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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Lisa Hanna

I first recognized the importance of CE after spending a few short weeks in my first role on a Customer Success team. I could immediately see the value that customers received from interactions with their account manager. Having a CE team in a SaaS company, at this point, is basically a necessity, as it serves as one of the main drivers of customer happiness, product adoption, and brand reputation. The way I see it, CE serves as the 'face' of the company, and if we want customers to love a brand, we have to make it personal.
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Recent Posts

Improve DMAIC Process Results with Improvement Software

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jun 11, 2019 7:42:00 AM

DMAIC is a widely used structured process improvement technique developed at Motorola in the 1980s. It is popular among organizations that use the Lean manufacturing or Six Sigma business methodologies but is also used as a stand-alone continuous improvement tool. It helps teams tackle challenges by finding root causes and applying thoughtful fixes. DMAIC ensures that change is well documented, managed, and successful.

Improvement software is not required to complete a DMAIC process, but there are smart reasons for making it part of your organization’s approach. Technology can help speed up the DMAIC process, it helps to measure the results, and it creates your organization’s repository of knowledge. In fact, software has a role to play during each stage of the DMAIC process. Here’s how it works.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

What is Visual Project Management?

Posted by Lisa Hanna

May 31, 2019 7:42:00 AM

Howard Earl Gardner is an American developmental psychologist and the former John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He has written hundreds of research articles and more than thirty books that have been translated into multiple languages. He is best recognized for his theory of multiple intelligences, which he explained in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He argues that people process information differently, and therefore, there are many ways that people learn and process information.

One type of intelligence that Gardner studied is spatial intelligence, which is the ability to gain understanding from pictures or other visuals. While everyone benefits from a different mix of the more than seven types of intelligence, most people tend to respond to visuals because they offer a concrete way to organize abstract information.

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Topics: Software, Improvement Process, Visual Management

The Lean Manufacturing Cheat Sheet

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Apr 30, 2019 8:34:00 AM

I created dozens of cheat sheets during my high school and college career. Don’t worry; I didn’t use them to cheat on the test. I found that the exercise of creating a crib card helped me review the relevant material and organize my thoughts, so when it was time for the exam, I was well prepared to do well without resorting to fraud. Anything that I would want to put on the sheet was something that I should fully understand.

You might not “test” your employees on the essential concepts in Lean manufacturing, but there are still some fundamental ideas that they should understand. We’ve put together this brief review of the most important as a place to start. If every team member can discuss and explain each of them, your potential for improvement is vast.

(Note, this post is meant to be a refresher, not an introduction to any of these concepts. For more in-depth information, click on the links at the top of each section.)

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

How Change Management Software Promotes Innovation

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Mar 4, 2019 10:30:00 AM

Agility is perhaps one of the most essential qualities of successful modern companies. The ability to adapt to changing marketing conditions and customer needs is crucial to survival in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Organizations that are prepared to change when necessary can capture new opportunities, eliminate threats, and delight customers.

Change management software helps ensure that change does not become chaos. Adjustments to processes should be made thoughtfully, preferably using a structured improvement cycle like PDSA, or DMAIC. With change management software in place, innovation becomes deliberate, and the thinking behind each improvement is transparent. Here are six ways that change management software helps to promote sustained and purposeful innovation.

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Topics: Change Management, Change Management Software

What it Takes to Achieve Operational Excellence

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Feb 12, 2019 8:17:00 AM

No executive in the world would turn down operational excellence if you handed it to them on a platter even if they don’t exactly know what it is. It just sounds like something awesome. But operational excellence isn’t like an hors d'oeuvre you can pluck off a tray. In order to be achieved, it must be clearly understood, injected into the culture, and supported with a methodology to guide decisions. The principles of excellence must become ingrained in everyday activities. Getting there isn’t easy, but it is operationally excellent companies that can achieve rapid growth and sustain a leading market position.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Strategy Deployment, Operational Excellence

Common Questions About the Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jan 23, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Strategy deployment is arguably the most crucial responsibility of business executives. Setting the direction for the organization and making the day-to-day decisions that drive the organization closer to “True North,” is what leadership is all about. But it’s not easy. There are a lot of other concerns that compete for resource and attention. It is easy to lose sight of long-term goals in the face of day-to-day events.

Hoshin Kanri is a popular remedy for the challenge. It is a method for bridging the gap between strategy and execution. By laying out the strategic objectives of the organization and cascading goals down through every level, the organization has aligned priorities, and everyone moves in the same direction. Everyday process improvement is coordinated with the strategy and decision making improves.

A favorite way to visualize Hoshin Kanri is an X-matrix. Since we added the ability to manage X-matrices in KaiNexus, we’ve received many questions about the technique. Here are the answers.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

A Gemba Walk Checklist for Lean Leaders

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Aug 15, 2018 8:10:00 AM

Most leaders dedicated to continuous improvement focus on performance indicators that can be measured and rightly so. We look at cost, production speed, error rates, customer satisfaction scores, and other quantifiable business metrics to identify opportunities for improvement and to assess the impact of any changes that we implement. However, there are some things that can’t be measured – process problems or improvement opportunities that you have to see with your own eyes to understand. For those, there are Gemba Walks.

Gemba means “the real place” in Japanese. During a Gemba walk, the leader goes to the place where work is performed to gain first-hand insight into the target process. Unlike the practice of Management By Walking Around, Gemba walks are structured and performed with intention.

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Topics: Gemba Walk

Using Hoshin Kanri to Align & Coordinate Lean Strategy [WEBINAR]

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jul 27, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Also known as “strategy deployment,” Hoshin Kanri aligns an organization’s functions and activities within its strategic objectives. The collaborative learning method and resource development system allows organizations to leverage their scarce resources.

KaiNexus sat down with Craig Vercruysse and Joanna Omi—Partner and Consulting Director, respectively, at Moss Adams—to discuss how they’ve used Hoshin to get their clients aligned and help fuel their performance. You can view the full webinar here. 

 

Using Hoshin Kanri to Align and Coordinate Your Lean Strategy

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How the Hoshin practice evolves over time
  • When to use an X-Matrix vs. an A3 
  • The relationship between visual management and Hoshin Kanri
  • The relationship between developing people and the must-do, can’t fail few Hoshins

 

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