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KaiNexus Blog

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How to Apply Lean Principles Beyond Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 18, 2018 8:12:00 AM

We promise not to turn this blog into the next big thing in lifestyle content, but a recent conversation sparked an idea. Everyone here at KaiNexus is a massive fan of the Lean business approach - and for good reason. It helps companies reduce cost, better position themselves to compete, and develop leadership qualities in team members. Well, it turns out, that enthusiasm isn’t limited to helping our clients understand and implement Lean. After chatting a bit about it, we discovered that many members of our team have applied Lean principles to life outside of the office as well. In some cases, we didn’t even realize we were doing it; Lean thinking just took over.

Here are a few examples of how to leverage the power of Lean in real life.

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Topics: Lean

How to Apply the A3 Problem-Solving Methodology

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Dec 14, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The A3 problem-solving methodology was first used by Toyota in the 1960s and later embraced by proponents of Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean, and other systematic approaches to continuous improvement. “A3” references a European paper size that is about the same size as an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper. Using the A3 method, teams create a one-page improvement project report. By limiting the report to one page, teams are forced to be concise and thoughtful about including only relevant information. This makes the report easy to digest.

Because our solution supports the A3 technique, we are often asked for tips on how to deploy it. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Methodology, Improvement Process

Buyer’s Guide to Lean Software for Healthcare

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 13, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Lean approach to business management is becoming increasingly popular with healthcare organizations. Leaders find Lean to be a perfect fit for healthcare because it helps maximize resources and reduce costs while keeping quality patient care the highest priority. To get the most out of the approach, many hospitals and healthcare networks use software that supports the Lean philosophy and related techniques. If you are considering that route, this post will help.
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Topics: Lean Healthcare, Continuous Improvement Software, Software

The Lean Thinking Behind Popular Improvement Techniques

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 11, 2018 2:54:10 PM

Many tools and techniques support the Lean management methodology. For those new to the approach, they can seem a little all over the map. You may ask what control charts and Catchball have in common. We find it helpful to put the Lean approach in context by looking at how the techniques fit into the Lean mindset. Once you outline the core values of Lean, the synergies of each common practice become clearer.

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Topics: Lean

What to Include in Your Kaizen Event Template

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 6, 2018 7:34:53 AM

This post is the second in our series about Kaizen Event Templates. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check out our guide to the ultimate pre-event template. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the success of a Kaizen event is highly correlated to the amount of effort put into planning and preparation. Our pre-event template will help.

You’ll also want a template to use when the big day arrives. Our clients who get the most from Kaizen events use a standard template so that all of the right information is captured and can be shared in a familiar format. Kaizen software supports this by allowing users to create and disseminate their event templates.

You will probably have some unique needs or elements to capture, but here are the basics for a useful and simple Kaizen event template.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

4 Essential Hoshin Planning Tools

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 5, 2018 9:11:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a Lean technique for strategic planning. The goal is to get everyone rowing in the same direction, at the same time, to achieve an organization’s breakthrough objectives in a 3-5 year timeframe. This is accomplished by aligning strategy, tactics, and daily operations.

Developing a strategy and effectively executing it are two very different things. In order to be successful with such a long-term proposition, leaders need access to the right tools. Every organization that uses Hoshin planning does so in a unique way, but we’ve found four Hoshin planning tools that are frequently used by teams that get results.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

The Perfect Template for Planning Your Kaizen Event

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 4, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Kaizen events, also called Rapid Improvement Events, involve a team dedicating all of their energy for three to five days on solving a specific challenge or implementing targeted improvements. They are resource intensive, but effective tools for organizations that are dedicated to consistent and constant improvement.

Because they are so quick and consuming, it is essential to be well prepared. In fact, planning for the event should get as much care and attention as the event itself. Our clients who have been successful with event planning have found that it helps to have a standard pre-event template that can be used every time a Kaizen event occurs. This ensures that everyone is using the same standards and that the essential boxes are checked. The best improvement management software solutions allow you to set up your Kaizen Event Templates within the system to make it easy for everyone to access and report relevant information.

Of course, each organization is different, but here are the elements that we recommend considering when you set up your rapid improvement templates.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

Using a Structured Continuous Improvement Cycle? Software Can Help.

Posted by Matt Banna

Nov 28, 2018 1:50:24 PM

Most organizations that practice continuous improvement whether within a business methodology like Lean or Six Sigma or independently leverage either the PDSA or DMAIC structured improvement cycle. Some organizations use both. PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) is perfect for relatively simple, iterative improvement work. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is ideal for data-driven, more complex initiatives. (This post explains more about when to use each approach.)

Regardless of which continuous improvement cycle is right for your current challenge, software can accelerate the speed to success, ensure that improvement is long lasting , and help you measure the results of the effort. Here’s how it helps at each state of both cycles.

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Topics: DMAIC, Continuous Improvement Software

What's an Idea Worth? The ROI of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 26, 2018 9:53:43 AM

As a company providing continuous improvement software to organizations of all sizes around the world in a wide variety of industries, we're in the unique position of seeing how successful companies manage improvement, how they engage their employees, and the impact they achieve through top-down projects, bottom-up improvements, and strategy deployment. 

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Topics: ROI of KaiNexus

The Fundamentals of a Lean Deployment Plan

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 21, 2018 11:25:22 AM

If you’ve decided to set your organization on the path to Lean, that decision will likely be one of many that will bring measurable benefits in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. Leaders who have taken this journey before have told us that getting started with Lean can be somewhat overwhelming. We thought it might be helpful to share, step-by-step, how some of the most successful organizations have launched their Lean programs. Hopefully, you’ll see that it isn’t as daunting as you might think.

We should note that every organization and every Lean program is different. Organizations can go all in or take an incremental approach. There’s no one “right” way to do Lean, so you’ll have to find the path that works best for your team. But whatever route you take, these elements are vital to success and should be included in your Lean deployment plan.

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Topics: Lean

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