I am always trying to learn new ways of working and potential improvements that I can bring to my projects and teams. In the past year, I have been working a lot in the manufacturing sector and this term has come up a few times.
Monozukuri is the japanese term for manufacturing or “making things” but broken down, it means a lot more. It’s not just about the skill behind producing something but also around the attitude towards production and the pursuit of innovation and perfection. I have seen “Monozukuri” focus groups created to encourage and stimulate innovation in an organisation and the positivity that this can create.
The origins of Monozukuri
“The word monozukuri has only been in use for 15 years or so. In 1998, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office set up a ‘monozukuri kondankai (consultative council on monozukuri)’ and enacted the Basic Law for Promoting Monozukuri Foundation Technology” (source: https://www.japanintercultural.com/en/news/default.aspx?newsid=88).
Where does this all fit in?
Monozukuri has it’s own place in an organisation’s production line and systems. It can co-exist with Kaizen (the art of constant improvement) and supports the organisation in delivering quality.
Why is it important in projects?
Having an ethos of Monozukuri is vital for ensuring that you’re thinking not just of the project aims / objectives but also where the project fits into the wider organisations goals and objectives. One great thing that I have seen when a company adopts Monozukuri is a real focus on making sure that things get done right and looking at the best way to get it done, not just a quick fix or an easy route to take.
How can you embrace Monozukuri?
I think that this needs to come from the top of an organisation to support the ethos and mentality of Monozukuri but you can look at having smaller focus groups around specific parts of the manufacturing process. What I’ve seen work quite well is having autonomous groups championing specific areas of the process and then coming together to align as one single unit showing how the process would work in reality.
Have you ever used this method to improve your processes?