We spend a lot of time and effort on this blog digging into the details of how to start, spread, and sustain a Lean culture. We think it is important to get very specific about the Lean tools and techniques that produce measurable results for healthcare organizations. So of course, we care a lot about technology solutions that bring it all together. However, sometimes it is a good idea to pull back and move away from the details. Once in a while, it pays to get the 30,000-foot view and remember why we are doing this at all.
Jun 11, 2018 1:40:00 PM
Topics: Lean Healthcare
Jun 5, 2018 12:01:49 PM
Correcting and preventing problems are two of the most important things that any organization can do. That’s the driving force behind the increasing interest in CAPA (Corrective Action/Preventative Action) software. If you’ve decided to invest in technology to support your improvement efforts, you have many options. This post will give you some guidance on what to look for and how to get your implementation off to a fantastic start.
Apr 10, 2018 1:00:44 PM
If you are in the market for change management software, we’d like to help. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is what to look for in a change management and improvement platform. Most people know the basics of what they need but aren’t completely versed in all the possible capabilities that technology might bring. We find that it is common for people to be so concerned with getting data into a software solution that they don’t place enough emphasis on getting data out. However, measuring and reporting on the impact of
Topics: Change Management Software
Mar 30, 2018 8:12:00 AM
The practice of Hoshin Kanri, also called Policy Deployment or Strategy deployment, is about the alignment of individual goals and performance measurement with the company goals and mission. It is rare to find a management practice that has the potential for so much impact at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels of an organization, but Hoshin Kanri does. In fact, some experts believe that Hoshin Kanri is the single most important responsibility of senior management.
Topics: Hoshin Kanri
Mar 1, 2018 3:19:03 PM
If you’ve read this blog before or poked around our website a bit, you know that our continuous improvement software solution includes digital Kanban boards. For that reason, you may think it is odd that we’ve written a post that includes discussion about the downside of the very tool we provide.
But Kanban software is like about everything else in life; you weigh the advantages and disadvantages and go with the approach that comes in on top. Then you try to minimize the problems as much as possible.
We think the benefits of electronic Kanban boards far outweigh the challenges, but we think it’s right to lay both on the table.
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.
Dec 19, 2017 2:28:54 PM
Hoshin Kanri is a management technique designed to steer an organization towards its most important long-term goals without sacrificing the need to practice continuous improvement. If you are unfamiliar with the approach, we have some detailed information that will be useful. (Click here, here, and here.)
In short, the words "Hoshin Kanri" are usually interpreted as direction (setting) management. Much like a compass pointed toward true north, the Hoshin approach to strategic planning defines where the organization is headed. The core idea is that the best way to obtain the desired result is to make sure every person in the organization knows the long-term vision and that they are all working a defined plan to make it happen. Key processes must be monitored to ensure that the day-to-day operation of the organization continues to improve, so it must be noted that Hoshin planning is about both direction and control.
If you are wondering exactly how Hoshin Kanri can help, this blog is for you. We’ve been lucky enough to work with organizations of all types that use the Hoshin way of strategy deployment to successfully overcome some of the most difficult (and common) barriers to operational alignment and daily improvement. Here are the ones we run into most often.
Topics: Hoshin Kanri
Nov 29, 2017 7:19:00 AM
Hoshin Kanri is a powerful strategic planning tool because it helps align the organization top to bottom around breakthrough objectives. It lets leaders take the long view with a three to five-year plan, but addresses the need to have short-term goals as well. Our clients that use the approach find that it makes decision making easier and speeds the way to consensus. Here are a few best practices that they have uncovered along the way.
Nov 15, 2017 6:41:00 AM
You know how, when you’re at the doctor and they’re filling out a prescription for you, they ask which pharmacy you use? The implication is that you always use the same pharmacy, presumably because it’s more convenient than the others.
The problem is, you have no way to know how much the drugs cost at each pharmacy while standing in the doctor’s office. You have to go home and research - and when you’re sick, that’s the last thing you want to do.
Why aren’t these prescriptions a standard price? How come you can get something filled for $20 one month and it’s suddenly $140 the next - unless you call around, in which case you might find that it’s $10 somewhere else?
I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of the continuous improvement software company KaiNexus, but I’m also a practicing ER doctor in Austin, Texas (my employees lovingly refer to KaiNexus as my side-hustle). As a result of my medical background and experience in this area, I have an interest in the impact of continuous improvement (or lack thereof) in the healthcare industry.
A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with my friend Colby Evans, MD, a dermatologist here in Texas, when he started talking about the problems with drug delivery and pricing in the US. I immediately started forming connections in my mind between what he was saying about the industry and what I know to be true about quality, improvement, and patient care - and I knew I just had to get him on the KaiNexus podcast to talk about this with me.
Nov 8, 2017 6:09:00 AM
We are fortunate enough to get to spend a lot of time chatting with customers and other organizations that are interested in continuous improvement about how they approach the need for constant positive change.
Many techniques that are used in the Lean and Six Sigma management approaches come up during these conversations, but one which seems to be less understood than many others is Hoshin Kanri.
Topics: Hoshin Kanri