Definition of Kaizen:
A Kaizen (Japanese for "good change") is the result of the Sprint Retrospective. It is collaboratively identified within the event by the entire Scrum team to solve the team's most important problem or help the team continuously evolve. The kaizen moves directly into the Sprint Backlog of the next Sprint, freeing up the team's capacity to work on this issue, ensuring continuous improvement.
Synonyms for Kaizen:
Action Item, Retro Item, CIP.
Origin of the term Kaizen:
The term Kaizen originates from Japanese and is commonly used in Lean Development. The Japanese still distinguish a so-called Kaikaku, which represents a larger change. As a rule, there are many small kaizens and now and then a kaikaku.
Use of Kaizen:
Scrum is a framework based on empiricism. Accordingly, it includes regular inspection-adaptation cycles. These relate to what is developed and how it is developed. Kaizen refers to the way the Scrum team works together.
Benefits of Kaizen for Project Management:
If teams pull only one element from Scrum, it should be the retrospective. Everything else can then follow from it. Teams that regularly - without mincing words - inspect how they can improve as a collective will be many times better than teams that do not do this or do it only half-heartedly.