Do you remember the last time you were injured? Like, physically injured? What about the last time one of your kids or siblings got hurt? What did you do? Did you wait a few days to see if the injury went away? Did you fight away the tears and walk around on your freshly-sprained ankle? Did you continue to write with a broken index finger?
Dec 6, 2017 7:02:00 AM
Mar 27, 2017 7:16:00 AM
March madness is in full swing, and we’re not going to lie. We’ve got basketball on the brain. The level of talent and dedication that players display even when they don’t win the game is truly inspiring. As spectators, we see the game. What we don’t see are the countless hours of practice, the sacrifice, the workouts, the strategy sessions, and all of the other hard work that goes into competing at this level. We’re impressed.
A Kaizen event is a bit like a basketball game. In order to win in basketball, there are some things you need to do during the game, but also a bunch of stuff that needs to happen off the court. The same is true for completing a successful Kaizen event. You must strive for great execution while the event is in progress, but much of the work happens before it begins and after it ends. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind if you want your next event to be as easy as an uncontested layup.
Learn the Fundamentals
Some ball players are born with a ton of talent, but even they need to learn the basic fundamentals of the game. Your team may be very good at problem-solving, but if they have never participated in a Kaizen event, or if it has been a while, it is important to provide training and open communication. They should understand why Kaizen events are used, how they are structured, and what to expect before, during, and after.
Mar 3, 2017 11:52:39 AM
All my life, I’ve been an avid basketball fan. In my younger days, some would say I was a decent player, though many moons have passed since then. Every time we stepped on the court, one of my team’s goals was to get into a “rhythm.”
The dictionary definition of rhythm is “a regular, repeated pattern of beats, sounds, activity, or movements.” For any non-sports aficionado reading this, imagine a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Each person in this group is moving fluidly through their individual responsibilities, and the entire group’s activities are synced together in unison; much like a choir singing beautiful four-part harmony.
On the basketball court, our goal was to create that same harmony, except using movement instead of sound. If we could accomplish that, we could predict what events were about to transpire and act accordingly.
When a basketball team creates a rhythm they commit fewer turnovers, increase the percentage of shots made, make more efficient use of their time on the court, and execute as close to flawless as human nature will allow. Now, you can’t ever be perfect, but being in a rhythm allows you to improve the small factors of the game, and those factors add up to victories.
Feb 1, 2017 12:04:24 PM
As a sales executive for KaiNexus, I speak with Lean leaders and continuous improvement gurus daily. Most of them are excited about continuous improvement, but they are frustrated with the lack of supporting technology. However, once they decide to solve the technology problem, they face a new challenge - getting a new tool or platform approved and purchased. This is called the Buyer’s Journey, and it’s a foreign concept for so many people.
The first three steps in most of my customer engagements are pretty standard and go something like this:
- A discovery call to determine goals and see if KaiNexus can help
- A technical demonstration showing how their improvement efforts/language/docs would look in KaiNexus
- A proposal and a discussion in what we call a “quote review”
From there it can get murky because the steps that follow are almost never the same. Some decisions are quick and some take time…Some decisions involve multiple departments and require validation from many different people while some can be made by just one person… Some organizations simply sign an order form and start an experiment, or – and this is my least favorite – some never speak to us again.
Jan 30, 2017 8:10:00 AM
Visual management, sometimes called visual control, is the technique of communicating information using visual signals rather than text or written instruction. People process visual images much more quickly than text, so the approach is an excellent way to achieve efficiency and clarity of communications. We often think of huddle boards or Kanban cards when we think about visual management, but it can take many forms. For example, some organizations have different colored uniforms for different teams, others use visual cues to mark where tools should be placed when not in use.
The advantages of visual management are easy to imagine, but there are a few common mistakes that keep organizations from getting the most out of the approach. Here are a few that you can avoid.