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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


13 Transformative Process Improvement Tools and Ideas

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 28, 2021 5:45:20 PM

After many years of speaking with leaders and managers looking to implement process improvement tools in their organizations, we've learned a few things. The first is that every organization is different and what scores a home run for one may not even get a hit in another. The second is that despite these differences, many of the process improvement tools that have been developed over the last 50 years can be adapted to be useful for organizations of all types and sizes.

This post provides a brief introduction to some of the process improvement tools that our customers have used to reduce costs, improve safety, assure quality, and increase customer satisfaction. For each tool or idea, we've included a link to more detailed information. Many are borrowed from the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, but you don't have to be using one of them to find value in these techniques.

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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

How to Measure Process Improvement and Why You Should

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jul 27, 2021 1:26:07 PM

Organizations that strive for continuous improvement outpace the competition, regardless of the types of products or services they offer. From retail and manufacturing to healthcare and construction, the intensity of effort dedicated to daily positive change in an organization is directly tied to customer satisfaction and financial success.

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Topics: ROI, Improvement Process

8 Tips for Error-Proofing Your Lean Project Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 26, 2021 4:31:51 PM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not implementing an improvement program for the first time. In fact, in many cases, the very reason they are turning to us is that previous attempts to implement Lean project management have been disappointing.

Here are our best tips for avoiding the common problems that lead to sub-par results.

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Topics: Lean

12 Workplace Organization Techniques & Management Tools

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 15, 2021 1:06:25 PM

Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing are business methodologies focused on improving the quality of goods or services an organization produces by reducing variance in the production process. Leaders know that when a production process lacks the stability to create high-quality output consistently, it will continue producing defective products until someone intervenes and improves the process. Reducing variation requires constant monitoring and measurement as systems tend to erode if not kept in check.

Over the years, Six Sigma and Lean practitioners have developed a set of workplace organization techniques and tools that address control, problem-solving, and improvement to eliminate defects and waste. Here are a few of the most essential.

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Topics: Six Sigma

What is the best way to become more effective at work?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 12, 2021 11:38:16 AM

The internet is full of blog posts with productivity tips and advice about how to work smarter, not harder. There’s a lot of useful information about the best way to work, but we think it is important to keep in mind that the foundation for all of it is something called standard work

We've written about standard work in the past, but it is a subject that is often overlooked or misunderstood in the continuous improvement efforts of many organizations, so it's definitely worth spending some time on. If you’re in the process of implementing Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma, or just trying to become more efficient at work, we strongly recommend making standard work a part of your process.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

What is Lean Thinking? The Framework for Customer Value

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jul 8, 2021 3:23:57 PM


James Womack and Dan Jones are the founders of the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Enterprise Academy (UK), respectively. Their book, Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, is considered by some to be the bible of Lean manufacturing. It was initially published in 1996 based on their in-depth study of Toyota’s fabled Toyota Production System (TPS).

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

How Cross-functional Training Maximizes Employee Value

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 6, 2021 2:37:33 PM

The traditional siloed approach to business operations where everyone stays in their "lane" is giving way to a more cooperative, collaborative approach. Organizations have found that cross-training employees lead to a more innovative take on improvement and waste reduction. Not only does it offer the opportunity for employees to learn new skills, but it also gives everyone a more holistic view of the business.

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Topics: Collaboration

How to Select the Best Project Management Software

Posted by Clint Corley

Jun 30, 2021 11:42:00 AM

Finding the best software for any purpose isn’t easy. You need to think about the technical environment, user experience, capabilities, implementation, and support provided. Choosing project management software comes with its own unique challenges. There are hundreds of applications available that help track tasks. Some are free and to use, while others are expensive and complex. Making an intelligent choice for your organization requires careful consideration of your needs and goals.

Our customers’ primary interest is in providing a structure for continuous improvement across all of their teams and departments. The best project management software to support this objective is designed to collect, implement, share and measure improvement work. If that aligns with your goals, here are some helpful questions to ask during your project management software evaluation.

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Topics: Software

How to Apply the Right Lean Tools for Every Improvement

Posted by Adam Darnell

Jun 28, 2021 11:30:10 AM

Whether or not your organization fully embraces the Lean business paradigm or just borrows some of its best practices, the methodology has many valuable tools and techniques. So many that it can be challenging to decide which one to use for various types of projects. There’s no “right” way to apply lean tools, but there are some situations for which particular techniques are generally well suited. Here are some of the ways our customers have used Lean to accelerate positive change within their organizations. 

In this post, we’ve broken down the most useful tools that can be leveraged to support daily improvement, problem-solving, and strategic planning. Before we get into specific tools, however, it is helpful to understand the common goals of all Lean tools. Each performs one or more of the following functions: 

  • Communicate Information  
  • Define and Share Standards
  • Enforce the Standards
  • Bring Attention to Variation
  • React to Variation 
  • Prevent Variation from Occurring

Lean practitioners focus on delivering maximum value to the customer by eliminating waste and creating processes that produce consistent, predictable results. These Lean management tools are used to achieve those goals.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Lean Software

The History & Evolution of the PDSA Cycle of Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 24, 2021 6:09:34 PM

The PDSA cycle is a popular approach to process improvement because of its simultaneous simplicity and effectiveness. PDSA cycles can be applied to an unlimited number of processes, making them applicable across almost every industry. We thought it was worth a quick look back at how it came to be and how it has changed over time.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean

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