a Japanese term meaning ‘continuous improvement’. Based on the ‘philosophy’ that QUALITY begins with the customer and that it is always possible to improve a product and a process. As customer requirements are always changing and because product standards are continually improving then the perception is that to stay in the market continual improvement is a necessary requirement for an organization. There are a number of guiding principals underpinning kaizan: these include, eliminating the task (in a similar way to BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING), reducing or changing activities and questioning the rules. Kaizan can be considered to be a part of LEAN MANUFACTURING. See JAPANIZATION, QUALITY COUNCIL, QUALITY CIRCLE, JUST-IN-TIME (JIT) SYSTEM.