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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Matt Banna

As a Solutions Engineer, Matt works with Sales, Customer Experience, Product, and Support. Basically, if you have a question about KaiNexus, Matt probably knows the answer. A Chicago transplant, Matt relocated to Austin in 2016 after a short stint working in Business Development for the Chicago Bears. With a background in professional sports, Matt loves the close-knit structure of the KaiNexus team. When he's not at work, you can probably find him at the gym or at Buford’s bar watching his hometown Chicago Cubs or Bears.
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Recent Posts

What Are the Most Popular Methods for Managing Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 10, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Organizations that embrace the continuous improvement approach to business have many great tools and techniques from which to choose. Some organizations use them as part of a structured methodology like Lean, Six Sigma, or Toyota Kata. Others leverage them on their own. Every organization has unique needs and will need to adjust each method for their own environment, but the most popular techniques are flexible enough to be used by organizations of every size and in every industry.

 

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Topics: Lean, Visual Management, DMAIC, Improvement Methodology, Improvement Process

How Software can Turbocharge Your DMAIC Process

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 4, 2019 8:12:00 AM

A turbocharger is a turbine-driven forced induction device that increases an internal combustion engine's efficiency and power output by forcing extra compressed air into the combustion chamber. This improvement over a naturally aspirated engine's power output is because the compressor can force more air—and proportionately more fuel—into the combustion chamber than atmospheric pressure alone.
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Topics: DMAIC, Software

What to Include in Your Kaizen Event Template

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 6, 2018 7:34:53 AM

This post is the second in our series about Kaizen Event Templates. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check out our guide to the ultimate pre-event template. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the success of a Kaizen event is highly correlated to the amount of effort put into planning and preparation. Our pre-event template will help.

You’ll also want a template to use when the big day arrives. Our clients who get the most from Kaizen events use a standard template so that all of the right information is captured and can be shared in a familiar format. Kaizen software supports this by allowing users to create and disseminate their event templates.

You will probably have some unique needs or elements to capture, but here are the basics for a useful and simple Kaizen event template.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

Using a Structured Continuous Improvement Cycle? Software Can Help.

Posted by Matt Banna

Nov 28, 2018 1:50:24 PM

Most organizations that practice continuous improvement whether within a business methodology like Lean or Six Sigma or independently leverage either the PDSA or DMAIC structured improvement cycle. Some organizations use both. PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) is perfect for relatively simple, iterative improvement work. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is ideal for data-driven, more complex initiatives. (This post explains more about when to use each approach.)

Regardless of which continuous improvement cycle is right for your current challenge, software can accelerate the speed to success, ensure that improvement is long lasting , and help you measure the results of the effort. Here’s how it helps at each state of both cycles.

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Topics: DMAIC, Continuous Improvement Software

5 Incredibly Powerful Lean Visual Management Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 31, 2018 9:11:00 AM

Visual management tools surround us - although they are so ubiquitous, we might not even think about them. When your car is about to run out of gas, a light will alert you to the problem. You’ve probably got a message waiting indicator on your desk phone. Your fitness app may even show you how close you are to your daily goal. Your brain can quickly process these visual clues and use the information to make decisions.

The Lean business approach takes advantage of this fact and leverages several powerful tools for management and improvement. You don’t have to be all in on Lean to take advantage of them. Any organization striving for continuous improvement can benefit.

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Topics: Visual Management, Lean, Software

Shake Up the Status Quo by Crowdsourcing Innovation

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 24, 2018 8:11:00 AM

When people think of innovation, they often leap to major breakthroughs like a new treatment for illness, an alternative form of energy, or a new detail device. However, Dictionary.com defines innovation as, “A change in something established, especially by introducing new methods or ideas.” In companies, small changes like fine-tuning a process, or solving a nagging problem can be as critical to success as a new product introduction or a massive shift in the business model.

The challenge for many organizations is that change is hard. According to a survey by Gartner, "The biggest threat to innovation is internal politics and an organizational culture which doesn’t accept failure, doesn’t accept ideas from outside, and/or cannot change." The barrier isn’t that people don’t have great ideas; its that there are roadblocks that prevent those ideas from being considered and enacted.

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Topics: Innovation Software

Toyota, Bourbon, and Continuous Improvement

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 17, 2018 11:56:45 AM

One of the greatest benefits of working at KaiNexus is our commitment to learning and growth. I was thrilled when Kade Janssen and I were given the opportunity to attend the first Symposium on Learning Organizations: Agile, Lean, Deming, and More hosted by Mark Graban, Dion Stewart, and Joel Tosi.

The Symposium started off with a visit to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, Texas. Although this was Kade’s and my second trip to the Toyota manufacturing plant, there was still lots to learn.

First was the visitor’s center. It had been completely redesigned from our previous trip. Aside from still having the ever-present Andon-cord, Toyota added a number of hands-on activities, including a car door spray paint video game, an example of the automated motorized cart tugs, and a demonstration of their weight-assisted chair movers.

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Lean Management Software: Why, What, and How?

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 12, 2018 9:45:00 AM

The three most common questions we get about Lean management software are:

  • Why do we need it?
  • What does it do? And,
  • How do we implement it?

These are all excellent questions. This post has the answers.

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7 Reasons to Consider Kanban Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 2, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The Kanban visual management technique has been around since the late 1940’s when Toyota introduced it in its manufacturing plants. They were looking to improve efficiency and reduce waste, and in the process, paved the way for just-in-time manufacturing. At Toyota, workers used color-coded Kanban cards to signal to downstream workers when there was a need for parts. The word Kanban means “shopkeepers card” or “visual sign” in Japanese.

These days, the Kanban approach has been adopted and modified for use by workers in almost all industries. The most common display is a physical board that has cards moving from queue, in-progress, to complete. This is an excellent way to visualize work in progress and recognize backlogs or teams waiting for work. For small, centrally located groups, a physical board is often sufficient, but by taking the idea into the cloud, Kanban software companies have added significant value to the concept and made it possible to visually manage teams of any size no matter how many locations are involved. Here are the most compelling reason to consider Kanban software for your organization.


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Topics: Kanban

How to Introduce Kaizen to New Employees

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 20, 2018 9:53:02 AM

There has been a lot written in this blog and in many other resources about how to launch the Kaizen philosophy within an organization. Companies are often willing to invest significant amounts of time and resources to make sure that a culture of improvement takes hold. That’s awesome, but we’ve noticed that fewer organizations dedicated to continuous improvement, have a solid plan for introducing the Kaizen way to new employees who join the organization after the initial launch. After a while, Kaizen will become a way of life for your team, but it may be an entirely new concept for your most recent hire. Here are a few tips for bringing them up to speed.

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Topics: Kaizen

Recent Posts