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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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How to Evaluate Continuous Improvement Systems

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 16, 2019 7:42:00 AM

We’ve yet to run into an organization that doesn’t want to find ways to improve. Everyone wants to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, get more efficient, and maximize revenue generation.

The difference between organizations that are successful at achieving these objectives and becoming better over time, and those that fail to make progress, often comes down to the structure upon which improvement initiatives are built.

That’s why choosing the right continuous improvement system is so important, but how do you tell them apart? Most people don’t make this type of investment very often, so it can be a challenge to select the best one for your organization.

Your organization may have some unique needs that should be considered, but almost every situation calls for evaluating continuous improvement systems based on technical infrastructure, features, and vendor support.

For more help on this topic, download this improvement software comparison matrix. Fill in who has what features, decide how important each is to you, and objectively calculate which platform will best suit your needs. Download it here.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Software

Resolutions to Help Achieve Your Process Improvement Goals in 2019

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jan 14, 2019 10:38:48 AM

We saved this post for a couple of weeks into the New Year to give everyone a chance to get their exercise/weight loss/financial planning resolutions out of the way. Hope it’s all going well - but 98.9% of all New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

Ha, just kidding, I just made that up. But it rings true doesn’t it?!?

Why is changing habits so hard?

Certainly, unrealistic expectations are part of the problem. (You’re not going to lose 57 pounds by Marcia’s wedding in March.) But another part of the problem is that people focus on the “what” far more than the “why” and “how.”

That’s why we are going to focus on exactly why these resolutions will help you achieve your process improvement goals and how you can do it. These are a few simple, achievable, and measurable steps you can take to make 2019 a breakthrough year for continuous improvement.

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Topics: Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

How to Select Lean Management Software [eBook Preview]

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 11, 2019 8:11:00 AM

We are super excited about the launch of our new eBook designed to take the guesswork out of choosing Lean management software for your organization. Of course, we hope you’ll consider KaiNexus, but even if you don’t, this new guide to improvement management software selection will help.

Our roadmap for getting the best solution will be useful whether you are using the Lean management business methodology or another approach. That’s because the best solutions allow you to tailor the platform to fit your organization’s improvement paradigm.

Here’s a preview of what is covered.

 

 

Free eBook: How to Choose an Improvement Platform

Download Now


In this eBook, you will learn:

  • Benefits of improvement software
  • Does your organization need an improvement platform?
  • Why not just use Excel, analog boards, or a suggestion box?
  • Improvement software feature checklist
  • How to evaluate vendors
  • How software supports popular improvement techniques
  • Implementation best practices

 

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

What Are the Most Popular Methods for Managing Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 10, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Organizations that embrace the continuous improvement approach to business have many great tools and techniques from which to choose. Some organizations use them as part of a structured methodology like Lean, Six Sigma, or Toyota Kata. Others leverage them on their own. Every organization has unique needs and will need to adjust each method for their own environment, but the most popular techniques are flexible enough to be used by organizations of every size and in every industry.

 

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Topics: Lean, Visual Management, DMAIC, Improvement Methodology, Improvement Process

9 Reasons to Consider a Digital Kanban Management Tool

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 9, 2019 8:01:00 AM

As you might expect, we write quite a bit about Lean and Six Sigma management techniques that have been modernized by moving to digital form and becoming an integrated part of a continuous improvement management platform.

Huddle boards, suggestion boxes, task tracking, and improvement cycles like DMAIC and PDSA all become more effective and efficient when moved to the cloud.

When it comes to Kanban, some applications will remain in the analog world. But for the management of work-in-progress, a digital Kanban management tool can be a real game-changer.

Moving status cards off of the wall and into an improvement management platform has a number of tremendous benefits. Here are what we consider the top 10.

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Topics: Kanban, Continuous Improvement Software

How Software can Turbocharge Your DMAIC Process

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 4, 2019 8:12:00 AM

A turbocharger is a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine's efficiency and power output by forcing extra compressed air into the combustion chamber. This improvement over a naturally aspirated engine's power output is because the compressor can force more air—and proportionately more fuel—into the combustion chamber than atmospheric pressure alone.
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Topics: DMAIC, Software

The Essential Features of Visual Project Management Software

Posted by Clint Corley

Jan 3, 2019 7:41:00 AM

Lately, we’ve been having lots of conversations with people who have decided that 2019 is the year they will truly embrace visual project management. This is smart. Because of the way the human brain processes information, using charts or graphs to visualize complex data is more natural and more effective than reviewing spreadsheets or reports. Data visualization is a quick way to convey concepts in a manner that can be understood by almost everyone. If you want to get more improvement projects completed this year and gain better insight into how your team is working to cause positive change, then visual project management software is the way to go.

As with any category of technology, not all solutions are the same. We recommend looking for a visual management platform that will support your needs today - as well as those that may become pressing in the future. These applications are pretty sticky once you start using them, so making the right choice in the beginning is critical.

Here are some of the features you can expect from the best solutions.

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Topics: Visual Management, Software

What Should You Include in Your Hoshin Kanri Training Materials?

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 2, 2019 10:23:09 AM

If you’ve been tasked with introducing the Hoshin Kanri strategy deployment methodology to your organization, and you are like many of our other clients, you might be at a loss for what to include in the training materials. Organizations don’t roll out a new strategic planning method every day, so we are often asked how to go about bringing everyone up to speed. Of course, you’ll need to tailor your instruction to your organization, but the following elements are a good place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

Improvement Kata - A Workout for Kaizen

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 31, 2018 11:15:22 AM

In fitness, there’s nothing complicated about a push-up. But when executed properly, it’s an outstanding exercise that strengths your arms, chest, and core muscles. Adjustments can be made to increase or decrease the level of difficulty, so it is a useful training tool regardless of your fitness level. However, if you fail to use proper form and end up with your butt in the air or an incomplete range of motion, push-ups are not helpful at all. The way you do it really matters.

The same is true for Kaizen. Just like we’d all love to be strong and fit, every organization would love to maximize positive change. But not all teams that attempt continuous improvement succeed, often as a result of poor “form.” Improvement kata is the answer.

In Japanese, the word kata literally means "form." A kata typically refers to basic movements in Japanese martial arts but can apply to any basic form, routine, or pattern of behavior. In business, improvement kata brings form to process improvement by structuring the way people think about problem-solving and engage in change.

The kata process has four steps.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology, Lean

9 Reasons to Use an Online Idea Board in 2019

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 27, 2018 8:31:45 AM

We’ve had lots of great conversations with our clients over the last few weeks about the successes they’ve seen in 2018 and their plans to make 2019 even better. We are often asked what additional continuous improvement techniques we would recommend that they add in the new year to further challenge the team and maximize the impact of positive change.

One that we recommend to everyone who isn’t already using it is an online idea board. Even organizations that currently use a physical idea board can benefit immensely by taking the concept online. Here are the top 10 reasons we’re so confident that a digital idea board is the right way to go.

1. It is accessible, anytime from anywhere

When you implement an online idea board, you take all of the friction out of submitting or working on opportunities for improvement. People who spend time working away from the office can participate as if they were sitting right there. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my best ideas hit me when I’m driving home from work or singing in the shower. With an online idea board your team doesn’t have to remember to submit the thought the next time they are in the office, they can do it right away. The best digital boards even have mobile applications to make it even easier.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology, Continuous Improvement Software

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