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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Kade Jansson

Kade Jansson is a self-described "nerd", who enjoys blending business and technology to assist in lean and efficient practices. He grew up in Utah, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Utah Valley University in Business Management. Kade understands the importance of a technological advantage in today's fast-paced business world. Over the last ten years, he has enjoyed putting that knowledge to use while implementing business software into a variety of different markets. Loving his move to Austin, TX just over six years ago, Kade plans on staying. He enjoys the outdoors and spends as much time as possible camping, swimming, and disc golfing. He also enjoys tinkering with a variety of electronics and loves to drive his fiance crazy with the "latest and greatest" ways to electronify their home.
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Recent Posts

The Fundamental Principles of Kaizen Project Management

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jun 14, 2021 12:49:13 PM

The continuous improvement methodology of Kaizen was once closely associated with industrial and automotive manufacturing. That’s because the Kaizen philosophy originated in the Japanese auto industry and was then later adopted by technology manufacturers like GE and Motorola.

But if you’ve been hearing about Kaizen project management in other sectors over the last few years, you are not alone.

The principles of Kaizen can lead to continuous improvement in almost every industry. The approach is now widespread in healthcare, construction, software development, education, logistics, and everything in between.

You won’t learn everything about Kaizen in any one blog post, but we can lay out the fundamentals of Kaizen project management.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership, Improvement Methodology

DMAIC Tools Offer a Solid Structure for Problem Solving

Posted by Kade Jansson

May 11, 2021 10:30:14 AM

DMAIC (Deh-May-Ick) tools are some of the most critical options in the continuous improvement toolbox. They are most closely associated with the Six Sigma methodology. Still, the DMAIC approach to problem-solving is also used by those who practice Lean manufacturing or don’t use a formal management structure. DMAIC is so widely used because the problem-solving framework takes teams from discovering root causes to long-term, stable standard work. It is a repeatable process that employees can learn to apply to any number of process problems.  

What Are DMAIC Tools?

DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.  Motorola is credited with bringing it to prominence, although it was essentially an evolution of the Toyota production system.

A deeper dive reveals why it works so well.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Process, DMAIC

16 Questions to Ask on Your First (or Next) Gemba Walk

Posted by Kade Jansson

Feb 26, 2021 12:59:15 PM

Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho gave a brilliantly simple description of what to do on a Gemba walk. "Go see, ask why, show respect," he said. That’s it in a nutshell.

During a Gemba walk, supervisors and leaders go to the place where work is done (the Gemba). They observe (not fix) processes and ask questions that will help lead to future improvements.

“Why?” is certainly an important question, but it is by no means the only one. We’ve put together a list of other questions that may be useful, especially if you are new to Gemba walks or you're taking a look at a process for the first time. They may not all make sense in your situation, but perhaps they will trigger additional ideas.

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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Gemba Walk

5 Root Cause Analysis Techniques to Breakthrough Barriers

Posted by Kade Jansson

Feb 23, 2021 11:13:00 AM

A root cause analysis is a structured method for finding the underlying causes of process problems and undesirable outcomes. Root cause analysis is a core problem-solving technique used by organizations dedicated to continuous improvement. As the name implies, it is all about addressing the origin of the issue rather than employing solutions that address only surface problems.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

The Path to Operational Excellence in Healthcare

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jan 7, 2021 11:05:00 AM

Across the world, healthcare leaders are increasingly striving to embed the principles of operational excellence and continuous improvement in their organizations. Empowering clinical and operational staff to deliver safe, high-quality, reliable care can significantly change results.

Achieving continuous improvement requires a systematic, sustainable approach to enhancing the quality of care and patients' health outcomes. Establishing a culture of constant improvement is not a quick fix but a journey that never ends. It requires ongoing commitment, investment, and persistence.

Here is the prerequisite for excellence.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Lean Healthcare, Improvement Process

"Lean Thinking" and the 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Kade Jansson

Dec 3, 2020 1:10:46 PM

 

James Womack and Dan Jones are the founders of the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Enterprise Academy (UK), respectively. Their book, Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, is considered by some to be the bible of Lean manufacturing. It was originally published in 1996 based on their in-depth study of Toyota’s fabled Toyota Production System (TPS). Philip Caldwell, Chairman and CEO of Ford from 1980-1985, said of the book, “Truly remarkable...The most comprehensive, instructive, mind-stretching and provocative analysis of any major industry I have ever known.” 

Lean Thinking lays out the five Lean manufacturing principles: value, value streams, flow, pull, and perfection. Here’s some insight into what Womack and Jones meant by each.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

How to Become a True Leader (No Matter Your Title)

Posted by Kade Jansson

Nov 3, 2020 10:17:09 AM

When people talk about the inner workings of organizations, we often use the word “leader” as a shortcut for “executive.” But the truth is, not all executives are leaders and not all leaders are executives. Anyone, no matter what their title or where they sit on the org chart, can demonstrate leadership and inspire others to achieve great things. Leadership is a set of skills and attitudes that can’t be attained by changing what it says on your business card.

Although she may seem like an odd person to quote in a blog about leadership, we agree with the amazing Dolly Parton. She said,

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

So how do you strengthen your leadership skills? Here are some practical steps you can take whether you are the CEO or a front-line employee.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Culture

5 Compelling Reasons to Measure the Improvement Work

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 11, 2019 2:36:17 PM

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.

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Topics: ROI, Improvement Process

The Reasons Employee Engagement Software Usually Fails

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

What is Total Quality Management?

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology

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