<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=749646578535459&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

Subscribe

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.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

5 Strategy Deployment Software Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 4, 2017 12:20:25 PM

If you have implemented - or are planning to implement - strategy deployment software, let me take a minute to congratulate you. Too many organizations leave what is arguably the most important function of the organization without support. Pat yourself on the back for recognizing that if software helps you manage everything from your finances to your customer relationships, it can help manage the strategic direction of the company as well. That said, not all strategy deployment software implementations are equally effective. We’ve seen leaders with their hearts in the right place make tactical mistakes that diminish - or even eliminate - the value of strategy deployment software. Don’t let these missteps happen to you.

Read More

Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Hoshin Kanri, Strategy Deployment

Meet Some of the Pioneers of Lean Leadership

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 17, 2017 3:51:34 PM

We spend a lot of time in this blog focused on the “what” and “why” of Lean and continuous improvement. Today, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the “who" (and we don't mean the classic band).

The term Lean was first coined by John Krafcik in his 1988 Sloan Management Review article “Triumph of the Lean Production System.”  The approach gained traction after the publication of The Machine That Changed the World, by James Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos in 1990.

The term Lean manufacturing may be less than 30 years old, but the thinking that inspired it has been around since the pre-industrial age. The leaders who developed this approach understood the need for continuous improvement and empowered employees. They learned from each other, eventually building our modern approach to business process improvement and management. Here’s some background on a few of the most important contributors to Lean leadership.

Free Webinar: Leadership Behaviors that Create an Improvement Culture

Read More

Topics: Lean, Leadership

Top 7 Benefits of a Lean Management System

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 6, 2017 10:45:21 AM

Although it got its start in the auto manufacturing industry, the Lean management approach to business is now widely used in every industry. It is particularly popular in healthcare, construction, and higher education. The Lean methodology and its cousins, Six Sigma, TQM, and others, are popular because they bring order to the essential responsibility of every organization to continually improve operations and results.

While it is certainly possible to implement Lean or another organized management approach without software, many organizations find that a Lean management system is essential to rapid and long-lasting success. The most important features of a Lean management system include:

  • A centralized platform for improvement projects
  • 24x7 access from anywhere
  • Workflow with automated alerts and notifications
  • Robust search capabilities
  • Built-in collaboration tools
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Improvement impact measurement
  • Success broadcasting
  • Data visualization and dashboards


These features make Lean management systems much more effective for managing improvement work than spreadsheets and email. Here are the top ten benefits they provide for organizations that implement the software successfully.

Read More

Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software

11 Rapid Continuous Improvement Tools and Techniques Explained

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 12, 2017 4:37:49 PM

Leaders who want to develop a culture of rapid continuous improvement have many tools at their disposal. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to keep them all in mind when deciding how to execute an opportunity for improvement or to address a difficult challenge. Or course, most organizations don’t use all of them at any one time, but each can be remarkably effective when applied to the right situation.

We thought it might be helpful to list some of the more common and useful ones all in one place. Keep on reading for links to more detailed information about each, so that you can dive more deeply into the ones that seem to fit your needs. 

Read More

Topics: Spread Continuous Improvement

6 Pressing Questions Your Employees Have About Continuous Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 13, 2017 7:35:00 AM

We’ve written quite a bit on this blog about the questions that business leaders and managers ask us about continuous improvement (CI), Lean management, improvement technology, and more.

Today, we thought it would be useful to focus on the questions that your employees almost certainly have, especially if a structured approach to improvement is new for your company. Front line employees are often reluctant to ask questions of management, but you can bet they ask each other.

In order to make sure that folks have accurate and helpful information, it pays to answer these questions - even if they are never openly asked.

Read More

Topics: Change Management, Employee Engagement, Spread Continuous Improvement

Gemba Walk Essentials: What, Why, and How

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 11, 2017 9:34:34 AM

If you are thinking about adding the practice of Gemba Walks to your continuous improvement strategy, or if you are simply wondering, “What the heck is a Gemba Walk?” there is a ton of information available on the subject.

In fact, we’ve written a post or two about it ourselves.

But our goal is to make this post an excellent place to start. When you are finished reading it you should know a lot more about what Gemba Walks are, why you should consider making them part of your routine, and how to go about doing it.

