<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=749646578535459&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

Subscribe

The Best Alternative to a Kanban Board in Excel

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Aug 16, 2018 7:37:00 AM

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used applications on the planet. I know exactly why. It’s amazingly flexible, most people know how to use its core features, and almost everyone already has it installed on their computer.

What’s not to love?

When it comes to digitizing your Kanban board, there is a lot not to love about Excel.

Here are the main problems with using Excel for Kanban:

  • No matter how expertly you’ve designed your spreadsheet, it is still a passive artifact. It won’t notify your team when tasks or due or deadlines are missed.
  • Spreadsheets are easily broken. If you lock it down enough to protect it, it loses value. If you don’t, formulas can be messed up or data can be lost.
  • Version control is a nightmare.
  • There’s no support for collaboration.
  • Using a tool that you already have doesn’t signal a commitment to improvement.


So if for these reasons or others, you’ve decided to dump the spreadsheet approach to Kanban, good for you! Now what? When you start your search for an alternative to your Kanban board in Excel, we hope you’ll start with KaiNexus, but no matter what solution you consider, make sure it has these key capabilities.

Read More

Topics: Kanban

A Gemba Walk Checklist for Lean Leaders

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Aug 15, 2018 8:10:00 AM

Most leaders dedicated to continuous improvement focus on performance indicators that can be measured and rightly so. We look at cost, production speed, error rates, customer satisfaction scores, and other quantifiable business metrics to identify opportunities for improvement and to assess the impact of any changes that we implement. However, there are some things that can’t be measured – process problems or improvement opportunities that you have to see with your own eyes to understand. For those, there are Gemba Walks.

Gemba means “the real place” in Japanese. During a Gemba walk, the leader goes to the place where work is performed to gain first-hand insight into the target process. Unlike the practice of Management By Walking Around, Gemba walks are structured and performed with intention.

Read More

Topics: Gemba Walk

Who Should Participate in Kaizen?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 14, 2018 9:21:13 AM

One of the questions that we get asked most often by leadership teams trying to adopt the Kaizen approach to business that made Toyota so successful is who in the organization needs to be involved? It’s a good question, but one that’s relatively easy to answer by examining the principles behind the Kaizen philosophy.

Kaizen means “positive change” or “continuous improvement” in Japanese. Those who practice Kaizen believe that small changes can produce impressive results and that ideas for positive change should come from the people doing the work. When Toyota introduced Kaizen, they made it clear that continuous improvement was everyone’s job. The goal of modern organizations is to develop a culture of improvement that envelops every single member of the team.

Once you realize that everyone should participate in Kaizen, but the next question is how? Each role has a different set of responsibilities related to improvement.

Read More

Topics: Kaizen

What to Include on Your Gemba Walk Agenda

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 10, 2018 7:46:00 AM

Gemba walks are a favorite Lean management technique, but they can be used by any leader to become more connected with the people and process they manage. During a Gemba walk, the manager visits the place where work is done to observe, show respect to the employees, and potentially identify opportunities for improvement. This post will outline the agenda items for such a walk.

Let’s begin by saying that having an agenda is what sets Gemba walks apart from the technique called Management by Walking Around (MBWA). MBWA is intentionally unstructured and fluid. Gemba walks, on the other hand, have a defined purpose and a specific process to be observed. Although you might not have an exact order of events because you don’t know what you will see, you absolutely should have a list of agenda items that you want to complete before, during, and after each walk. Here’s what should be on it.

Read More

Topics: Gemba Walk

Webinar Preview: A Chat with Oscar Roche About TWI & Kata

Posted by Mark Graban

Aug 9, 2018 8:11:00 AM

I'm really excited to be hosting a webinar that's coming up on Tuesday, August 14th at 1 PM ET:

TWI and Kata: Skill Patterns to Develop a Culture of Coaching

with Lean Frontiers

Register Now


Oscar Roche and Jim Huntzinger of Lean Frontiers will discuss how learning and developing the skills provided by the practices of Training within Industry (TWI) and Kata behaviors will develop good coaching practices while simultaneously developing the culture and actual practice of process improvement in your organization.

