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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Jeff Roussel

As the Vice President of Sales at KaiNexus, Jeff Roussel is responsible for all aspects of sales and leads. He is fanatical about building a team that demonstrates the business value and fit of the KaiNexus solutions. With more than 15 years of sales and leadership experience in enterprise software, Jeff brings a wealth of guidance to our growing company and market. Prior to KaiNexus, Jeff was one of the first enterprise directors at Spredfast, helping organizations create great social media experiences for their customers. Previously, he was a sales engineer and an account executive at Invodo and Postini, the latter of which was acquired by Google in 2007. Jeff also maintains a position on the board of advisors for the Austin-based social media agency Social Distillery. A Texan by choice, Jeff maintains his Louisiana roots with a love of cooking, and he spends his free time with his wife and three step-kids. Jeff has an MBA from St. Edwards University in Austin and a bachelor of science from LSU.
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Recent Posts

What is Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®)?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Oct 30, 2019 2:05:33 PM

People have been managing projects in business for as long as there have been businesses. Project management is necessary for organizations of all types and sizes, whether it is formally recognized or not. But for complex organizations and those where the outcomes are high stakes, like healthcare, applying a standard for project management and professionalizing the role of project manager helps improve results.

Project management, as a practice, is now seen across the globe as a strategic competency, a career path, and a worthwhile investment for training and education.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is the Project Management Institute’s flagship publication. The guide lays out well-proven, consensus-based practices that are widely used. The publication, which was first released in 1996, is now in its 6th edition.

The PMBOK® Guide is developed by active project management practitioners and subject matter experts. The project management community reviews it before it is released to make sure it continuously reflects the current state of the profession.

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Easy-to-Try Process Improvement Examples

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 10, 2019 7:32:00 AM

When people talk about business process improvement, the conversation can get very far into the weeds quickly. There are several overarching approaches to business management like Six Sigma and Lean, and then there are more acronyms describing tools and techniques then you can shake a stick at. We’re not putting them down. DMAIC, PDSA, 5S, 5G, 5W1H, 4M1D, and all the rest are really effective ways to structure improvement and problem-solving. However, if you are new to the notion of process improvement, we don’t blame you if you find the jargon confusing. We’re probably guilty of getting too technical too quickly in this space from time to time, so today we’re going to keep it simple and ban the industry terms.

You don’t have to be a continuous improvement black belt to begin implementing positive change in your organization. Here are a few process improvement examples that are good starting points.

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Topics: Improvement Process

Does Putting Your Employee Suggestion Box Online Help?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 12, 2019 8:21:00 AM

These days just about everything is online and connected. I got a new emersion circulator to make sous vied meals; it’s controlled by an app on my phone. That’s awesome. It’s no wonder that HR leaders in almost every industry are looking for ways to move previously analog tasks into the digital age. The employee suggestion box is no exception. There are a bunch of ways to put it online from software built for that purpose to anonymous surveys and submission forms. But does it help? Does moving the suggestion box to the cloud result in better ideas? Do employees feel more heard?

For the leaders we’ve spoken with, the answer is no. Removing the steps of walking to a box, jotting down the suggestion, and dropping it in often does result in more suggestions initially. Requiring specific fields to be completed can increase the quality of the recommendations in the beginning, but the improvements are generally short-lived. People soon begin to ignore the link or icon, just like they ignored the physical box.

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Topics: Suggestion Systems

What to Look for in an Event Reporting System

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 15, 2019 7:45:00 AM

Event reporting, also known as incident reporting, got its start in aviation and healthcare, two types of organizations that are considered high-reliability organizations. It makes sense if something goes wrong with an airplane, or there is a medical error, lives are on the line, and it is essential that the error never occurs again.

Today, organizations of all types are adopting the attitude that a problem should never happen more than once. Many are implementing technology to help teams achieve this reality. Lots of providers claim to have support for event reporting, but not everyone has all of the capabilities necessary for it to be effective.

Here are the features that we consider essential when evaluating event reporting solutions.

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Topics: Change Management Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Common Excuses for Neglecting the Continuous Improvement Cycle

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 3, 2019 7:43:00 AM

Every business leader we talk to says that they would like to achieve continuous improvement. We’ve never heard one yet say, “Nah, who needs that?” But, strangely, not every organization has implemented a structure to support improvement or worked to develop a culture that values it.

