<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

As a new Austin resident, 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 eating TexMex or BBQ and trying to find the best place to watch his hometown Chicago Cubs or Bears.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Essential Elements of Effective Lean Training

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 10, 2017 7:40:00 AM

The Lean methodology offers a very different approach to work than most people have experienced. It requires both a change in mindset and the use of various tools and techniques. Organizations that successfully adopt Lean and reap the many benefits have a number of things in common. They embrace the approach wholeheartedly, creating a Lean culture. They deploy software to support the practice, and they effectively train employees when it is introduced, when new employees join the organization, and when needed to refresh and improve the team’s understanding of lean.  

Any thorough Lean training curriculum should include these critical elements.

Read More

Topics: Lean

Advice on Daily Huddles, Scope Creep and Shifting Your Focus

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 4, 2017 9:29:48 AM

In episode 16 of our webinar series Ask Us Anything, which you can find here, KaiNexus CEO and Co-founder Greg Jacobson and Mark Graban, our Vice-President of Improvement & Innovation Services and founder of LeanBlog.org, answered more questions from KaiNexus webinar viewers.

undefined

If you don't have time to watch the video, we have summarized the second half of that episode right here. You can also read the summary of the first half of that episode on our blog here.

Read More

A Simple Introduction to Putting Process Control Charts to Work

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 29, 2017 9:07:00 AM

We’ve written a few posts introducing process control charts and explaining why they are so useful. Today we want to dig a little bit deeper and get into the weeds of actually putting them to work.

As we’ve noted, a process control chart is a graph used to monitor how a process behaves over time. Data are plotted in time order. A control chart always has a central line for the average (sometimes a median), an upper line for the upper control limit, and a lower line for the lower control limit. These lines are calculated from historical data and usually cover three standard deviations from the mean.

Process control charts help get managers out of the trap of overrreacting to every up and down in the data. It also helps avoid problems caused by only looking at average results. Instead, they help leaders understand the variation of results. Why does variation matter? Consider an example, if you are planning an event and are told that the average age of attendees is 32, you might ponder a swanky cocktail party. But in reality, your guests might include many children and elderly people, who aren’t interested in a dry martini. More information is always better.

So where to begin? Here is a quick guide to implementing and using process control charts.

 

Read More

Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

Break Through Common Barriers to Improvement with CQI Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 20, 2017 12:40:15 PM

Given the nature of our business, you can probably imagine that we get the chance to talk to lots of folks who are struggling to create a culture of improvement that lasts.

One of the most common emotions that these leaders express is frustration. It’s fairly obvious that improvement is good for everyone in the organization. “Why doesn’t it just happen on its own, or with some support from management?” they ask.

Our experience with clients over the years has taught us that there are some barriers that get in the way of positive change. The good news is that CQI software can help break them down.

New Call-to-action

Read More

Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

Keys to a Successful Lean Construction Software Implementation

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 19, 2017 8:33:00 AM

There are many compelling reasons to invest in Lean construction software. Companies that do so are able to reduce costs, improve safety, get projects done faster, and delight clients.

But not every Lean construction software implementation is a success.

Some organizations struggle with inadequate user adoption, poor data management, and other barriers to a smooth and effective solution roll out.

We’ve helped tons of organizations implement improvement technology and can share the best practices we’ve uncovered.

Read More

Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software

Going to the Gemba at Four Seasons Produce

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 12, 2017 7:19:00 AM

The Toyota Way states that you can’t be involved in fixing the problem unless you have actually been there in person to see it.

Going to the Gemba (the place where the work is done) is an important part of the improvement process that frequently gets overlooked. Working at a technology company that serves clients in a variety of industries all across the world means that I can’t go to our customer's Gemba as easily as the CEO at a hospital or the supervisor at a building site, but I jumped at the chance to go on site to Four Seasons Produce during a trip to visit my mom and sister.

