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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


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.
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Recent Posts

Ask Us Anything! How to Get Leadership Buy-In and Plan Kaizen Events

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 27, 2017 7:30:00 AM

In the webinar series Ask Us Anything, which you can find hereKaiNexus CEO and Co-founder Greg Jacobson and Mark Graban, our Vice-President of Improvement & Innovation Services and founder of LeanBlog.org, answer questions from KaiNexus webinar viewers on video.

For those who prefer to catch up on the continuous improvement discussion though the written word, we have summarized a couple of answers from episode 12 of Ask Us Anything here.

Have a question of your own?

Sign up for today's Ask Us Anything webinar and submit your question for Mark and Greg!

Register Now


Getting Leaders and Executives to Buy-In to Continuous Improvement

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Topics: Webinars

Typical Goals for Process Improvement Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 20, 2017 7:25:00 AM

We’ll start this blog with radical honesty by saying, we sell process improvement software. If you are thinking about buying process improvement software, that makes us happy. But what makes us even happier is when companies implement process improvement software in a way that helps them reach their most important business goals.

In fact, we don’t think that companies should deploy this kind of software unless they have a clearly defined vision of what success looks like.

Every company is trying to achieve something unique, of course, but we find some common goals for process improvement software among the most prepared organizations we encounter.

Here are a few.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:


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Topics: Software, Improvement Process

Some Recent Kaizen Event FAQs, Answered

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 14, 2017 7:42:00 AM

The beginning of summer must be a good time for Kaizen events because we’ve been getting a lot of questions about them lately. We thought we’d take a few minutes to answer the ones we hear most often. (If you are entirely new to Kaizen events, check out this page.)


Is a Kaizen event the same as a rapid improvement event?

Yep! The technique of deploying a team to be 100% focused on an improvement target for a short period of time goes by a bunch of names. You may also hear it called a Kaizen or improvement blitz.

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Topics: Kaizen

Lessons in Trust from David Ross’ Book "Teammate"

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 8, 2017 7:22:00 AM

Being an avid reader and a huge Chicago Cubs fan, when 2x World Series Champion and Dancing With The Stars Runner-Up David Ross announced his bookTeammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, I knew it was going to go to the top of my reading list.

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How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 2, 2017 7:03:00 AM

Schools in the United States are currently in a precarious position. It looks as though the Federal Department of Education is pivoting toward a school choice model and past legislation, such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, pushed schools to incorporate research into their school improvement strategies.

In the April 2013 issue of The Principalship, Rick DuFour and Mike Mattos questioned why these legislative pieces pushed for schools to use research to improve but simultaneously use methods have that proven to be inefficient and ineffective at improving in their piece titled “How Do Principals Really Improve Schools? 

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What is Service Excellence?

Posted by Matt Banna

May 24, 2017 1:43:16 PM

You may have been hearing the term “Service Excellence” a lot lately, and it may be because of the buzz around the recently published the Shingo Award-winning book The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations, co-written by Karyn Ross and Jeff Liker.

KaiNexus recently invited The Toyota Way to Service Excellence author Karyn Ross to speak to our own Mark Graban, about How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence. Ross is a purpose-driven consultant and Lean coach at karynrossconsulting.com. Focused specifically on services, Karyn has worked with small, medium, and large organizations in sectors as diverse as insurance, financial services, HR, transportation, and retail. Using her unique Practical Creativity (TM) approach, Karyn teaches creativity techniques in combination with Toyota Way / Lean practices to help businesses retain current customers and attract new ones.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

For webinar listeners not in a service-based organization, Service Excellence is something Karyn believes we should all be concerned with, regardless of what type of organization we work for or what role we have in that organization. 

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Topics: Webinars

The Formula for Successful Strategy Deployment

Posted by Matt Banna

May 18, 2017 7:41:00 AM

When you're thinking about rolling out Strategy Deployment in your organization, it can be intimidating to know exactly where to start, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to set yourself up for success right from the beginning. I've recently written an eBook that covers these questions, as well as information about the software you need to enable Strategy Deployment, that you can download here:

Free Guide to Strategy Deployment

But I thought that today on the blog, I'd give you a sneak peak into one of the chapters of the book covering the formula for successful Strategy Deployment.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment

10 Truths and 1 Lie About Standard Work

Posted by Matt Banna

May 12, 2017 8:06:00 AM

A popular ice breaker in business meetings these days is, “3 Truths and 1 Lie.” Each person says three true things about themselves and one made up thing and everyone tries to guess which is the lie.

It’s a good way to get to know a bit about people and learn something about how they think.

There are similar visions of the game on social media. (“10 bands I’ve seen – and one lie,” is hot on Facebook right now.)

We thought that 10 truths and 1 lie would be a good way to introduce Standard Work, but we won’t make you guess which is a lie.

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Improvement Consultants: How To Track Your Impact and Validate Your Methodology

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 4, 2017 12:49:19 PM

Tracking the impact of a continuous improvement program is one of the most difficult challenges that an incoming consultant may face. As difficult as tracking impact is, it is also one of the most important metrics to measure. Organization leaders want to see a return on their investment of a consultant, and being able to capture the results of the improvement program is the easiest way to do so.

Most consultants capture the impact of improvement using spreadsheets or Sharepoint - if they are even able to capture impact at all.

There are a couple issues with this.

  1. Using spreadsheet impact data to track impact quickly means that ROI gets out of date because logging the impact is "optional”.
  2. Improvements can be marked as complete without having an impact logged.
  3. Sometimes improvements aren’t completed, and there are no active notifications as reminders. Using Continuous improvement software to track your impact means that all of the data is actually captured and notifications are sent out as reminders so that no improvements fall through the cracks.

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Topics: Lean Consulting

Lean Construction – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 28, 2017 12:10:58 PM

As you can probably tell from reading this blog or others about the Lean approach to business management, most of what is written about the subject is applied to manufacturing and healthcare organizations. We know, however, that its application is not that limited. We have clients in technology, education, agriculture, professional services, and more.

One sector that is starting to embrace the Lean approach with increasing enthusiasm is construction. We’ve been delighted to see a new level of interest from leaders in the field. We thought it might be useful to share some of the questions we get asked most often about Lean construction.

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Why is the Construction Industry Turning to Lean?

In terms of the adoption of performance improvement and quality optimization techniques, the construction industry lags somewhat behind the manufacturing and services sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in the last 40 years, the productivity of the construction industry has stayed flat, while the productivity of other non-farm industries increased over 100%. Why? Several studies have found that at least 30% of wasted resources are caused by “entrenched attitudes in the management of projects.” Clearly, there is a compelling reason to try a new approach.

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Topics: Lean