That seems odd, right?

It turns out that this isn’t the result of leaders who are stupid or lazy. There are a lot of ways to rationalize against the effort and investment it takes to make using a continuous improvement cycle part of everyday operations. But if you press on these ideas a bit, you’ll find that they deflate under pressure. Here are a few that we see quite a bit.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

What Other Industries Have Learned from Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Mar 26, 2019 7:11:00 AM

Lean manufacturing is a business methodology that is based on tools and techniques implemented at Toyota in their post-WWII efforts to improve the quality of its automobiles. They called it simply "The Toyota Production System" and “The Toyota Way.” Other manufacturers recognized the success the company enjoyed and applied the approach. Visits to Toyota to observe Lean manufacturing in action are common to this day.

The beauty of Lean is that it can be applied to almost any type of organization. Its pillars of continuous improvement and respect for people are universally relevant. Today, Lean is used in healthcare, high-technology, construction, education, services, and government.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

How to Sell Lean Software to Your CEO

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Feb 26, 2019 8:08:00 AM

You know that Lean software would help your organization implement more opportunities for improvement, eliminate waste, sustain improvement, and get more people involved in positive change. You know that the investment will reap significant returns by increasing and calculating the impact of improvement work. Your CEO, on the other hand, hasn’t quite seen the light.

That’s OK. Investing in technology to support Lean is a big step, and it isn’t free, so a bit of reluctance is natural. In most cases, the key to convincing top executives that Lean software will be worth it is to stay away from feature/function discussions and focus on their top-of-mind concerns. The practical advantages of Lean software like streamlined communication, document management, and automated alerts aren’t what typically gets CEOs excited.

Here’s what does.

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Topics: Lean, Software

The Pros and Cons of Moving Your Employee Suggestion Box Online

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Feb 5, 2019 2:50:24 PM

The good old suggestion box for collecting employee ideas for improvement has been around for decades, if not even longer. Employers know that not every person is willing to speak up publicly when they see an opportunity for good change, so a point of collection for these ideas makes a lot of sense.

Like everything else these days, the suggestion box is migrating from the analog realm to the digital one with more companies opting for an online approach.

Is moving your suggestion box online the way to increase employee engagement and get more great ideas for improvement?

The approach certainly has some advantages.

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How to Evaluate Continuous Improvement Systems

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 16, 2019 7:42:00 AM

We’ve yet to run into an organization that doesn’t want to find ways to improve. Everyone wants to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, get more efficient, and maximize revenue generation.

The difference between organizations that are successful at achieving these objectives and becoming better over time, and those that fail to make progress, often comes down to the structure upon which improvement initiatives are built.

That’s why choosing the right continuous improvement system is so important, but how do you tell them apart? Most people don’t make this type of investment very often, so it can be a challenge to select the best one for your organization.

Your organization may have some unique needs that should be considered, but almost every situation calls for evaluating continuous improvement systems based on technical infrastructure, features, and vendor support.

For more help on this topic, download this improvement software comparison matrix. Fill in who has what features, decide how important each is to you, and objectively calculate which platform will best suit your needs. Download it here.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software

9 Reasons to Use an Online Idea Board in 2019

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 27, 2018 8:31:45 AM

We’ve had lots of great conversations with our clients over the last few weeks about the successes they’ve seen in 2018 and their plans to make 2019 even better. We are often asked what additional continuous improvement techniques we would recommend that they add in the new year to further challenge the team and maximize the impact of positive change.

One that we recommend to everyone who isn’t already using it is an online idea board. Even organizations that currently use a physical idea board can benefit immensely by taking the concept online. Here are the top 10 reasons we’re so confident that a digital idea board is the right way to go.

1. It is accessible, anytime from anywhere

When you implement an online idea board, you take all of the friction out of submitting or working on opportunities for improvement. People who spend time working away from the office can participate as if they were sitting right there. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my best ideas hit me when I’m driving home from work or singing in the shower. With an online idea board your team doesn’t have to remember to submit the thought the next time they are in the office, they can do it right away. The best digital boards even have mobile applications to make it even easier.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Methodology

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