While Lean got its start in the manufacturing industry, people have found that the broader context of a Lean adoption strategy is relevant to all industries and sectors. That said, the public education system is a great place to start—and the Des Moines Public School District has the results to prove it.
Apr 18, 2018 8:11:00 AM
Apr 11, 2018 7:11:00 AM
The DMAIC improvement cycle is one of the most widely used Six Sigma and Lean management techniques. It was developed by Motorola in the 1980’s, and it helped the company win the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1988.
The approach caught on, and thousands of people learned how to attack problems by improving the processes that were causing the problems in the first place.
These days, companies across all industries use the technique to make sure they deliver high-quality customer value with the least amount of friction and waste.
Organizations that are serious about getting the most out of their improvement efforts and using DMAIC to the fullest implement software that supports the improvement cycle. This accelerates improvement processes, makes improvements more likely to succeed, and sets the foundation for measuring the impact of DMAIC.
Here’s how it helps at every phase of the cycle.
Mar 21, 2018 10:02:00 AM
Organizations implement technology to support Kaizen for a number of reasons. It provides structure for improvement, allows for active management of projects, forms a repository of knowledge, gives leaders insight into the health of Kaizen, and allows for tracking of results.
People who try to manage Kaizen work in spreadsheets quickly find that they lack the interactive capabilities necessary to spread and sustain improvement.
Use this free download to compare and rank different Kaizen management systems:
Download this free matrix to:
- See a list of all features and functionality available in improvement platforms
- Calculate a weighted score for each platform based on available features and your organization's unique needs
- Make an educated, intentional choice about which improvement platform is the best fit for your organization
Mar 14, 2018 6:09:00 AM
If you’ve decided to invest in technology to support your Lean construction efforts, congratulations. Giving your team the right tools for the job is always a smart move.
Picking the system that’s going to help you complete more opportunities for improvement, sustain those improvements, and calculate the impact of Lean is an important job. Most people have little experience selecting software of this type, so it can be a little daunting.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to separate the solutions you should consider from those that will be of little value.
We’ve put together a series of questions that will help guide your selection process.
Mar 5, 2018 1:13:37 PM
The continuous improvement approach to business is based on a few core principles; focus on the customer, identify and understand how the work gets done, manage and smooth the process flow, remove non-value-added steps and waste, manage by fact and reduce variation, involve and equip the people in the process, and undertake improvement activity in a systematic way.
A piece of cake, right?
In reality, buying into the ideas behind the business methodology is the easy part. Executing them in the real world is much more challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of continuous quality improvement tools (CQI tools) to help put these principles into action.
Jan 31, 2018 7:52:00 AM
Many of our clients are continuous improvement veterans. They know all of the ins and outs of the tools and techniques designed to support their efforts to get better every single day.
Lately, we’ve also had a number of inquiries and conversations with people who are new to the idea. Getting to know more about Lean can be exciting, but overwhelming at the same time.
If you’ve got questions about what it means to introduce a Lean management system, this post is for you.
Jan 10, 2018 6:51:00 AM
Kaizen events, also known as Rapid Improvement Events, are an effective way to tackle many difficult problems in short order. They can also help improve team cohesion and cross-functional collaboration. But like many other continuous improvement techniques, if they are not executed properly, they can cause more harm than good. We’re in the lucky position to have the opportunity to chat with people from all types of organizations about their improvement work. They’ve shared some lessons learned when it comes to Kaizen events. Here are some of the biggest mistakes.
Ignoring Daily Improvement
Kaizen events are one tool in the improvement toolbox, but not the only one. Continuous improvement requires daily attention. Efforts shouldn’t be limited to special events. In most cases, only a few people are involved in each Kaizen event, but daily improvement should be the responsibility of every person in the organization.
Dec 28, 2017 11:56:13 AM
Each year, people across the globe make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions. We all identify goals to improve ourselves in some way, whether that's by eating better, exercising more, spending more time with our families, or increasing our productivity. In too many instances, though, our resolutions are shot by the end of January, and we’re on our way to another year of the same old behaviors, and the same results.
Continuous improvement is no different. So many organizations set out on a journey of continuous improvement with gusto, and then quickly lose momentum and their initiative flounders. How do you prevent your organization from slipping back into bad habits? A sustaining culture of continuous improvement is supported by strategic goal setting.
Dec 22, 2017 3:43:43 PM
Before we dig into the topic of A3 problem solving and software, here’s a little peek into how the sausage is made for this blog. One of the ways we decide which topics to cover is that we take a look at what improvement related terms people are searching for, and if we have something useful to add to the conversation, we write about it. We can’t really say that Lean management and improvement terms “go viral,” but there are definitely trends in what people want to learn more about.
Lately, we’ve noticed that interest in the A3 method of problem-solving is increasing. That’s probably because more organizations are looking for a simple, yet effective way to streamline improvement projects and set a standard for how to report on these efforts.
Here’s how the approach got started and how it has changed with the times.
Topics: Continuous Improvement Software
Nov 27, 2017 11:59:03 AM
A3 software may seem like something of an oxymoron. After all, the A3 technique gets its name from the size of paper early practitioners used to document the problem-solving methodology. (A European paper size that is roughly equivalent to an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper.) But we’ve come a long way since the A3 technique was first invented. Now there are software solutions designed to support the A3 process, making it even more useful and resulting in lasting results. It is a subject that comes up quite a bit in our conversations with folks interested in finding the most efficient ways to structure continuous improvement. Here are some of the questions they ask us most often.