Four Seasons Produce is wholesale produce distributor and a long-time KaiNexus Customer. Their facility in Ephrata, PA receives, stores, ripens, and packs conventional and organic produce to deliver to stores through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Upon my arrival, Continuous Improvement Manager Erin Edwards and Continuous Improvement Specialist April Peracchio gave me a warm welcome and handed me a jacket. I have to say, the massive produce cooler is a far cry from the summer temps of 95 degrees back in Austin.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:


Visiting an organization like Four Seasons Produce is fascinating. The delivery areas are even larger than pictures appear online! Erin and April explained how their operations worked, with produce coming in and out of the loading docks during the day and night. Erin and April then showed me the ripening rooms. I was shocked to learn that bananas have a chalky texture to them when they arrive and companies like Four Seasons Produce have special ripening rooms to help speed the process along.

Read More

How to Leverage Lean for Long-Term Success Under Short-Term Pressures [WEBINAR]

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 31, 2017 7:12:00 AM

With a title like How to Leverage Lean for Long-term Success (Under Short-term Pressures), it’s no surprise that our recent webinar was packed with some useful information and actionable advice for viewers. Hosted by our VP of Improvement & Innovation, Mark Graban, the webinar was presented by Warren Stokes, Director of Process Improvement at HonorHealth, a health system in Arizona and KaiNexus customer.

Watch Now (you can watch the recorded webinar immediately after registering):

How to Leverage Lean for Long-Term Success (Under Short-Term Pressures) 

Register NowIn this webinar, you'll learn:

  • How to leverage the intellectual capital and experience of your frontline employees first
  • To not over-complicate your Lean improvement with too much of the scientific and not enough of the practical
  • Why it’s important to build trust and support for continuous improvement
  • How Lean best fits into a larger, long-term continuous improvement strategy in a way that avoids succumbing to short-term pressures
  • How leadership and a Lean team can create and empower laser-focused energy

Read More

Breaking Down the Steps of a Baseball Swing (or a Workplace Improvement)

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 22, 2017 7:01:00 AM

Being the resident KaiNexus baseball fanatic (See previous posts here and here and follow me on Twitter to get all my KaiNexus and Chicago Cubs related tweets), I was thrilled when Mark Graban shared Tim Cooper’s Kaizen Batter with me after meeting Cooper at a conference. 

Kaizen and baseball? What a great combo!

I love baseball for many reasons: you can’t run out the clock, you always have to be paying attention, and one swing of the bat can change the game.

Think about that swing of the bat: it has been said that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest tasks in sports.

If you have played, you know how difficult it can be. The feeling of success is fleeting when even the best players get hits on average 3/10 times. If you have never played, former Pittsburgh Pirate star Willie Stargell explains, “They give you a round bat and they throw you a round ball and they tell you to hit it square."

All joking aside, hitting a baseball is incredibly difficult because a fastball typically takes 0.4 seconds to reach home plate after it leaves the pitcher’s hand. Increasing the difficulty, it takes 0.25 seconds for a human being to see the ball and react. How do you prepare and succeed in a situation like that?

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

Read More

7 Critical Lean Construction Software Features

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 21, 2017 7:18:00 AM

The Lean business practice methodology is becoming ever more popular in the construction industry.

Many leaders in the field are investing in technology to support the organization’s improvement efforts and to ensure the spread of the Lean mindset. Those who choose the right solution and implement it successfully have found that it has a significant impact on their ability to root out waste, create a safer work environment, and achieve lasting improvement momentum.

Most people don’t shop for Lean construction software every day, so we’ve put together some of the most important features to add to your checklist.

Read More

Five Lean Manufacturing Principles You Might Not Know (But Probably Should)

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 3, 2017 7:02:00 AM

Learning about Lean systems is often exciting and motivating for organizations eager to create sustainable long-term business success. One of the first things we all learn about Lean is that it was created in manufacturing, specifically within Toyota and the automotive industry. But, for those of us in fields outside of manufacturing—healthcare, construction, education, government, software and so on— the excitement of what can be accomplished with Lean sometimes leads us to skip over some of the finer Lean manufacturing principles in lieu of taking action on things with a clearer impact on our organization.

Read More

Topics: Lean