One of the reasons that the Lean manufacturing business methodology is so popular with companies in every industry is that it comes complete with a set of tools for structuring and managing the goal of continuous improvement and waste reduction. These tools are great on their own, but many of them become even more valuable when improvement management software is used as a single platform for managing positive change. This post examines some of the most often used.
May 22, 2019 12:39:31 PM
May 7, 2019 1:30:15 PM
While we are huge fans of standardization and consistency, we understand that each Kaizen event is unique. That’s why we would expect that each event charter has its own nuances that change from one project to the next. However, there are some elements that our clients have found to make the difference between a successful event and one that does not reach the mark.
Before we get into the specifics of what should be included in the charter document, we’d like to add a note about access. You may have the most complete, and well-written Kaizen event charter on the planet, but it is of no use unless everyone who needs access to it can get to it with ease.
Whether you craft it as a document, use an Excel format, or something else, your improvement management platform is the best place for it to live.
Now on to the must-have components.
Jun 14, 2018 7:11:00 AM
Even after about 20 years of Lean adoption in some healthcare organizations, there are still others that are just getting started. There are many paths for starting Lean healthcare in your hospital, health system, or clinic and there’s an opportunity to learn from the lessons of those who went before you.
Here are some of the different ways to start, stated with some of the pros and cons.
Rapid Improvement Events
Some hospitals take the approach of starting with many Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs), sometimes known as Kaizen Events or Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIWs). These events generally range from two to five days and give staff and leaders dedicated time to work on significant problems that need to be solved.
One pro is that RIEs can be used to solve problems that can make a significant impact on measures that matter, including safety, quality, patient flow, cost, and staff morale - that is if projects are selected carefully. One downside to starting with RIEs is it can take a long time to get everybody in the organization exposed to Lean through the RIE learning-by-doing approach. Some organizations, like ThedaCare, have learned that RIEs need to be supplemented by other methods, like Daily Kaizen, Lean management system practices, and strategy deployment.
Topics: Lean Healthcare
Nov 14, 2017 7:34:00 AM
As I was researching our upcoming post on the Pioneers of Lean Leadership, I came across a quote by Taiichi Ohno, one of the fathers of the Toyota Way and Kaizen. On the subject of Gemba walks, he said, “When you go out into the workplace, you should be looking for things that you can do for your people there. You’ve got no business in the workplace if you’re just there to be there. You’ve got to be looking for changes you can make for the benefit of the people who are working there.”
This is a deeply important idea that encapsulates the purpose of going to the Gemba as well as the difference between Gemba walks and management by walking around. I especially appreciate that he focused on making changes to benefit the people who are doing the work, not simply to reduce waste or cut costs. When workers feel productive and engaged, amazing results can occur.
I wondered if other leaders had thought-provoking things to say about Gemba walks and it turns out they certainly do. Here are a few gems.
Topics: Gemba Walk
Sep 5, 2017 7:21:00 AM
If you have (or are considering creating) an idea board to collect employee suggestions for improvement, please take a minute to pat yourself on the back. You obviously realize the value of employee ideas and understand that not all innovation comes from the top down. You are also willing to act on that instinct and try to gather opportunities for improvement from all sources. Good for you!
Aug 25, 2017 7:12:00 AM
We’ve all heard the phrase “the customer is always right” at least once before. Maybe it was while you were in the check-out line in a store, or eating in a restaurant, or even just passing by a street vendor. There are an endless number of situations where the phrase would certainly apply, but, none more so than when working with a SaaS company - especially one practicing continuous improvement.
Aug 17, 2017 7:05:00 AM
If you’ve watched our recent webinar, Taking Improvement Boards Digital: How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management, or been reading our posts about the same, you would have heard the term “Kanban board” used. While it’s great to hear that KaiNexus software supports digital Kanban boards, it’s even better if you have a clear understanding what a Kanban board is, and how it can help you on your continuous improvement journey. Here’s the rundown:
What is Kanban?
We’ve written a longer primer on Kanban here, but the important thing to know is that it is a visual system for monitoring the flow of work from the start, as we build a backlog, move work into in-process (while hopefully limiting WIP), and complete this work.
Visualization works so well because our brains interpret visual information far faster than data or text. By reducing complex material down to visual components and putting them together, managers and staff can get an overview of the whole workflow system in seconds rather than the hours it might take to track down information in every area, work through it, and synthesize it down into conclusions that can be shared.
The term Kanban literally translates from Japanese to mean “signboard” or “visual signal," so one of the key components of Kanban is, of course, visualization, which is why Kanban boards are really the heart of Kanban in modern use.
Aug 4, 2017 7:03:00 AM
There are lots of reasons to subscribe to the KaiNexus blog, but one of the best ones is that you get a heads up about all upcoming webinars. Today I'm excited to announce that on August 10, we'll be hearing from Warren Stokes of Honor Health about How to Leverage Lean for Long-Term Success Under Short-Term Pressures.
Jun 12, 2017 11:58:46 AM
Whether you are new to huddle boards or have decided it’s time to move yours from the wall into the cloud, we offer you congratulations. Digital huddle boards are an excellent way to organize and track improvement projects. They have the potential to increase the number of completed improvements and to help you prove how valuable this effort is to the organization.
Selecting the right solution is critical, but it can be tricky. Lots of solutions can claim to fill the role of a huddle board, but very few are designed specifically for that purpose with all of the features and capabilities needed to really get the most out of the approach.
If you are looking for a solution, here are some of the questions you might ask and the answers you should expect.
May 11, 2017 7:04:00 AM
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably aware by now that we produce a lot of educational material about continuous improvement methodologies, leadership, engagement strategies, and how to spread an improvement culture. We have a regular webinar series, producing new videos a couple of times per month, we have a set of awesome educational videos discussing best practices for continuous improvement and a library of eBooks we've written on these topics.
Today's blog post is an excerpt from our latest eBook, An Introduction to Continuous Improvement Software.
To read the full eBook, download it free here:
Topics: Continuous Improvement Software