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6 Critical Features of a Best-in-Class Lean Management System

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 2, 2016 8:16:00 AM

Choosing to implement technology to support your Lean management efforts is an important first step on the path to continuous improvement. It’s unlikely that you choose Lean management technology on a regular basis, so it isn’t surprising if you are finding it a challenge to find the best solution for your organization. Some solutions offered up as Lean management software are nothing more than basic project management tools described in terms of Lean. The most successful leaders instead opt for a solution that was built from the ground up as an improvement management platform.

Here are six features to look for if you want to select a best-in-class lean management system.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

The Election And Organizational Improvement: The Lesson We Can Learn

Posted by Mark Jaben

Dec 1, 2016 8:22:00 AM

The pundits, pollsters, and people around the world are confused about the US Presidential election, but maybe we shouldn't be; how the brain operates explains a lot.

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Topics: Leadership

The Key to Successful Process Improvement

Posted by Henry Schneider

Nov 30, 2016 8:12:00 AM

The key to successful process improvement and change is commitment from management at all levels in the organization.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

A Quick Guide to Innovation Management Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Nov 29, 2016 7:53:00 AM

As organizations seek to bring more structure to efforts to improve both products and processes, many are turning to innovation management software. While it may seem like innovation management is something that belongs only in the technology sector, the approach has wide appeal and a number of potential benefits.

Definition

TechTarget describes innovation management software this way, “Innovation management software enables the digital management of enterprise innovation, starting from the generation of ideas developed by internal and external sources through multiple stages of evaluation to the selection of top ideas destined for implementation. As such, this class of software offers content and collaboration functionalities as well as basic idea management capabilities. Innovation management software also includes idea submission, idea evaluation, workflow, campaign management, rewards and recognition, analytics and visualization, brainstorming tools and project management capabilities.”

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Topics: Innovation Software, Software

5 Valuable Roles to Fill for Your Next Kaizen Event

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 28, 2016 1:44:06 PM

When it is time to plan a Kaizen event, it is obviously important to think carefully about what you are going to tackle and how you are going to go about it. But don’t forget that who is as important as what and how when it comes to rapid improvement events. Every project is different, so the roles needed may vary, but as a best practice, there are five roles that you should be sure to consider.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

The Evolution of Kanban

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 24, 2016 8:10:00 AM

The idea of Kanban refers to the visual management of inventory and work in progress. It was widely used by Toyota and many people think of it as something that was developed for and by auto manufacturers, but the story is much bigger than that. Kanban isn’t really something that was invented, it is something that evolved.

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Topics: Kanban

Are the Steps for Sustaining Improvement the Same for Everyone?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 23, 2016 10:34:47 AM

The Harvard Business Review published an article called "4 Steps to Sustaining Improvement in Health Care" last week that walks through what exactly makes some organizations successful in long-term improvement initiatives. The information in this article is based on research done by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on organizations that not only achieved significant results through continuous improvement but were also able to sustain them. In short, they learned that the key is to find a way to engage and standardize the processes of managers on the front lines.

Lean in the healthcare industry is comparatively new, having first made an appearance in 1995 (over 50 years after Toyota began using it in manufacturing automobiles). Hundreds of hospitals and healthcare systems are now recognizing that they can reduce cost, increase safety, and improve patient and staff satisfaction using the Lean improvement methodology, but many still find it difficult to transform their organizations in this way.

The "stickiness" of a cultural transformation depends on your ability to get started, spread it throughout the organization, and sustain your efforts. This HBR article focuses exclusively on healthcare, but the principles it outlines apply to any company, in any industry. Lean is universal, folks. Let's walk through the article and talk about how it applies to your business.


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Topics: Improvement Culture

What is CAPA Software?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 22, 2016 8:18:00 AM

Corrective and preventive action (CAPA) are improvements to an organization's processes taken to eliminate causes of defects and waste. The approach focuses on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or identified risks in an attempt to prevent their recurrence (for corrective action) or to prevent occurrence (for preventive action). The success of CAPA implementation is largely dependent on an understanding of KPIs and the ability to use them to identify performance non-conformities.

Like any other continuous improvement approach, CAPA programs are most effective when supported by technology.

CAPA software helps ensure that each identified problem or risk is addressed quickly and completely.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma

Going Beyond the Pilot: Why You Need a Gradual Continuous Improvement Software Implementation

Posted by Matt Banna

Nov 21, 2016 12:49:46 PM

Remember when you first signed up with continuous improvement software? You probably started with a small pilot with 100 users, maybe less than that. Maybe you weren’t convinced that software could actually help the continuous improvement program in your organization. So you started with one department, just to see how it would go.

Then it turned out that using continuous improvement software was a rousing success, and so you want to roll it out to the rest of your organization.

Now the real question stands: How exactly do you do that?

 

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

Tips for Making Continuous Improvement More Accessible

Posted by Matt Banna

Nov 18, 2016 9:22:21 AM

If you’re a regular reader of our blog here at KaiNexus, you’ve probably read a lot about our recent User Conference. If not, you can find some of those posts here and here.

For those unfamiliar with the Annual KaiNexus User Conference, it is the one time each year that we get a bunch of our customers from around the world in one room to share best practices and inspiration around KaiNexus and continuous improvement. Each customer is able to share some of the success stories in their organization and ask other organizations how they were able to solve problems on topics such as strategy deployment, bottom-up improvement, or engagement.

While listening and participating in these conversations, a topic that I heard a lot about was engagement. Particularly, how to improve it. Often, leaders of the organization saw the value in continuous improvement, and so did the managers. Of course, the continuous improvement leaders found it valuable, too. The group that was most discussed was the front-line staff and figuring out how to keep them engaged in the process.

Throughout the conference, I heard about a few solutions for better engaging front-line staff in improvement that organizations used pretty successfully. These solutions all revolved around one thing: making continuous improvement more accessible.

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