Kaizen Event Team Member Roles
Kaizen team members should be chosen with consideration. The right combination of people will
yield the greatest improvement results. There are three significant roles on the Kaizen team:
2. Team leader
While each role has a different set of expectations, they all contribute ideas and participate in
decision-making during the Kaizen event.
The sponsor of the event is the person who has the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that the
resulting improvements of the Kaizen event are sustained. The sponsor is, typically, a manager
or a supervisor of the area in which the event is being held. The sponsor could also be a division
director or assistant commissioner, depending on the scope of the event.
The role of the sponsor is to:
1. Create the scope and set the objective(s) for the event: What process will be analyzed?
What are the measurable goals for this event?
2. Select a team leader for the event and, with the help of the team leader, select team
3. Communicate the goals of the Kaizen event to leadership in the section, division and/or
4. Stay involved with the Kaizen team during the event to understand the issues and
solutions, ask questions, provide support and/or guidance when needed, and to be
available to answer questions from the team.
5. Take responsibility of the Kaizen event results and ensure the improvements are
While the Sponsor isn’t expected to attend the Kaizen event full-time, s/he is welcome to
participate as much as s/he deems appropriate or necessary. At a minimum, the sponsor should:
Kickoff the event with an opening statement on Monday morning to show support and
encourage the team.
Touch base with the team each day.
Be available to the team leader to discuss issues that may arise during the event.
Attend the final presentation.
The role of the team leader varies slightly from agency to agency, depending on the structure of
the organization; however, in general, the role of the team leader is to:
1. Review the Kaizen event scope and objectives and, with the sponsor, identify and select
2. Gather any necessary pre-work that may be helpful for the event.
3. Communicate the details of the Kaizen event to all of the team members.
4. Facilitate any pre-event meetings that may be necessary.
5. With the facilitator, manage the daily agenda during the kaizen event. This includes
delegating tasks and facilitating positive team dynamics.
6. With the sponsor, ensure all follow-up action items are completed after the event. This
includes communication, completion of 30-day goals and sustainment of the
A Kaizen team typically consists of the following members:
Associates from the affected area (60-70% of the team)
1 technical support person (often an IT staff)
1 staff person from outside of the process to provide a different set of eyes (i.e. an
associate from another area)
1 customer of the process (this person does not need to be present during the entire event,
but should certainly be present during the development of the future state process).
When selecting team members, make sure to include the CAVE dwellers (Citizen’s Against
Virtually Everything), but try not to have more than one on a team.
Team members are expected to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns. The team leader may
need to “draw” the ideas out of the team members at times to encourage involvement.
Team members should always be reviewed for their potential to become future Kaizen event