You will learn:

  • The basics of TWI and Kata practices
  • How these skills directly impact an improvement culture. 
  • How the development of TWI and Kata develop coaching skills and practices. 
  • How coaching plays a key role in the developing a lean culture.

 

I hope you'll join our presenters: Jim Huntzinger, president and co-founder of Lean Frontiers, and Oscar Roche, director of the Training Within Industry Institute for Australia and New Zealand. Click here to register

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Oscar about the webinar, which was shared in our podcast series, with a transcript following below in this post.

 

Read More

The Best and Worst Practices for Crowdsourcing Innovation

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 8, 2018 11:55:36 AM

We’ve written before about why internally crowdsourcing innovation is such a hot trend in business. (Actually, we don’t think it’s a trend at all. We believe it is a new way of approaching problem solving that is here to stay.)

While the benefits of the approach are compelling in terms of increased employee engagement, better products, less waste, and happier customers, success isn’t guaranteed.

There are some best practices that will amp up your results and a few behaviors that will hurt your efforts.

Read More

Topics: Innovation Software, Improvement Process

Engaging Leaders & the Baldrige Framework to Advance Excellence [WEBINAR]

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Aug 3, 2018 7:14:00 AM

Mary Greeley Medical Center is a 220-bed acute care hospital in Ames, Iowa. It’s also a leading facility in continuous improvement. 

KaiNexus recently joined forces with Karen Kiel Rosser, Vice President of Quality at Mary Greeley Medical Center, and Ron Smith, the hospital’s Process Improvement Coordinator, to discuss the role the Baldrige Excellence Framework has played in their organization. You can access the full webinar here.

Keys to Success at Mary Greeley

The Baldrige Excellence Framework empowers organizations to achieve their goals, enhance their results, and become more competitive. At Mary Greeley, daily improvement programs consist of three stages:

Read More

7 Reasons to Consider Kanban Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 2, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The Kanban visual management technique has been around since the late 1940’s when Toyota introduced it in its manufacturing plants. They were looking to improve efficiency and reduce waste, and in the process, paved the way for just-in-time manufacturing. At Toyota, workers used color-coded Kanban cards to signal to downstream workers when there was a need for parts. The word Kanban means “shopkeepers card” or “visual sign” in Japanese.

These days, the Kanban approach has been adopted and modified for use by workers in almost all industries. The most common display is a physical board that has cards moving from queue, in-progress, to complete. This is an excellent way to visualize work in progress and recognize backlogs or teams waiting for work. For small, centrally located groups, a physical board is often sufficient, but by taking the idea into the cloud, Kanban software companies have added significant value to the concept and made it possible to visually manage teams of any size no matter how many locations are involved. Here are the most compelling reason to consider Kanban software for your organization.


Read More

Topics: Kanban

Who Should be Involved in Strategy Deployment?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 31, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Before we start chatting about who should be involved in strategy deployment, I think it’s important to point out the difference between strategic planning and strategy deployment. Most organizations have gone through a strategic planning exercise at one point or another, but very few can turn that plan into sustained action over the long-term.

Why?

Because creating the plan is only the first step to reaching an organization’s breakthrough goals. In order to be successful, that plan must be integrated into day-to-day activities and decision making. In other words, it must be deployed, and that’s a job for, well, everybody.

Read More

Hottest Trend in Business? Internally Crowdsourced Innovation

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 30, 2018 2:56:49 PM

Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a group of substantial size for a common goal such as problem-solving, efficiency or just gathering collective knowledge. Because we are all so connected these days through the internet and social media, just about anything can be crowdsourced. Wikipedia is a great example of a valuable resource made possible because of small contributions from millions of people.

Companies have long known that external crowdsourcing is an effective tool for innovation. BMW, for example recently invited ideas for redesigning the interior of one of its latest models. Heineken has something called “The Innovators Brewhouse,” where it invites ideas from customers, suppliers, partners, and others on everything from sustainability to ingredients. (You must be 21 or older to enter.)

Externally crowdsourcing ideas is beneficial in creating connections with customers, increasing brand loyalty, and understanding where the market is going. But it isn’t the best option for problem solving and innovation that requires a deep understanding of a company or involve proprietary information. That’s why more and more organizations are turning to internal crowdsourcing.


Read More

Topics: Innovation Software

Recent Posts