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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

Put Your Suggestion Box Online to Help Avoid Becoming The Office?

Posted by Matt Banna

Feb 3, 2020 10:40:48 AM

If the internet is any clue, I’m not the only one who was prompted by its 10th anniversary to re-watch a bunch of old episodes of The Office.

(For fans, there’s a great new podcast called Office Ladies featuring Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela). They walk through each episode sharing the inside scoop.)

There’s an episode during the second season in which Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s branch manager, Michael Scott, learns that his boss is coming for a visit later that day to hear his ideas on how to make the branch perform better.

Of course, he’s Michael Scott, so he has no idea how to make the branch perform better. In a panic, he remembers that there is a suggestion box for collecting employee ideas for improvement. He figures that is the solution to his situation. He calls all of the employees into the conference room and opens the box.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Suggestion Systems, Improvement Culture

Three Insights Into Operational Excellence

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 15, 2020 1:32:07 PM

The Shingo Institute is a program in the John M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. It is named after Dr. Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese industrial engineer, and Toyota advisor. Dr. Shingo is recognized as one of the world’s thought leaders in terms of improvement techniques, management systems, and business culture concepts. His work contributed to the Toyota Production System. The Shingo Institute is known for it’s Shingo Prize, an award that recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that fosters continuous improvement. Business Week once called it the “Noble Prize of Improvement.”

Drawing from Dr. Shingo’s teachings and years of experience working with organizations worldwide, the Shingo Institute developed the Shingo Model™, which introduces the Shingo Guiding Principles that outline the path to enterprise excellence.

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Topics: Operational Excellence

Employee Engagement in 2020 – Meeting the Needs of Millennials

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 23, 2019 1:09:00 PM

By the end of next year, Millennials (those born between about 1980 and 2000) are expected to comprise half of the American workforce. By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will belong to this group. Many large companies, including Ernst & Young and Accenture, have already reported that Millennials make up over two-thirds of their entire employee base.

In some ways, millennials aren't much different than previous generations. They want the opportunity to learn and grow while making a living that will support their families.

But there are some differences in how this generation that grew up amid modern technology and global connectedness approaches work. For example, nine out of every 10 Millennials expect to change jobs every three years. This means most Millennials will have 15 to 20 jobs in their lifetimes. A far different reality than the baby boomer ideal of being a "company man" for life.

With the changing expectations of the younger workforce, employers need to adapt to find workable solutions that help everyone meet their goals. That's leading to a change in the traditional approach to employee engagement.

Company picnics and Employee of the Month programs are giving way to more meaningful engagement strategies. Here are a few that will continue to gain traction in 2020.

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Topics: Leadership, Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture

Digital Continuous Improvement – A New Approach for a New Age

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 13, 2019 10:36:22 AM

The generation now entering the workforce will never use a payphone, never write a check, never get off the couch to turn the channel, and never look up movie times in the newspaper. Things that all seemed normal and permanent to those of us over 40 are simply not things anymore. The digital age is upon us, and we can make calls from anywhere, send money with a click, click through hundreds of channels, and buy movie tickets with an app. Change isn’t always easy, but for those who embrace them, new ways of doing things make us more efficient, better connected, and more flexible.

This is true for organizations as well. Modern technology continues to advance and offer organizations more efficient, scalable, and effective ways of doing things. Core business functions still exist. The sales, HR, R&D, production, accounting, and logistics functions continue to be essential, but now they are assisted with software and other technology that aids performance. Likewise, a new digital continuous improvement approach has emerged and been embraced by successful organizations in every sector.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Lean Software

Trick or Treat? The Scary Facts About Employee Engagement

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 17, 2019 10:35:00 AM

It’s almost time for Halloween when all the ghosts and monsters come out of hiding to give folks a scare. Fortunately, it’s all in fun. But there is something that should be truly frightening to business leaders, and that’s research about employee engagement and motivation.

Gallup has measured the state of the workplace for more than twenty years. Their research digs deep into the motivating and demotivating factors for employees and sheds light on what leaders can do to create the conditions for attraction, retention, and engagement.

There’s definitely some good news in the data, but let’s start with the scary stuff.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition

24 Business Process Improvement Examples to Prime the Pump

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 3, 2019 11:10:14 AM

One of the biggest challenges we hear from organizations that are new to the world of structured business process improvement is that it is hard to articulate for employees what constitutes an opportunity for improvement. Usually, there are some low-hanging-fruit ideas that people jump on right away, but once those are cleared away, it can be difficult to spot flaws in processes, especially ones that you operate every day.

An excellent remedy for this problem is giving employees categories of improvement possibilities to consider. By providing a few examples, and some questions to ask, leaders can spark ideas and get people thinking innovatively.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process

High Reliability Culture – The Not-so-Secret Sauce

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 27, 2019 8:32:00 AM

Before I spent a lot of time learning, thinking, and writing about how businesses operate and what separates those that successfully achieve their mission and those that don’t, I took a lot of things for granted. I never worried that my plane would crash, I wasn’t afraid that the power plant near my house would explode, nor was I concerned that the aircraft carrier my neighbor’s son calls home would come to harm. Sure, all of those adverse events do occur, but they are so rare that most of us just don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.

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Topics: HRO, Improvement Culture

13 Essential Process Improvement Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 16, 2019 8:59:37 AM

After many years speaking with leaders and managers looking to implement continuous process improvement tools in their organizations, we’ve learned a few things. The first is that every organization is different and what scores a home run for one, may not even get a hit in another. The second is that despite these differences, many of the process improvement tools that have been developed over the last 50 years can be adapted to be useful for organizations of all types and sizes.

This post provides a brief introduction to some of the process improvement tools that our customers have used to reduce costs, improve safety, assure quality, and increase customer satisfaction. For each tool, we've included a link to more detailed information. Many are borrowed from the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, but you don’t have to be using one of them to find value in these techniques.

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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Setting Up Your Balanced Scorecards in KaiNexus

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 15, 2019 2:13:00 PM

A balanced scorecard is an easy way to see the progress toward department and organizational goals and Key Performance Indicators. Without KaiNexus, you’ll need a balanced scorecard for each level of the organization, as well as for each department and team. Put a balanced scorecard in KaiNexus, however, and you’ll be able to view any part of the organization’s goals, projects, and progress to KPIs in an instant. 

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How to Navigate the Transformation Continuum | Webinar Recap

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 18, 2019 8:31:00 AM

We have been very fortunate to have an impressive lineup of guest presenters for our webinar series on continuous improvement. Roger Chen from Indiana University Health did not disappoint when he joined us to discuss how to navigate the transformation continuum. Roger has over 30 years of experience in various improvement and leadership roles. He spent time at General Electric where he reached the level of a Six Sigma master black belt. As GE embraced Lean, Roger became a senior Lean value stream manager. Subsequently, he has lead transformation and improvement roles at Martin Memorial Health System, Lee Health, and now Indiana University Health (IU Health).

How to Navigate the Transformation Continuum

Presented by Roger Chen

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In this webinar, Roger Chen, Executive Director of Lean Transformation at IU Health, shares "lessons from the field" based on his experiences in healthcare (and previously in industry).

You will learn how to identify the phases of the Transformation Continuum and adaptation of rapid improvement and project management methods to standardize efficiency and spread effectiveness -- applicable for any setting!

 

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Topics: Webinars

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