migRaven.24/7 podcast,
Episode 03 "Kaizen - 5 Small Steps to Better Work"

That's what episode 03 is about

In the third episode, Karsten Morschett and Thomas Gomell talk about Kaizen as a method to work better on the file server. Kaizen is a Japanese management method that aims to optimize behavior and processes in small steps. And this time too, Karsten Morschett presents a beer that goes with the topic.

In the following we introduce Kaizen and show overlaps with important principles in dealing with data volumes on the file server.

What is Kaizen and where does it come from?

Kaizen is a Japanese management method to organize management within production processes or projects. Kaizen was created after the Second World War when the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota tried to stimulate the fallow economy in its home country. Masaaki Imai then described the principle in detail in the 1980s and thus ensured its worldwide dissemination.

The KAIZEN philosophy is based on the following central principles:

  • Continuously questioning one's own workplace critically
  • All optimization is done step by step in small steps
  • Avoid wasting material, time and money
  • There are endless possibilities for improvement
  • The positive effects of improvements are made visible
  • There are no limits to improvements, every person improves in all areas

For this way of thinking, Kaizen offers action support in the form of the 5S rules:

  1. Seiri: Remove unnecessary items from your work area!
  2. Seiton: Arrange the things that remained after Seiri!
  3. Seiso: Keep your workplace clean!
  4. Seiketsu: Make cleanliness and order your personal concern!
  5. Shitsuke: Make 5S a habit by setting standards!


Question about the 1st S-step "Remove unnecessary things from your work area" - Does not sound like fun

Sure, tidying up is often put off. But it is about no longer thinking in large dimensions, such as in huge projects. The magic formula is: small steps! Every day, integrated, not too much, clear and supported by methods and information. Removing the unnecessary becomes a simple task.

How do I delete data on the file server independently and securely?

The best way to delete data is always on the basis of information that gives me the assurance that I'm not making a mistake. Fears and worries slow down all deletion projects, so that you finally leave your hands on it. This is a well-known psychological problem. It is therefore important to have valid information about the data.

In our products and projects, we aim to provide our users with a great deal of information so that they can make better decisions. This includes, for example, information such as file age, size, data owner and some more.


Question about the 2nd step "Order the things that have remained": How do you create order? How do you keep order?

It then becomes easy to create and maintain order when all obsolete data is cleared away. Did you know that 70-90% of all unstructured data is RED (redundant, obsolete, trivial) data? Once this red data is gone, it is child's play to keep order and build a good data structure. Due to the extreme amount of data - 20.000 - 40.000 files per employee - the data structures are usually very deep. However, when 80% of the data is out, a flat structure can be built. The problem will go away on its own.

How does it work in the company with very different workplaces?

Even with very different workplaces, order can be created sustainably. To do this, certain rules must be specified in order to work together in a team. The individual employees have to coordinate and make agreements. Everyone should be encouraged to think about folder structure. Users have to be able to take on this task and think about it continuously.

How do you succeed in step 4 "Make order and cleanliness your personal concern"?

This is achieved by continually considering whether the prevailing file storage is still useful. All team members must adhere to certain rules when filing files. At the same time, however, rigid guidelines should be avoided. It is important to maintain the effectiveness in the team. The whole team has to live the concept. Those who keep things in order avoid the big problems.

The Kaizen method is also very helpful with migRaven

Efficiency in daily work is an essential aspect - also at migRaven. Kaizen is a good approach because large projects are difficult to manage. Small steps are more effective and more forgiving of mistakes. Better to make a mistake with a small step and then fix it than to abandon a large project and look at a heap of broken glass. Kaizen is an efficient project management method that is established around the world and is highly recommended.