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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

8 Tips for Error-Proofing Your Lean Project Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 26, 2021 4:31:51 PM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not implementing an improvement program for the first time. In fact, in many cases, the very reason they are turning to us is that previous attempts to implement Lean project management have been disappointing.

Here are our best tips for avoiding the common problems that lead to sub-par results.

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Topics: Lean

How Cross-functional Training Maximizes Employee Value

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 6, 2021 2:37:33 PM

The traditional siloed approach to business operations where everyone stays in their "lane" is giving way to a more cooperative, collaborative approach. Organizations have found that cross-training employees lead to a more innovative take on improvement and waste reduction. Not only does it offer the opportunity for employees to learn new skills, but it also gives everyone a more holistic view of the business.

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Topics: Collaboration

The History & Evolution of the PDSA Cycle of Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 24, 2021 6:09:34 PM

The PDSA cycle is a popular approach to process improvement because of its simultaneous simplicity and effectiveness. PDSA cycles can be applied to an unlimited number of processes, making them applicable across almost every industry. We thought it was worth a quick look back at how it came to be and how it has changed over time.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean

How Lean Healthcare Management Can Elevate Patient Care

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 28, 2021 5:17:07 PM

Although the Lean quality improvement methodology was initially developed to improve the quality and productivity of automotive factories, it has been used with great success in industries and settings of all types, including software development, government, retail, and other service settings.

Healthcare organizations, in particular, have found that the approach can be used to reduce costs and improve quality of care, patient safety, and satisfaction at the same time.

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Topics: Lean

Before You Build a Kanban Excel Template, Consider This

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 24, 2021 12:38:25 PM

The internet is full of free Kanban Excel templates that you can download. 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 basic 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

The Motivation-Hygiene Theory of Employee Engagement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 20, 2021 10:00:57 AM

It is relatively common for people to use the terms "employee engagement" and "employee satisfaction" interchangeably. However, we have never been comfortable with that framing, especially when it comes to software to measure and improve engagement. Tools like employee NPS and employee pulse surveys do an excellent job of measuring employee satisfaction, but they don't have features likely to increase employee engagement. Understanding the difference can help organizations that want to attract, retain, and develop talent find the tools that can help them do so.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

KaiNexus Office Relocating to Antarctica, Summer 2021

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 1, 2021 2:36:46 PM

Companies around the world have spent the last year learning how to manage a remote workforce as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. While many are looking forward to life getting back to normal, the KaiNexus team is looking to go in a different direction.

“Our Austin office lease expired while our team was working fully remote last summer, and we realized that we had a golden opportunity to finally take the leap we’ve been dreaming about for years,” said KaiNexus CEO Greg Jacobson. Jacobson first visited Antarctica back in 2012, where he fell in love with the solitude and expansive views. “There’s room to think out here.”

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The Fundamentals of the Lean Methodology

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 25, 2021 1:39:40 PM

The Lean methodology is an evolution of the Toyota Production System that the Japanese automaker implemented following World War II to improve the efficiency and flexibility of its manufacturing. Two important books, The Machine That Changed the World (1990) by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel T. Jone and Lean Thinking (1996) by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, outlined the structure and principles for the Lean method.

Although Lean got its start in manufacturing, today it is widely used across the globe in every sector including logistics and distribution, services, retail, healthcare, construction, maintenance, and even higher education.

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Topics: Lean

6 Principles of the Continuous Improvement Model

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 11, 2021 12:06:58 PM

There are a host of methodologies that businesses use to bring structure to the process of identifying and acting upon opportunities for improvement. You may be familiar with Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, Toyota Production System, and others. Although these methodologies differ, the heart of each of them is the continuous improvement model. 

The continuous improvement model reflects the idea that organizations should undertake incremental improvements to services, products, and processes. It is guided by a few core principles:

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Spread Continuous Improvement

Wondering Where to Start? 30 Business Process Improvement Examples

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 9, 2021 10:13:00 AM

One thing we hear from leaders who are looking to implement a structured approach to business process improvement is that it is difficult to explain to employees how to spot an opportunity for improvement. There are usually a few straightforward ideas that people point to right away, but once they are taken care of, it can be challenging to spot problems in processes, especially those you engage with every day.

An effective way to overcome this problem is to give employees categories of improvement opportunities to consider. Priming the pump with some examples and providing some questions to ask is an excellent way to get people thinking creatively. Of course, every business is different, and all of these examples might not apply to you, but here are 30 ideas that might spark a few of your own.

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Topics: Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process

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