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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Maggie Millard

As the Director of Marketing, Maggie educates the continuous improvement community, KaiNexus customers, executives, managers, and staff in just about every industry you can think of about improvement principles and KaiNexus' continuous improvement software. Her desire to improve the American healthcare system combined with a love of spreading knowledge to the far reaches of the internet inspires her work with KaiNexus every day. Maggie graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2010 with a BA in History. She spends her free time hanging out with her sweet, sticky, stinky new baby and two displaced dogs in the mountains of Virginia.
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Recent Posts

How to Apply Lean Principles Beyond Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 18, 2018 8:12:00 AM

We promise not to turn this blog into the next big thing in lifestyle content, but a recent conversation sparked an idea. Everyone here at KaiNexus is a massive fan of the Lean business approach - and for good reason. It helps companies reduce cost, better position themselves to compete, and develop leadership qualities in team members. Well, it turns out, that enthusiasm isn’t limited to helping our clients understand and implement Lean. After chatting a bit about it, we discovered that many members of our team have applied Lean principles to life outside of the office as well. In some cases, we didn’t even realize we were doing it; Lean thinking just took over.

Here are a few examples of how to leverage the power of Lean in real life.

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Topics: Lean

Buyer’s Guide to Lean Software for Healthcare

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 13, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Lean approach to business management is becoming increasingly popular with healthcare organizations. Leaders find Lean to be a perfect fit for healthcare because it helps maximize resources and reduce costs while keeping quality patient care the highest priority. To get the most out of the approach, many hospitals and healthcare networks use software that supports the Lean philosophy and related techniques. If you are considering that route, this post will help.
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Topics: Lean Healthcare, Continuous Improvement Software, Software

The Lean Thinking Behind Popular Improvement Techniques

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 11, 2018 2:54:10 PM

Many tools and techniques support the Lean management methodology. For those new to the approach, they can seem a little all over the map. You may ask what control charts and Catchball have in common. We find it helpful to put the Lean approach in context by looking at how the techniques fit into the Lean mindset. Once you outline the core values of Lean, the synergies of each common practice become clearer.

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Topics: Lean

The Fundamentals of a Lean Deployment Plan

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 21, 2018 11:25:22 AM

If you’ve decided to set your organization on the path to Lean, that decision will likely be one of many that will bring measurable benefits in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. Leaders who have taken this journey before have told us that getting started with Lean can be somewhat overwhelming. We thought it might be helpful to share, step-by-step, how some of the most successful organizations have launched their Lean programs. Hopefully, you’ll see that it isn’t as daunting as you might think.

We should note that every organization and every Lean program is different. Organizations can go all in or take an incremental approach. There’s no one “right” way to do Lean, so you’ll have to find the path that works best for your team. But whatever route you take, these elements are vital to success and should be included in your Lean deployment plan.

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Topics: Lean

Should I Use a Free Kanban Board Excel Template?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 13, 2018 3:29:50 PM

The internet is full of free templates for creating Kanban boards in Excel. That’s not surprising because the format of a Kanban board can be very simple, and Excel is attractive because most people know how to use its base features and everyone in the company probably already has access to it. Setting up a Kanban board in Excel and emailing it out to everyone is easy. That’s why we aren’t surprised that so many organizations start out on this road.

Very few, however, reach their goals with this approach. Here’s why.

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Topics: Kanban

Election 2018: The Connection between Civic Engagement and Employee Engagement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 5, 2018 1:15:59 PM

I’m going to do something that everyone who writes a business blog knows is a dangerous idea. I’m going to talk about the 2016 American election.

(Calm down, PR team, it’s going to be OK.)

Specifically, I want to talk about the 108,600,056 people who did not vote in the 2016 election. That’s 46.9% of eligible voters choosing to sit that one out. Not only did those folks decide not to weigh in on two dramatically different presidential candidates they also didn’t have a voice in who will represent them at the local and state level, nor on any ballot measures that the voters were asked to decide.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

6 Requirements for Effective Strategy Deployment

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 29, 2018 11:09:53 AM

As the end of 2018 quickly approaches, many management teams are somewhere in the process of preparing the plan for 2019. Regardless of where you are in that process, this is a good time to reflect on whether or not your 2018 strategy came to fruition. Did your organization achieve the goals it set out for itself? Was adequate progress made toward your long-term objectives? Was progress assessed adequately and frequently enough?

If your results were disappointing, you are not alone. Effective strategy deployment is a struggle for many organizations; it's common to start the year off with excellent intentions but struggle to align the origination around the strategy. Communication, feedback, and measurement all take hard work and constant attention - which is tough with the day-to-day firefighting most businesses are faced with.

The good news is that there are some ways to integrate strategic planning and management into the daily rhythm of your organization.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment

Get More Impact from Improvement with Digital Visual Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 23, 2018 9:53:52 AM

The human brain processes visuals significantly faster than text. Smart leaders take advantage of our ability to process and remember visual information and leverage it to get more from all of the continuous improvement practices they oversee.

Visual management can be used to support a culture of improvement and spread success across the organization. By choosing the digital approach to visual management, it is possible to introduce an improvement management system that makes visualization easy and accessible for every employee.

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Topics: Visual Management

How Digital Idea Boards Accelerate Innovation

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 16, 2018 4:31:20 PM

We’ve written before about the reasons that traditional suggestion boxes rarely result in lasting positive change. The biggest problem is that they are just a passive receptacle for employee ideas without any structure for ensuring that every suggestion is evaluated and many are implemented. Fortunately, there is a modern alternative that is helping companies in every industry achieve continuous daily improvement and even a few breakthrough ideas. Digital idea boards are the ideal alternative to suggestion boxes or improvement spreadsheets.

Here’s how they make innovation happen faster.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement, Daily Lean Management, Suggestion Systems, Innovation Software

What Changes When You Implement Kaizen Software?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 8, 2018 10:22:33 AM

One thing that we hear quite often from leaders who have attempted to create a Kaizen culture is that initial enthusiasm quickly wanes, and improvement projects move in fits and starts. In most cases, these leaders have embraced the Kaizen mindset, but haven’t implemented a software platform to support it.

On the flip side of that, our clients who have implemented an improvement platform tell us that it has helped transform their organization into one that consistently produces positive change.

Here’s what they say happens when Kaizen software is deployed.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

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