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KaiNexus Blog

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6 Reasons Lean Project Management Initiatives Flop

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 31, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not embarking on their first rodeo. 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.

This gives us a lot of insight into what can go wrong.

Here are some of the most common factors that lead to failure and what you can do to avoid them.

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Topics: Lean

Your Kaizen Board Software Selection Guide

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jan 29, 2019 1:37:22 PM

Kaizen boards are excellent tools for visualizing the progress of work and capturing ideas for improvement. They give teams instant insight into the health of improvement and make excellent starting places for daily huddles and other meetings. When the Kaizen board is managed in online software, teams can collaborate across locations, the entire organization can benefit from collected knowledge, and the documents and other artifacts can be linked to items on the board, accelerating the pace of improvement.

Because of the popularity of digital Kaizen management, many software providers are offering up solutions that are marketed for that purpose. That’s good news for people concerned about continuous improvement, but there’s a catch. Not every solution is purpose-built for Kaizen. Some are general project management solutions with a new marketing spin, while others are rudimentary improvement tools at best.

Make sure to look for the following attributes in each solution you consider.

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Topics: Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Software

The Lean Visual Management Tools Your Team Will Love

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 28, 2019 4:19:53 PM

Although the overarching objective of Lean management is to create an unhindered flow of value to the customer, another of its primary concerns is transparency. If you can see roadblocks, process irregularities, resources that aren’t at capacity, and poorly aligned goals you can do something about them. That’s why so many Lean tools are designed to allow visual management. People process images much more quickly than text (knowing what’s going on around you is somewhat central to staying alive), that’s why icons, signs that use color and shape, and dashboards are so popular.

Over the years, many valuable tools for Lean visual management have evolved. They offer significant benefits for leaders and team members alike. Here are a few that we’re sure your team will appreciate.

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Topics: Visual Management, Lean

Common Questions About the Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jan 23, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Strategy deployment is arguably the most crucial responsibility of business executives. Setting the direction for the organization and making the day-to-day decisions that drive the organization closer to “True North,” is what leadership is all about. But it’s not easy. There are a lot of other concerns that compete for resource and attention. It is easy to lose sight of long-term goals in the face of day-to-day events.

Hoshin Kanri is a popular remedy for the challenge. It is a method for bridging the gap between strategy and execution. By laying out the strategic objectives of the organization and cascading goals down through every level, the organization has aligned priorities, and everyone moves in the same direction. Everyday process improvement is coordinated with the strategy and decision making improves.

A favorite way to visualize Hoshin Kanri is an X-matrix. Since we added the ability to manage X-matrices in KaiNexus, we’ve received many questions about the technique. Here are the answers.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment, Hoshin Kanri, Continuous Improvement Software

15 Essential Continuous Improvement Tracking Software Features

Posted by Noah Paratore

Jan 22, 2019 12:50:25 PM

If you’ve decided to make 2019 the year you get serious about tracking your organization’s efforts to sustain a culture of continuous improvement, congratulations! Dedication to consistent positive change is what can give your team a leg up on the competition and help you reach your most important strategic goals faster and more efficiently.

Continuous improvement tracking software will help you manage every project and measure employee activities and engagement. The best solutions include each of these fifteen crucial capabilities.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Innovation Software

Hoshin Planning 101

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 18, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Maneuvering an organization toward its long-term strategic goals while managing day-to-day improvements and curtailing business processes demands systemic planning and an organization that is fully aligned. That’s the concept that drives Hoshin planning.

This post is designed to help you understand the fundamentals of Hoshin and the language that surrounds it. We’ll define some unfamiliar terms and concepts that can be confusing when new.

Lots more in-depth content has been written about Hoshin by us and others, but this is an excellent place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

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

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