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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

The Hidden Costs of Using Excel for Continuous Improvement

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 13, 2018 8:11:00 AM

When we chat with people about how their organizations currently manage improvement work, the two most common answers are “We aren’t,” or “Excel.” We’ve written a lot about why it is essential to have some kind of technology to manage improvement projects. Excel might seem like an attractive option for a couple of reasons.

It’s free. Well, not exactly, but chances are everyone already has access to it.

Everyone knows how to use it. Again, not exactly - I mean, no one knows how to use every Excel feature, but people do know how to use it to make lists.

So why not just stick all of your improvement activities in a spreadsheet and track everything that way? The answer is that although it may seem cheap and easy, using Excel for improvement management could cost you. A lot.

 

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How to Get Senior Leaders Excited About Hoshin Kanri Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 4, 2018 1:14:34 PM

We find that it is often the people closest to the problem who bring a software solution to the attention of leaders. In many cases, successfully securing the green light to move ahead with a software implementation requires a bit of “selling up.” After all, people who don’t directly feel the pain of a problem are less likely to get excited by the solution.

If you are tasked with deploying the strategic plan or managing improvement projects Hoshin Kanri Software probably seems like a fantastic idea. The challenge is getting everyone else to buy in.

We’ve got good news.

When presented with all of the essential information about Hoshin Kanri software, executives quickly recognize its value more often than not. Here’s an excellent approach to introducing the idea and getting the resources your implementation will need.

For more help getting the green light, download this free software comparison matrix.


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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Software

6 Reasons Organizations Fail to Achieve Continuous Improvement Goals

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 23, 2018 7:32:00 AM

We like to keep things positive in this blog, but once in a while, it makes sense to explore the roadblocks that organizations can face when trying to achieve continuous improvement. Recently, we’ve spoken to a few leaders who are disappointed with the results of their organization’s CI efforts. A quick triage of their continuous improvement goals usually uncovers one or more of these common mistakes.

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Topics: Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Culture

What to Include on Your Gemba Walk Agenda

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 10, 2018 7:46:00 AM

Gemba walks are a favorite Lean management technique, but they can be used by any leader to become more connected with the people and process they manage. During a Gemba walk, the manager visits the place where work is done to observe, show respect to the employees, and potentially identify opportunities for improvement. This post will outline the agenda items for such a walk.

Let’s begin by saying that having an agenda is what sets Gemba walks apart from the technique called Management by Walking Around (MBWA). MBWA is intentionally unstructured and fluid. Gemba walks, on the other hand, have a defined purpose and a specific process to be observed. Although you might not have an exact order of events because you don’t know what you will see, you absolutely should have a list of agenda items that you want to complete before, during, and after each walk. Here’s what should be on it.

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Topics: Gemba Walk

Who Should be Involved in Strategy Deployment?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 31, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Before we start chatting about who should be involved in strategy deployment, I think it’s important to point out the difference between strategic planning and strategy deployment. Most organizations have gone through a strategic planning exercise at one point or another, but very few can turn that plan into sustained action over the long-term.

Why?

Because creating the plan is only the first step to reaching an organization’s breakthrough goals. In order to be successful, that plan must be integrated into day-to-day activities and decision making. In other words, it must be deployed, and that’s a job for, well, everybody.

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Lean Tools for Healthcare

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 26, 2018 7:11:00 AM

The Lean business management approach is used widely in healthcare organizations because cutting waste from health care delivery is not just a nice idea; it is an urgent imperative. Healthcare organizations are under tremendous pressure to provide the highest quality care for the lowest cost possible.

When resources are strained, Lean is a powerful solution.

However, implementing the Lean philosophy in a way that gets results isn’t simple. The organization must come together around waste reduction and customer value. In order for it to work, every employee must be on board and engaged. Fortunately, there are tools to help healthcare organizations meet this aim, most notably Lean software .


Here are the functions that Lean software serves in a healthcare organization.

 

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Topics: Lean Healthcare, Continuous Improvement Software

What Sets Lean Organizations Apart?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 2, 2018 3:37:03 PM

When people think of the Lean business management methodology, they often associate it primarily with waste reduction. The elimination of waste is indeed a significant goal of Lean organizations, and it does become a significant factor in decision making, but attention to waste reduction alone does not make an organization Lean. There are several factors that successful Lean organizations have in common.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture

An Overview of A3 Management

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 21, 2018 3:16:56 PM

Whether you’ve read a ton about various business methodologies and the philosophy of continuous improvement, or just a little bit, you can’t be blamed if you’ve started to wonder if Toyota developed every improvement technique.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Methodology, Improvement Process

7 Hoshin Kanri Implementation Tips That Really Work

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jun 6, 2018 7:36:00 AM

The Hoshin Kanri method of strategic planning and deployment is brilliantly simple, yet powerful. It helps organizations navigate toward their “true north,” while practicing continuous daily improvement. However, like most great ideas, the devil is in the details. When we talk to leaders who have tried the approach but failed to get the desired results, the problem is usually not in the effort, but instead, in the execution. We’ve compiled a few tips to help make sure you achieve the intended outcomes.

 

Provide training about the approach and let people know what to expect and why Hoshin Kanri is different from other strategic planning tools.

I’m just going to put this out there – your employees have been through strategic planning exercises before. Anyone who’s been around the block at all has seen various goal setting schemes come and go. You’ll probably get enthusiastic nods while you’re in the meeting, but expect eye rolls and Dilbert jokes as soon as management leaves the room. Success depends on convincing your team that this is not the annual plan that gets sent out and then stuck in a drawer. A large part of the discussion should be focused on how Hoshin Kanri will guide everyday decisions and be a consistent part of how the organization is managed.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

The Experts Weigh in on the Biggest Hoshin Kanri Mistakes

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 31, 2018 7:11:00 AM

Hoshin Kanri is a popular approach to strategic planning and deployment. It provides a roadmap to achieving an organization’s most important three to five-year objectives, while at the same time achieving continuous, daily improvement.

(If the approach is new to you, start here for the background.)

While the Hoshin Kanri methodology is relatively straightforward, there are a few common errors that send it off the rails. We’ve looked to the literature to see what the experts have to say about each frequent mistake. Hopefully this post will help you avoid or correct them. (It will also make a handy reading list.)

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

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