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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

Kaizen 101. New to The Approach? Start Here.

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 23, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The world was first introduced to kaizen's philosophy and practice in 1986 with Masaaki Imai's book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. Today, it still holds up as an excellent read for anyone interested in finding ways to make their organization more successful at achieving continuous improvement. 

While kaizen concepts are straightforward, volumes have been written about how organizations build the improvement mindset into operations and culture. Our goal with this post is to give you the basic framework of kaizen and hopefully leave you excited about exploring the ways you might begin to transform your organization into one that consistently exhibits operational excellence.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

3 Fundamental Quality Management Techniques

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 16, 2021 11:16:00 PM

Quality management is a subject that's often studied in business. There are hundreds of books and countless blog posts with advice on how to improve quality. Some organizations choose to adopt comprehensive process management methodologies like Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, or the Toyota Production System.

These systematic, structured approaches all have their place and can help the right situation, but you don’t have to fully adopt any of them to improve the quality of your results. There are some fundamental quality management things you can do to reduce waste and deliver more value to customers.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Methodology

5 Incredibly Powerful Lean Visual Management Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 14, 2021 11:48:07 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. 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: Lean, Software, Visual Management

Continuous Improvement Goal Suggestions for 2021

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 5, 2021 10:45:00 AM

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that I believe we are all glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. While life isn't going back to normal any time soon, there is hope on the horizon. The COIVD-19 vaccine rollout is on the way, and our healthcare professionals have made great strides in treatment for the disease. 

Last year at about this time, we laid out some suggested continuous improvement resolutions for 2020. If the pandemic thwarted your plans and best intentions, give yourself a pass. No one knew what unprecedented challenges would arise.

But this is an excellent time to begin again. Even knowing that COVID-related disruptions will continue, it is still a healthy exercise to think about what your team can accomplish for continuous improvement in 2021. You'll have to consider your unique priorities, but we do have some suggestions for goals that will help your organization achieve excellence in the coming year.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology, Strategy Deployment

How To Reduce Waste with More Productive Meetings

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 20, 2020 10:56:00 AM

Even before the pandemic, most American workers felt that they were being forced into wasteful or even counterproductive meetings regularly. According to a study by Korn Ferry, 51% of professionals reported that spending too much time in meetings and on calls distracts them from making an impact at work to some extent. Another 16% said that it was true to a great extent. A whopping 67% of workers said excessive meetings keep them from getting their best work done.

Think that the sudden work to remote work driven by COVID-19 means fewer meetings? Think again.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Daily Lean Management

Common Questions About EHS Compliance Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 10, 2020 10:15:00 AM

For many companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a new light on environmental, health, and safety (EHS) programs. Workplace conditions that were once taken for granted are now being reconsidered through a new lens. Many organizations have realized that this is the right time to consider a more formal approach to managing compliance with regulatory guidelines and perhaps going above and beyond what is required. Over the last several months, we’ve spoken with many leaders and managers considering implementing software to boost their EHS efforts.

We’ve compiled a list of their most common questions.

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Topics: Software

The Connection Between Trust and a Culture of Change

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 29, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Humans are hard-wired for change. As soon as we are born, we start to grow, learn, and adapt to our environment. If that's the case, why is it so difficult to create a culture of change within an organization?

There are many barriers to change from fear of failure to plain old inertia, but a critical ingredient for constant positive change is often overlooked: trust. Your employees are probably more likely than you think to walk the high wire of change, but they don’t want to do it without a net.

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Topics: Leadership, Change Management

6 Principles of Lean Construction

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 11, 2020 2:29:58 PM

A growing number of construction firms are embracing the Lean methodology that emphasizes maximizing value for the customer while minimizing waste. The approach is simple and attractive in an industry where budgets, timeframes, and safety are all critical, but the project delivery is very different than traditional construction methods. This makes proper execution of the philosophy and techniques difficult to implement.

Lean construction borrows from the manufacturing approach developed by Toyota after World War II. Of course, it is much easier to produce repeatable, forecastable results in the controlled environment of a factory floor than in the more unpredictable world of construction. Greater variation and workflow disruptions are to be expected.

It is also important to note that there is no one cookie-cutter approach to Lean construction. There are a number of tools, including the Last Planner System, Integrated Project Delivery, Building Information Modeling, 5s, and Kaizen Events, that can be used in combination to achieve Lean. This gives practitioners a wide range of options that can be applied to each project.  

There are, however, guiding principles that help firms achieve lower costs, reduced construction times, more productivity, and efficient project management. They represent a holistic approach to the construction process.

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Topics: Lean

11 Rapid Continuous Improvement Tools and Techniques Explained

Posted by Matt Banna

May 13, 2020 5:49:33 PM

 

 

Leaders who want to develop a culture of rapid continuous improvement have many tools at their disposal. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to keep them all in mind when deciding how to execute an opportunity for improvement or to address a difficult challenge. Or course, most organizations don’t use all of them at any one time, but each can be remarkably effective when applied to the right situation.

We put together a list of the most common and useful improvement tools and techniques that you can start implementing today.

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Topics: Spread Continuous Improvement

Leadership During Times of Uncertainty

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 13, 2020 4:00:00 PM

The coronavirus pandemic that is currently gripping the globe is unlike any other crisis that we have seen. It will directly impact the lives of those who are exposed and their families. It will indirectly change the lives of everyone else as events are canceled, schools and businesses close, and everyone is responsible for social distancing.

Although it won't be very easy amid concerns for the wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones, how you handle this situation is of profound significance to your employees and other business associates who count on your leadership.

While this crisis is utterly unique, the principles of leadership during times of uncertainty apply, nonetheless. Below are some ways you can be a source of reassurance and support for your team.

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Topics: Leadership

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