I've worked with Six Sigma for years, but had an opportunity to try my hand at using Kaizen at a pharma company. We applied Kaizen to remove inefficiency & waste in the product development for drug development in R&D. What made this an especially productive effort was the blending of Lateral Thinking into the process (read the article for more information).
Integrating Lateral Thinking with Kaizen
The realization is not that Kaizen was more productive, but that we could apply this blended technique to any functional areas in an organization. In fact, this approach can be extended to create a feedback loop into a change management platform where we can align this with customer focus data, market data, and compliance data to enrich the innovation pipeline for products and services. The warehouse of data that can be leveraged from this approach can be used to build an integrated change management platform that drives innovation across the entire supply chain (horizontal flows) and throughout the organization's functional areas (vertical flows). By applying the right structures & models, organizations will be able to build & deliver multi-dimensional innovation that can enable value in whole new areas.