Organizations that strive for continuous improvement outpace the competition, regardless of the types of products or services they offer. From retail and manufacturing to healthcare and construction, the intensity of effort dedicated to daily positive change in an organization is directly tied to customer satisfaction and financial success.
Sep 11, 2019 2:36:17 PM
Jun 26, 2019 12:05:00 PM
With as many as 70% of employees reporting that they are not fully engaged at work, employee engagement (or lack thereof) is a significant problem for employers in the US. So, it’s no wonder that many software companies offer solutions purported to improve it. The market for employee engagement software is growing, according to Zion Market Research’s recent report (paywall). The global employee engagement software market is expected to reach approximately $346 million by 2025.
Yet, the problem persists.
Many of the companies that come to us looking for help creating and supporting a culture of improvement have already tried some type of employee engagement solution. They’re frustrated that despite their best efforts, most employees are content to stick with the status quo, keep their heads down, and produce the same results as always.
What these leaders are glad to hear is that it isn’t their fault. The fact is that the paradigm under which most employee engagement software is developed is flawed. The reason it doesn’t work isn’t a bad implementation or lazy managers; it’s much deeper than that.
Topics: Employee Engagement
Jun 7, 2019 7:32:00 AM
For many years, the continuous improvement philosophy of Kaizen was most closely associated with industrial manufacturing and high technology. That’s because it was developed by the Japanese auto industry and then later adopted by technology companies like GE and Motorola.
But if you’ve been hearing about Kaizen program management in other sectors over the last few years, you are not alone.
The principals of Kaizen apply to almost every industry and are now widespread in healthcare, construction, software development, education, logistics, and everything in between.
We can’t teach you everything you need to know in one blog post, but we can lay out the fundamentals of Kaizen program management and offer further reading recommendations.
May 29, 2019 12:06:39 PM
Total Quality Management (abbreviated as TQM) as it is practiced today was developed by Dr. William Deming, a famed management consultant whose work helped transform Japanese manufacturing after World War II.
Although TQM has a lot in common with the Six Sigma methodology, they are not the same. Total Quality Management is focused on ensuring that process standards ensure a great customer experience, while Six Sigma is designed to reduce defects. The practice of TQM is about holding all parties involved in the production process accountable for the quality of the final product or service.
Let’s look at how.
Topics: Improvement Methodology
May 10, 2019 7:42:00 AM
The Kaizen process is a brilliantly simple approach to business operations. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “good change.” The methodology is credited with helping the Japanese auto industry recover and outpace the competition following World War II. Organizations that embrace it can reduce errors and defects, speed up production, deliver more customer value, and improve employee satisfaction.
When the Kaizen process is implemented, every person in the organization has a role to play. Before we describe them, let’s revisit the philosophy of Kaizen.
Apr 11, 2019 7:46:56 AM
Hoshin Kanri is a strategy deployment approach that is popular with organizations using the Lean or Six Sigma business methodology and others that commit to continuous improvement. The object is to define the organization’s “True North” and drive toward it, reaching breakthrough goals while still managing daily incremental improvement. When properly executed, organizations have used it to improve profitability, sustain growth, enter new markets, and deliver innovative new products to customers. (If you are not familiar with the approach, you can learn more about it in this post.)
As useful as Hoshin Kanri can be, it doesn’t always work. We’ve seen some organizations achieve great success and others give up in frustration.
While every organization is different, here are some of the common problems we see when Hoshin planning hits a dead end.
Feb 7, 2019 7:42:00 AM
If you are considering a Lean management system to boost your efforts at continuous improvement and waste reduction, it’s a smart move. Technology helps bring people together, ensure accurate data, collect organizational knowledge, and speed the progress of Lean projects. It also gives leaders greater insight into the health of Lean across the entire organization.
We’ve helped scores of companies get up and running on a Lean management system and have learned the keys to success. If you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for smooth sailing.
Jan 14, 2019 10:38:48 AM
We saved this post for a couple of weeks into the New Year to give everyone a chance to get their exercise/weight loss/financial planning resolutions out of the way. Hope it’s all going well - but 98.9% of all New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
Ha, just kidding, I just made that up. But it rings true doesn’t it?!?
Why is changing habits so hard?
Certainly, unrealistic expectations are part of the problem. (You’re not going to lose 57 pounds by Marcia’s wedding in March.) But another part of the problem is that people focus on the “what” far more than the “why” and “how.”
That’s why we are going to focus on exactly why these resolutions will help you achieve your process improvement goals and how you can do it. These are a few simple, achievable, and measurable steps you can take to make 2019 a breakthrough year for continuous improvement.
Dec 27, 2017 2:42:25 PM
Many of the continuous improvement tools and techniques that we write about in this blog originated in the manufacturing industry. This makes a lot of sense because mass manufacturing is, by definition, the production of large quantities of standardized products, frequently utilizing assembly line technology. The whole goal is to create large numbers of similar products efficiently. Statistical process control is necessary in order to achieve acceptable quality results at a predictable pace.
However, the application of statistical methods of process control provides a better understanding of the behavior of any operation. This is an essential piece of management information that is required for making smart decisions about process improvements regardless of the type of process. In addition, the use of statistical methods also provides valuable insight to the employees who are working the process.
Fortunately, one does not need a deep understanding of statistical theory or mathematics in order to apply statistical measurements to improve quality and productivity. The approach can be useful to almost any organization, regardless of the industry.
Nov 24, 2017 7:07:00 AM
If you are considering investing in Kaizen software, congratulations! It has the potential to bring your team together around improvement, accelerate the pace of positive change, and demonstrate the power of improvement work. But not all solutions are created equally. Some Kaizen software has limited functionality and some project management solutions try to pass themselves off as improvement technology. But don’t worry. We’ve assembled a master list of what you should look for when evaluating Kaizen software.