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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


Our Best 6 Tips for Implementing Lean Construction

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 18, 2018 7:45:00 AM

We are starting to see a sharp increase in the number of construction companies that are coming to us in search of a software solution to support their efforts to implement Lean management principles.

Many leaders in the space recognize that they can reduce costs, improve safety, deliver more value, and adhere to budgets by applying the tools and techniques that have been popular in healthcare and manufacturing for so long.

For those in that camp, we’d like to share some important advice that we have learned from our clients in construction and related industries.

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Topics: Lean

What the KaiNexus Team Expects to See When We Visit Toyota

Posted by Mark Graban

Jan 16, 2018 4:58:00 AM

Later this week, the entire KaiNexus team is meeting in Austin for our bi-annual team meeting (we have team members in the Dallas area and Virginia so it’s always helpful to get together in person with those who work in Austin every day).

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How Software Amplifies the Impact of Kaizen

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jan 15, 2018 12:08:44 PM

In 1986, Masaaki Imai founded the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) to help western companies to introduce the concepts, systems, and tools of Kaizen. That year, in Japan he also published the book “Kaizen: Japanese spirit of improvement," which helped to popularize the Kaizen concept in the United States. He believed that “The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company.”

Most leaders would likely agree with that sentiment, but it is certainly easier said than done. In order to achieve daily improvement, there must be a structure for both supporting and measuring it. Without visibility into the work of Kaizen, leaders can’t say whether daily improvement is happening, nor can they take action to accelerate the pace of positive change. Fortunately, Kaizen software provides this insight and offers other significant advantages as well.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Leadership, Standard Work, and Sustainment: Questions from the Audience, Answered

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 12, 2018 12:06:32 PM

mark_and_greg.jpgThis month's episode of our Ask Us Anything webinar series kicked off with some excitement about the KaiNexus team's upcoming tour of the Toyota plant in San Antonio. Mark's gone to the plant a few times already, but this will be the first time that the whole KaiNexus team is getting together to make the trek down there. Maybe you're wondering why a technology company is taking a day off to tour a manufacturing plant... so Mark asked Greg.

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8 Sure Fire Ways to Ruin a Kaizen Event

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 10, 2018 6:51:00 AM

Kaizen events, also known as Rapid Improvement Events, are an effective way to tackle many difficult problems in short order. They can also help improve team cohesion and cross-functional collaboration. But like many other continuous improvement techniques, if they are not executed properly, they can cause more harm than good. We’re in the lucky position to have the opportunity to chat with people from all types of organizations about their improvement work. They’ve shared some lessons learned when it comes to Kaizen events. Here are some of the biggest mistakes.

Ignoring Daily Improvement

Kaizen events are one tool in the improvement toolbox, but not the only one. Continuous improvement requires daily attention. Efforts shouldn’t be limited to special events. In most cases, only a few people are involved in each Kaizen event, but daily improvement should be the responsibility of every person in the organization.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

9 Answers to the Most Common Questions About Gemba Walks

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 9, 2018 7:06:00 AM

Maybe it is because it is a brand-new year, or perhaps it is the cold weather, but lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Lean management technique of Gemba walks. We compiled them for this post that we hope will be helpful for people who are new to the approach and even seasoned pros who want to get more from each visit to the workplace.

What is a Gemba Walk?

Gemba walks are an improvement technique used in the Lean business methodology and by others who are interested in continuous improvement. During a Gemba walk a supervisor, manager, or other leader goes to the place where work is done to get deeper insight into how processes are performing and to spot potential opportunities improvement. The technique is often described as:

  • Go see
  • Ask why
  • Show respect
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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Improvement Methodology

How to Make a Smart Decision About What Improvement Platform is Best

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 5, 2018 9:18:00 AM

I have a surprise for you guys.

Back in 2014, our company made the decision to move from a pile of marketing tools - what I like to call a Frankensystem - to a single tool that includes everything (love you, Hubspot!). This was tough for us because at the time we didn't have anyone on the team that specialized in this type of marketing - and certainly not anyone who had experience in evaluating marketing software. We had the recommendation of a consultant that planted the Hubspot seed, but other than that, it was up to me to figure out how to evaluate it. I found a comparison matrix online that compared Hubspot to some competitors, which I downloaded and added to as I researched.

A couple of months ago, another department at KaiNexus began looking for a platform to eliminate their Frankensystem, and I told them about the value of using a comparison matrix to figure out what platform was best. They're now researching options, and creating a comparison matrix to make the best decision.

Why is a comparison matrix a useful tool for evaluating software?

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Critical Continuous Improvement Goals for 2018

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 4, 2018 3:42:31 PM

Every year, KaiNexus team comes together from around the country to meet in Austin, Texas and discuss the year we've concluded and plan the one we've entered into. This meeting is part celebration, part post-mortem, part strategic planning, and it serves to breathe inspiration and purposefulness into our team for the year.

As I sit down to write out both my personal and professional goals for 2018, I'm struck by the importance of the work we do at KaiNexus. You see, our ultimate goal - our BHAG, if you will - is to have a specific number of improvements completed in KaiNexus by our customers. Seems kind of funny at first glance - that the goal our Marketing, Sales, Development, etc. teams are working toward is actually based on the activities of our customers, not OUR company.

But looking deeper, you find that the work each department in KaiNexus does impacts our customers' ability to complete more improvements. Marketing attracts more people who need continuous improvement software, Sales brings them into the KaiNexus tribe, Customer Experience sets them up for success, and Development builds a product that is both effective and efficient so that more people can and want to use KaiNexus.

In this way, the number of improvements our customers make is actually a reflection on the success of our company as a whole.

What about your company? What defining metric - what True North objective - is at the top of the pyramid when you write out your company's goals? What is the one most significant indicator of success for your company? What goals does each department need to reach in order for the company to meet that goal? Each team? Each individual?

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The 2017 The Lean Management System Blog Roundup

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 29, 2017 1:21:55 PM

As 2017 comes quickly to a close, we took a minute to look back over some of the blogs we’ve posted on one of our favorite topics, the Lean Management system. If you are interested in learning more about Lean management, or continuous improvement in general, this post is a great place to start.

We’ve curated our best content on the subject and pulled together some descriptions and excerpts.

Links to each post are provided if you are interested in learning more. Enjoy!

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management, Continuous Improvement Software

How to Set Continuous Improvement Goals to See Real Results

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 28, 2017 11:56:13 AM

Each year, people across the globe make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions.  We all identify goals to improve ourselves in some way, whether that's by eating better, exercising more, spending more time with our families, or increasing our productivity. In too many instances, though, our resolutions are shot by the end of January, and we’re on our way to another year of the same old behaviors, and the same results.

Continuous improvement is no different. So many organizations set out on a journey of continuous improvement with gusto, and then quickly lose momentum and their initiative flounders. How do you prevent your organization from slipping back into bad habits? A sustaining culture of continuous improvement is supported by strategic goal setting.

The ROI of Continuous Improvement

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