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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


The Development & Use of the PDSA Cycle of Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 20, 2022 10:52:24 AM

The PDSA cycle is a popular approach to process improvement because of its simultaneous simplicity and effectiveness. Although it started in manufacturing, the PDSA model for improvement can be applied to any process, making it applicable across almost every industry. Today, PDSA is prevalent in healthcare, hospitality, education, construction, and professional services.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean

A Quick Guide to the Basic Ideas of Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 17, 2022 10:25:38 PM

Lean manufacturing is a process improvement methodology that started in the Japanese automotive manufacturing sector after World War II. Lean thinking aims to improve quality, speed production, and reduce costs by eliminating waste with continuous improvement driven by employees. Although the ideas were initially deployed in factories, the fundamental concepts apply to businesses of every sort. Today, Lean methods are used in hospitals, universities, construction, software development, and many other organizations.

A similar, data-driven approach to business is Six Sigma. It improves efficiencies and quality assurance based on reducing defects through process control and measurement. When the two methods are used together, the approach is called Lean Six Sigma. In any case, the bottom line is that many organizations benefit from a structured approach to continuous improvement. Many techniques, tools, and technologies support the journey to achieving an organization's short and long-term strategic goals.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

22 Training and Engagement Ideas Well Suited for 2022

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 13, 2022 11:35:59 AM

Whether your company has ten employees or 10,000, coming up with an employee engagement strategy can be a challenge. Keeping everyone connected is especially challenging with limited in-person activities due to COVID. It's easy to fall back on the same old engagement and training activities, but they tend to lose effectiveness with too much repetition. Don't worry; we've got your back. Here are 22 ideas that can help you improve employee engagement in 2022.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

What is a Kaizen Event? Your Roadmap Rapid Improvement

Posted by Clint Corley

Jan 10, 2022 4:24:40 PM

Known in Lean and Six Sigma circles as Kaizen events, rapid improvement sprints or blitzes are an impactful way to implement improvement quickly. However, they require planning and preparation to make them effective. We've heard many stories about Kaizen events that went wrong. The best way to avoid that outcome is to put in the effort ahead of time to ensure your event is an unmitigated success.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

What is Lean Process Management and How is it Applied?

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Jan 6, 2022 10:16:00 AM

Lean process management is a method for building a company culture that supports continuous improvement. It involves a long-term approach to daily work that encourages small, incremental changes in process operations to improve quality and efficiency.

The primary objective of Lean process improvement is to create value for the customer by optimizing resources and creating an uninterrupted workflow based on near real-time customer demands. In addition, the approach seeks to minimize or eliminate all waste of resources, effort, and time by documenting each step in a business process and then removing or reducing steps that do not create customer value. The concept of Lean is rooted in manufacturing, but it has been adapted to fit almost every industry.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

What is a Business Process Improvement Methodology?

Posted by Noah Paratore

Jan 4, 2022 10:18:06 AM

Business process improvement is a management practice that helps leaders leverage several tools and techniques to analyze their processes and uncover areas where improvement in accuracy, quality, and efficiency can be achieved. The leaders then work with process operators to redesign those processes to improve productivity and gain the expected improvements. Business process improvement techniques work by systematically identifying the operations, activities, or employee skills that might be enhanced to result in better workflow, more efficient use of resources, and better overall business results. Business Process Improvement (BPI) is also sometimes called functional process improvement.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology

What is Policy Deployment and How To Reach True North

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 29, 2021 12:49:27 PM

Policy deployment, known in Lean circles as Hoshin Kanri or Strategy Deployment, is a technique for ensuring that an organization's strategic goals and objectives drive activities at every level. The goal is to provide consistent direction and clear communications so that every employee pulls in the same direction (toward "True North") simultaneously. The strategic planning process aims to ensure that the corporate objectives (Strategy), management plans (Tactics), and the tasks accomplished by all employees (Operations) are in sync with each other.

There are four phases of strategy deployment.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Management: Which Style is Best?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 27, 2021 3:01:06 PM

John Shook, president of the Lean Enterprise Institute, is among those who describe Lean or the Toyota Production System as being neither top-down management nor bottom-up management. It's not about the boss telling people what to do, and it's not a system where employees are empowered to do whatever they want. Instead, an effective culture and management system has top-down AND bottom-up communication, decisions, and improvement elements. Ideally, leaders will communicate the big picture and the "why" of improvement, while those lower in the organization tend to figure out "what" and "how" to improve.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement

Six Core Principles of the Continuous Improvement Model

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 21, 2021 1:14:10 PM

There are a host of methodologies that businesses use to bring structure to the process of identifying and acting upon opportunities for improvement. You may be familiar with Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, Toyota Production System, and others. Although these methodologies differ, the foundation of each of them is the continuous improvement model. 

The continuous improvement model reflects the idea that organizations should undertake incremental improvements to services, products, and processes. It applies to every industry and size of business. Six central principles guide it:

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement

Lean Banking: Managed Improvement in Financial Services

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 20, 2021 12:36:15 PM

We often get questions about whether the Lean process improvement methodology can be applied in the financial services industry. Because of its manufacturing roots, many people assume that it doesn't apply to banking or other services-oriented sectors. However, because banking is very process-intensive, the Lean continuous improvement approach can generate significant operational improvement and waste reduction. That's why many financial institution organizations have implemented Lean in one form or another.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process

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