“Kaizen” is a lean manufacturing tool that is used to improve quality, productivity and culture in different environments. The idea of Kaizen is to apply small, daily changes that result in major improvement over time. Roughly translated to English, Kaizen means “good change” and it can be considered as a framework for continuous improvement.
This paper focuses on changes and possibilities of Kaizen in “theFIRMA” that is a projectbased learning environment in Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland. TheFIRMA operates like a real company that concentrates on ICT-related customer assignments and R&D projects. The mission of theFIRMA is to offer interesting project-based learning opportunities for the students as well as to create benefit to the customers when digitalizing their operations. Most of the customers are local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The volume of the project portfolio of theFIRMA has grown significantly during the past few years. Accordingly, there has been a growth in the number of customers and students, which has increased complexity and caused challenges with resourcing and scheduling. In this paper, Kaizen is presented as one of the tools that can be used to develop the learning environment’s operation towards more efficient and reliable state. The paper describes both the changes Kaizen has already produced in learning environment and possible future implementations.