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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 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

Kaizen Process - Roles and Responsibilities

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership

Why Some Hoshin Kanri Implementations Go Wrong

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Lean, Hoshin Kanri

Lean Management System Implementation Tips

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Resolutions to Help Achieve Your Process Improvement Goals in 2019

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

The Use of Control Charts for Non-Manufacturing Activities

Posted by Kade Jansson

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.

 

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

The Ultimate Kaizen Software Checklist

Posted by Kade Jansson

Nov 24, 2017 7:07:00 AM

Kaizen software

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.

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5 Prerequisites for Solid Continuous Process Improvement

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 26, 2017 11:41:25 AM

I recently joined a few of my family members on a trip to Disneyland. My 9-year-old niece from Utah was among the group. She’d never been to California before and had never seen a palm tree. She was fascinated by them, but also a little angry. “Why don’t we have trees like this at home?” she asked. I’m no botanist, but I explained to her that different plants grow in different places because they need certain conditions to thrive. The temperature, soil composition, humidity, rainfall, and other factors create the environment that determines what vegetation will take root. That’s why you don’t see cacti in a swamp, or tomatoes in the desert.  

Over the years we’ve spent working with organizations interested in positive change, we’ve seen time and time again, that much like palm trees, continuous process improvement (CPI) needs certain conditions to flourish. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on Mother Nature to create a conducive atmosphere. If you are just beginning your CPI journey, or if you are struggling to achieve results, make sure that these crucial prerequisites are in place.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

Obeya in Action: The Process and Benefits of Obeya

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 15, 2017 7:21:00 AM

If you’ve never heard of an “obeya,” you’ll want to check out our VP of Improvement & Innovation Mark Graban interviewing Dr. Michael Johnston, Vice President Corporate Operations at Carolinas Healthcare System on the KaiNexus podcast.

As Johnston explained, Carolinas HealthCare System has been on an improvement journey for about eight to nine years, beginning with hiring consultants for some traditional project work before deciding to create its own internal continuous improvement department.

Johnston came to Carolinas HealthCare System about four and a half years ago, and soon after was asked to take over that continuous improvement department, which is called the Performance Excellence Center (PEC). At that time he noticed the department was divided into separate functions - including projects, six-sigma type work, traditional Rapid Improvement Events (RIE's), and Kaizen events.

Listen to the interview and Subscribe to the Podcast:

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

The 8 Wastes of Lean are Shockingly Common. Here are Some Examples.

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 14, 2017 7:25:00 AM

Eliminating waste is at the heart of the Lean business management philosophy. So much so, that there are eight defined types of waste.

Even if you are not an organization devoted to the Lean approach, it still pays to understand and be on the lookout for waste that can hurt the bottom line, slow production times, hurt customer satisfaction, and demotivate employees.

We can’t list every example of each type of waste, but perhaps considering a few will lead you to think about where you might find and eliminate waste in your organization.

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Topics: Lean

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