Friday, May 2, 2008

Kaikaku or kaizen?

As you know, kaizen means continuous improvement. Implying 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 things makes sense? (eg, small changes in isolation won't show any improvement until 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 2-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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