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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Mark Graban

Mark Graban is a Senior Advisor at KaiNexus. Mark graduated from Northwestern University in 1995 with a BS in Industrial Engineering and later earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is author of two Shingo Research Award-winning books, and has worked as a consultant to healthcare organizations throughout North America and Europe, teaching and implementing kaizen and other Lean management practices. He was previously a Senior Fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Healthcare Value Network and continues as an LEI faculty member. Mark is also the founder of the popular LeanBlog.org and its podcast series.
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Recent Posts

Webinar Preview: A Chat with Oscar Roche About TWI & Kata

Posted by Mark Graban

Aug 9, 2018 8:11:00 AM

I'm really excited to be hosting a webinar that's coming up on Tuesday, August 14th at 1 PM ET:

TWI and Kata: Skill Patterns to Develop a Culture of Coaching

with Lean Frontiers

Register Now


Oscar Roche and Jim Huntzinger of Lean Frontiers will discuss how learning and developing the skills provided by the practices of Training within Industry (TWI) and Kata behaviors will develop good coaching practices while simultaneously developing the culture and actual practice of process improvement in your organization.

You will learn:

  • The basics of TWI and Kata practices
  • How these skills directly impact an improvement culture. 
  • How the development of TWI and Kata develop coaching skills and practices. 
  • How coaching plays a key role in the developing a lean culture.

 

I hope you'll join our presenters: Jim Huntzinger, president and co-founder of Lean Frontiers, and Oscar Roche, director of the Training Within Industry Institute for Australia and New Zealand. Click here to register

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Oscar about the webinar, which was shared in our podcast series, with a transcript following below in this post.

 

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Lean Healthcare Articles Everyone Needs To Read

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 19, 2018 7:45:00 AM

If you do a Google search for articles about Lean healthcare, you’ll get tons of options. Here are some articles that I like, written by some of the thought leaders and practitioners I respect and enjoy reading.

One article that’s a classic at this point was published in 2005 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

Going Lean in Healthcare

Many organizations today still need to get this important message from the article:

“In order for lean principles to take root, leaders must first work to create an organizational culture that is receptive to lean thinking. The commitment to lean must start at the very top of the organization, and all staff should be involved in helping to redesign processes to improve flow and reduce waste.”

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April Fool! Announcing New “KaiNexus Suggestion Box” Functionality

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 1, 2018 7:54:52 PM

It’s been amazing to see how KaiNexus functionality has evolved and expanded since I joined the company in 2011. Our platform was initial built around “kaizen” style continuous improvement models. We were pretty evangelical about that model being the best approach to improvement.

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How Can We Evaluate the Success of our Continuous Improvement Department?

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 22, 2018 10:23:56 AM

We love answering questions in our "Ask Us Anything" video series, but sometimes we get questions that are best answered in a blog post.

Here is a question from somebody in our KaiNexus community who works in a healthcare system:

"In our Continuous Improvement department, we are often evaluating and re-evaluating how we measure the success of what it is that we do. It honestly can be a struggle sometimes, and we want to better convey it to our senior leadership and especially how it aligns with our strategic objectives year-to-year.

Some things are easier [to measure] than others.

For instance,  Kaizen events - we can get a good idea of our success with how many of our action plans were closed out and other sustainment checks. The other things - coaching, teaching, being a mentor, project management, etc. - are much harder to gauge and really "measure."

I was curious - what are the ways you know of and have researched that are great measures of success in a continuous improvement or process improvement department?"  

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Webinar Preview: How a Lean Adoption Strategy for Public Schools Applies to Everyone

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 13, 2018 10:48:56 AM

I’m excited to be giving a preview of a webinar that Harry Kenworthy is going to be presenting for us on February 19th. 

The title of that webinar is "How a Lean Adoption Strategy for Public Schools Applies to Everyone," I certainly hope this will be of interest to you. Harry did a webinar back in 2016, and he called it "10 Commandments for Lean in Government," but Harry’s ideas on Lean certainly apply everywhere.

How a Lean Adoption Strategy for Public Schools Applies to Everyone

February 19 from 1:00 - 2:00 ET

Presented by Harry Kenworthy

Register Now
 

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why Lean fails too often
  • Why organizational “knowledge” undermines Lean
  • When and how leadership should be engaged
  • A “Proven Path” strategy for launching a Lean initiative; how two weeks
    means all the difference for success

This blog post is an edited transcript of a podcast that we did as a preview.

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Topics: Webinars

What the KaiNexus Team Saw and Heard Visiting a Toyota Plant

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 7, 2018 7:03:00 AM

As I wrote about last month, the entire KaiNexus team was excited to have the chance to visit and tour the Toyota truck factory in San Antonio, the plant known as TMMTX (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas). 

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Webinar Preview: How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 1, 2018 2:00:21 PM

What's commonly known as "A3" is a very powerful methodology for problem solving, the planning of projects, or the articulation of strategy. A3, in a way, is a 11x17 piece of paper. You might think of it as a Powerpoint template or an improvement type you have configured in KaiNexus. 

In our webinar, former Toyota engineer Jess Orr will explain how A3 problem solving and "Toyota Business Practices" are an approach that can be used even in the improvement of aspects of our personal lives. It's a way of thinking, a way of improving. 

How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life

Watch Now

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why and when to use the A3 / TBP problem-solving tool
  • Overview of the 8 components of an A3
  • Example of how to build an actual A3 using an everyday example
  • Recommended resources for further learning

 

 

Today, we're sharing a podcast preview that I recorded with Jess and with the host and moderator of this webinar, Clint Corley, an Enterprise Account Executive with KaiNexus.

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Topics: Webinars

What the KaiNexus Team Expects to See When We Visit Toyota

Posted by Mark Graban

Jan 16, 2018 4:58:00 AM

Later this week, the entire KaiNexus team is meeting in Austin for our bi-annual team meeting (we have team members in the Dallas area and Virginia so it’s always helpful to get together in person with those who work in Austin every day).

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What to do After a Kaizen Event so Improvement Doesn’t End

Posted by Mark Graban

Dec 11, 2017 6:58:00 AM

I think we’ve all heard stories about “backsliding” or a lack of sustainment after formal Kaizen Events. When we plan and conduct a Kaizen Event (aka Rapid Improvement Event), it’s a significant investment in people’s time. Organizations need to do their best to ensure that benefits are realized and sustained - otherwise, the Kaizen Event might be wasted effort and that might derail our broader Lean transformation efforts.

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Webinar Preview: The 4 Components of an Employee-Led Lean Initiative

Posted by Mark Graban

Dec 5, 2017 2:07:19 PM

We’ve had a great year full of interesting webinars this year and the same is true for our final presenters of the year. They are Benny Ausmus, CEO and Lead Facilitator of the BIG Change Agency, and Simon Murray, the leader of their manufacturing practice.

They’ll be presenting a webinar on Thursday, December 7  from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET. It’s two hours later than our usual webinar time because Benny and Simon will be joining us from Australia, where it will be early Friday morning.

Their topic is “The 4 Components of an Employee-Led Lean Initiative” and you can register here.

They joined me recently for this podcast preview of the webinar, which you can listen to here:

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