Kaizen Event Team Member Roles
For each kaizen event, team members should be chosen with consideration for the right
combination of people who will yield the greatest potential for long-term success. There are at
least three significant roles on the kaizen team:
2. Team Leader
While each of the roles have different expectations, they all share voices in ideas and decision-
making during the kaizen event.
The Sponsor of the event should be the person who has the ultimate responsibility for the
ongoing sustainment of the results of the kaizen event. It could be a manager or supervisor of
the area in which the event is being held, or even a 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, or processes will be
analyzed, what are the measures of success for the team to achieve.
2. Select a Team leader for the event, and together with the Team leader select Team
identify and select members.
3. Communicate to the leadership of the section, division or agency, the goals and expected
outcomes of the kaizen event.
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. To own the kaizen event results and work towards sustaining the improvements.
While the Sponsor isn’t expected to attend the kaizen event full-time, s/he is welcome to
participate in as much of it as s/he feels is appropriate or necessary. At a minimum, the Sponsor
• Be present for the Monday morning kickoff and say a few words of support and
encouragement to the team, and explain in his/her own words why this event is important.
• Touch base with the team each day to keep up with what’s happening.
• 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 with the Sponsor the kaizen event scope and objectives, and with the Sponsor
identify and select team members.
2. Gather any necessary pre-work that may be helpful for the event.
3. Communicate the details of the kaizen event to all team members.
4. Facilitate any pre-event meetings that may be necessary.
5. Together with the process facilitator, manage the daily agenda during the kaizen event.
This includes delegating tasks and making sure team dynamics are positive.
6. Together with the sponsor, ensure all follow-up is done after the event. This includes
communication, completion of 30-day goals and sustainment of the improvements.
The Team members on a kaizen team are typically made up of the following:
• Associates from the affected area (~60-70% of the team)
• 1 Technical Support Person (often an IT person..)
• 1 Outside the Process set of eyes (Office person, Associate from another area, etc…)
• 1 Customer of the process (May not need to be there during the whole event, but certainly
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 at a time.
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 ensure involvement.
Team Members should always be reviewed for their potential to become future Kaizen event