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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

What Happens When an Organization Takes a Kaizen Approach to Improvement?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 25, 2019 7:32:00 AM

In my opinion, Kaizen is one of the most brilliantly simple, yet powerful business philosophies there is. Translated from Japanese, it simply means, “good change.” The Kaizen approach rests on the principle that everyone should be involved in improvement, every day. It is a form of mutual respect that empowers employees to create the conditions under which they can do their best work.

Organizations that embrace the Kaizen approach are all over the map in terms of industry, geography, and size, but there are a few ways that you can recognize them. Kaizen has a transformative impact, and some common attributes start to emerge when the approach is consistently applied.

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Topics: Kaizen

Master Improvement with Kata Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 16, 2019 2:45:06 PM

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

- Bruce Lee

 

Kata is a Japanese word that means form. In martial arts, it refers to a detailed choreographed pattern of movements that are practiced alone or in groups. Kata was a way that training methods and the most successful combat techniques were passed from generation to generation. This systematic approach to training allows students to develop the ability to perform the movements with reflex-like precision; they become second nature. When someone is new to the practice, the moves will look difficult, but once they become a master, each action will look effortless and smooth. Repetition, precision, and attention to form are the prerequisites for mastery.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

13 Vital Operational Excellence Software Capabilities

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 10, 2019 7:37:44 AM

Starting a quest for operational excellence is one of the most significant steps an organization can take. Operational excellence involves focusing on the customers' needs, keeping the employees engage and empowered, and continually improving processes in the workplace. It requires effective problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership.

While the concept of operational excellence is not new, today’s most competitive companies take a modern approach to achieving excellence by leveraging software designed to help manage the journey toward perfection. The most helpful solutions include each of these thirteen key capabilities.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Operational Excellence

Visual Management Software Features that Excite Executives

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 4, 2019 8:32:00 AM

As I prepared to write this post, I did a Google Search of, “Visual Management Software,” just to see what popped up. The top 4 posts were about visual project management software. So, it’s not surprising that lots of folks think that’s all there is to visual management technology. Project management software is something that executives will often approve for other people to use, but not something they get excited about for their own use.

But visual management is much more than just project management. Ideally, the entire organization would be managed visually. Why? Because, when presented with information visually, people are significantly more likely to understand and retain it than if the information is presented in other ways. Visual management makes it easier to identify problems and interruptions in a workflow or process. Visual control is a powerful tool for continuous improvement. It makes it easier to engage workers, gives leaders critical insight into operations, and helps to ensure results come in as expected.

We’re not talking about a simple task manager app; we’re talking about using visual management software as the dashboard for running the organization. Here are some of the features that the C-suite will love.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

What Changes When an Organization Implements a Lean Management System?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 2, 2019 12:59:05 PM

We talk to people who are interested in investing in software to support their continuous improvement efforts every day. Some of them are already using the Lean business methodology, others are just rolling it out, and still others are taking a “Lean light” approach by leveraging some of the principles without adopting all of the techniques. In any case, leaders want to have a good understanding of what to expect and how a Lean management system can help them achieve their goals. Fortunately, we are well positioned to share what our customers have told us happened when they invested in technology to bolster their improvement and waste reduction efforts.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Daily Lean Management, Continuous Improvement Software

Webinar Preview | How to Use Process Behavior Charts to Improve: Case Studies

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 14, 2019 8:22:00 AM

We recently had the honor of hosting a webinar with our Senior Adviser, Mark Graban, author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More as the presenting guest. Mark’s new book focuses on managing variation, understanding data, and leading improvement. Mark has been a part of KaiNexus in various capacities since 2011. In Addition to Measures of Success, he is also the author of Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, and Practicing Lean.

Over the last couple of years, Mark has been interested in how organizations can use data to differentiate between signal and noise. This post is a recap of Mark’s presentation. However, the webinar contains many more valuable examples, so we highly recommend that you watch the webinar.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Webinars, Visual Management

What it Takes to Improve Workplace Culture

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 27, 2019 7:32:00 AM

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” – Peter Drucker

We’re not going to lie. Improving workplace culture is hard. A healthy culture can’t be bought, and it can’t be mandated. Every company has a culture. Great ones are earned.

Whether your culture is toxic, or you just want to find ways to lift it up, this post is about why and how to transform what equates to the DNA of your organization.

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Topics: Improvement Culture

7 Signs That Your Organization Needs Visual Task Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 11, 2019 12:37:00 PM

When I was a kid, my mother helped motivate and organize her workforce (aka, my sisters and me) with a chore chart. Each week we had tasks assigned and got to put a sticker on the chart when the job was satisfactorily completed. This wasn’t exactly an innovation in parenting, but it worked well for our family. We each knew what we had to do and adding the sticker was a small reward and a visible reminder that we had done what we were asked.

We don’t really need “chore charts” in business, of course. But the advantages of organizing work visually are even more apparent. After all, navigating an entire organization toward breakthrough strategic objectives is far more difficult than getting four kids to straighten up.

How do you know if your organization could benefit from visual task management? Here are some pretty telling signs.

How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management

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Topics: Visual Management

6 Reasons Lean Project Management Initiatives Flop

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 31, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not embarking on their first rodeo. 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.

This gives us a lot of insight into what can go wrong.

Here are some of the most common factors that lead to failure and what you can do to avoid them.

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Topics: Lean

Hoshin Planning 101

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 18, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Maneuvering an organization toward its long-term strategic goals while managing day-to-day improvements and curtailing business processes demands systemic planning and an organization that is fully aligned. That’s the concept that drives Hoshin planning.

This post is designed to help you understand the fundamentals of Hoshin and the language that surrounds it. We’ll define some unfamiliar terms and concepts that can be confusing when new.

Lots more in-depth content has been written about Hoshin by us and others, but this is an excellent place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

Recent Posts