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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

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

Looking for the Best Change Management Software? Here’s Your Guide.

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 19, 2018 7:11:00 AM

Whenever I think about the process of buying software two quotes, come to mind. The first is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” The second is from Henry Ford on the invention of the car. He famously said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” These lines explain why buying software is so complicated. If you don’t know what’s possible, it’s hard to know if you’ve found the best solution.

Change management software is something that many organizations are looking to implement for the first time, so it’s no surprise that many of the people we chat with don’t really know what they should be looking for. They wonder if regular project management software is sufficient - as well as what sets the most complete solutions apart.

We want to help. This post will break down the capabilities and technical requirements of change management software into critical categories and identify the specific functionality you should consider. We’ve also put it all into a spreadsheet that you can use to compare solutions and determine the essential items for your organization.

Download the comparison worksheet here.

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Topics: Change Management, Change Management Software, Software

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

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