<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

Matt Banna

A Chicago transplant, Matt loves the close-knit structure of the KaiNexus team. With a background in professional sports, he's all about spreading continuous improvement and trying to get a little better every day. Matt graduated from Augustana College in Illinois in 2015 and when he's not at work, you can probably find him rock climbing, weight lifting, eating tacos, or watching his hometown Chicago Cubs and Bears.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

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.


Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Kaizen

Top Signs that You Need Lean Construction Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 9, 2018 8:46:14 AM

Although the construction industry employs some unique applications of the approach, the principles of Lean are the same as they are in any other industry. The practice is rooted in respect for workers, the elimination of waste, and continuous process improvement, all of which can be practiced without supportive software in place.

However, many in the field have found that Lean construction software can help reduce some of the obstacles that make these principles easier said than done. Have you attempted to implement Lean in your firm, but been disappointed with the results?

Here are the signs that technology just might be the solution.

Read More

Topics: Lean, lean construction

A Deep Dive into A3 Thinking [WEBINAR]

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 27, 2018 7:23:00 AM

In a recent post on A3 thinking, we outlined the A3 process itself—and concluded with some strategies team members can use to confront leadership resistance.

Today we’re going to explore other setbacks that may come up while conducting an A3. KaiNexus sat down with Jess Orr, continuous improvement practitioner and founder of Yokoten Learning, to discuss the best ways to deal with pressure and lack of buy-in from the team. You can view the full webinar here.

A Deep Dive into A3 Thinking

Presented by Jess Orr

Watch Now

We will cover topics including:

  • A3 Thinking: A Quick Refresher
  • When to Use an A3 vs. Other Tools
  • How to Engage Others in the Process
  • Change Management 101
  • The Hardest Part: Sustaining the Gains
Read More

Causes and Solutions for Resistance to Lean in Construction

Posted by Matt Banna

May 15, 2018 11:27:56 AM

The Lean business management approach may have started with ideas formed in the Japanese auto industry, but today, it is used by industries of all sorts from healthcare to higher education. Many architecture, engineering, and construction companies are also leveraging the methodology to combat the fact that 80% of capital projects end up over budget or schedule, or both. As with anything new, there has been some resistance to the adoption of Lean in construction. This post takes a look at a few of the most common root causes for the reluctance to adopt Lean techniques and how to overcome them.

Value is centered on knowing vs. learning

In construction, a high value is placed on skilled craftwork. This is true for design and engineering as well as more traditional construction trades. Each group is proud of its abilities and is generally protective of their unique set of hard-won skills. Jobs in construction go to those who know how to ply their trade, not necessarily to those who need to learn. The idea that improvement is needed runs contrary to a culture centered around competence.

Read More

Topics: Lean, lean construction

Everyday Examples of Visual Management

Posted by Matt Banna

May 8, 2018 10:46:52 AM

When we write about visual management, we are usually talking about sophisticated quality management tools like Kanban, huddle boards, and the dashboards available in the KaiNexus application. These are all incredibly valuable applications of visual management in the workplace, but visual management is actually all around you. Understanding these everyday examples of visualization may help you apply the same principles more thoughtfully at work.

Visual management falls into six categories based on the purpose.

Read More

Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

Common Questions About Kanban Boards

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 25, 2018 2:17:29 PM

One of the great things about working at KaiNexus is that our team has lots of insightful conversations with customers, prospects, consultants, trainers, and others interested in the tools and techniques associated with continuous improvement. We often get together and share notes on what topics are trending and what information people in the field are looking for.

Lately, the subject of Kanban and Kanban boards has come up quite a bit. We think this is driven by a larger trend toward visual management and dashboards for all business functions. It’s clear from our conversations that people have questions about how Kanban fits into a well-managed improvement culture.

We can’t claim to have all of the answers, but here are a few of the most important.

Read More

Topics: Kanban, Visual Management

Fundamental Process Control Chart Concepts

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 17, 2018 7:11:00 AM

Statistical control charts are a useful tool for managing and improving all sorts of processes. They’ve been used in manufacturing for decades and are increasingly popular in other industries from healthcare to higher education. Control charts give leaders a clear and consistent way of evaluating and talking about process behavior and performance. They help managers make good decisions about which processes are stable and which require attention.

While at first glance, they may look very simple, just a line graph with data points plotted over time, there are some important concepts that you should understand if you are new to the approach.

This post covers the basic, yet critical principles of control charts.

Read More

Topics: Six Sigma, Improvement Methodology, Visual Management

When to Use a Kaizen Event vs. Daily Kaizen

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 12, 2018 12:06:34 PM

We get the chance to talk to leaders implementing the Kaizen approach to continuous improvement on a regular basis. One of the questions people who are new to the Kaizen way often ask is, “Should I do daily Kaizen or Kaizen events?”

The short answer is, “Yes.”

Daily Kaizen is essential for tackling small problems before they become big ones and for sustaining improvements that have been implemented. Making continuous improvement part of everyone’s job forms the basis of Kaizen culture.

However, some challenges require a more focused approach. Kaizen events require a significant investment of human capital. The team puts their other work aside for three to five days to focus on the target process or problem. That’s not trivial, so Kaizen events aren’t always the right tool for the job. But here are some situations where they make perfect sense.  

Read More

Topics: Kaizen

Home Runs and Strategy Deployment

Posted by Matt Banna

Feb 15, 2018 6:25:00 AM

Chicks dig the long ball. At least, that’s what the Nike ad from the late 90s told us. If you don’t recall this particular ad, you can watch it here. Simply put, the ad shows that everyone likes home runs better than base hits or strikeouts. And home runs are way cooler than bunting.

Read More

Recent Posts