Read More

Topics: Gemba Walk

Why We Care So Much About Continuous Process Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 24, 2017 11:18:18 AM

If you’ve visited this blog with any frequency, you may have noticed that we are very passionate about the work we do. Don’t get me wrong, it is work and we're in business to sell software, but way beyond that, we really believe in the work that our solution supports. Recently, a friend noticed that I was sharing articles about continuous process improvement on my personal Twitter feed and LinkedIn pages and she asked me why I was so into this stuff. That’s a good question so, Carol, this blog’s for you.

Every member of the KaiNexus team believes in the power of incremental improvement because:

It Starts from a Place of Optimism

The very fundamental premise of continuous process improvement is, “It can be better.”  That’s a pretty positive outlook from our point of view. Sure, problems will crop up and it often takes a lot of effort to replace the old way of doing things with something new, but if you believe in the power of positive change there isn’t much you can’t overcome.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

 

Read More

Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture

Insights into Tech and Healthcare from Last Night at General Assembly Austin

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 16, 2017 1:37:47 PM

Last night, our CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Greg Jacobson was invited to host a panel at the General Assembly Tech and Healthcare event in Austin Texas. This event hosted “thought-leaders in health care to explore new intersections between their field and technology. Together, we discuss how they’ve been impacted by the rise of tech, ways they’ve adapted and innovated along the way, and what they expect to see in the future.”

Read More

Ideas for Spreading Improvement from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 31, 2017 10:46:48 AM

Here at KaiNexus, we often get a peek into some of the truly remarkable improvement initiatives and work that organizations undertake to create positive change for their customers and employees. Recently, KaiNexus Vice-President of Improvement & Innovation Services, Mark Graban, spoke with Lindsey Booty and LeaAnne Teague from Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Both Booty and Teague work in the Lean Management Office of Our Lady of the Lake, which is an 800-bed teaching hospital that began using Lean and CAP [Change Acceleration Process] methodology about three years ago.


Listen to the Interview
and Subscribe to the Podcast:


“CAP is change acceleration, we learned it from our GE counterparts when they were here with us in a consulting role, and it helps to ensure that you have the “people” portion of improvement considered. It goes through creating a shared need with your peers and with your team members, making sure that they’re properly bought into the change, ensuring that systems and structures around the organization are set up to make sure that the changes are sustained throughout improvement. It really helps us to get aligned with the “people” side of improvement that’s often left out when you just look at quality solutions,” Booty said.

“Three years ago was around the time that people really began to talk about highly reliable organizations, and to be highly reliable you needed this very robust process improvement platform,” Teague said. “Our leadership really looked at that, took the challenge, and said it’s through Lean methodology and it’s through change acceleration that we want to begin to make our mark.”

A big part of Our Lady of the Lake’s improvement efforts centered around Lean boot camps they hold bi-annually. However, in 2017 a new electronic medical records (EMR) system was installed at Our Lady of the Lake, which represented separate improvement work that needed to be completed.

Read More

Enhancing the Power of Idea Boards with Improvement Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 28, 2017 11:54:30 AM

Idea boards have been used for quite some time now as a way to engage staff in continuous improvement. They're an excellent improvement on a suggestion box system, since the boxes have (on average) just a 2% implementation rate. Idea boards are used in companies around the world in every industry, with varying levels of results.

In this post, we'll look at the value idea boards bring to the table, and how to improve upon them with the use of new technology.

What are some benefits of idea boards?

  1. Inspiring Engagement

    When you have a board filled with opportunities for improvement submitted by your front line staff, the result organizations want is increased engagement in the improvement culture and enthusiasm for getting involved. Seeing those ideas - and the effort going into implementing them - inspires people to come with their own ideas, and it makes improvement part of the daily conversation.

  2. Sharing Ideas

    Humans are wired to improve. We want to do things to improve the goods and services we provide to our customers and patients, and we want to make our own jobs better, safer, and more efficient. Idea boards extend the usefulness of each improvement we make by sharing them with other people in our work area. Say, for example, that you determine it would be more efficient to store supplies in a new location. Rather than just moving them in your own work space, you can share the idea on an idea board and thus bring it to the attention of everyone else in the area. In this way, your own incremental improvement has a much larger impact on the organization.
Read More

Recent Posts