation; also the production could be improved and maximized.



Many companies fail in their sustaining efforts for several reasons:
1) Too broad of an approach
2) Not driving a specific loss to zero
3) Not implementing mistake proof devices (poka yoke)
4) Lack of Preventive Maintenance activity
5) Lack of accountability for follow thru and follow up

Typically an improvement should be tracked at least for 6 months after implementation to verify effectiveness. Also it should be made to where the specific loss cannot physically happen again.

By following the CAP-Do cycle you can create a systematic method for implementation:
Review for success and continue the cycle if necessary.




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