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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Ryan Rippey

As the Customer Enablement Manager, Ryan's main objective is to ensure that customers are maximizing their true full potential in continuous improvement through the use of KaiNexus CI software. Over the last few years, Ryan has worked in multiple SaaS start-up environments, developing a strong passion for technology as well as a diverse skill set within customer success, project/product management, operations, and data analysis. Born and raised in New Jersey, Ryan graduated from Rutgers University in 2012 with a BS in Exercise Science and a BA in Journalism and Media Studies. After spending a few years living in Las Vegas, NV, Ryan now resides in Austin, TX. In a nutshell, Ryan is a sports fanatic, gym rat, movie buff and wannabe DJ.
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Recent Posts

An 11 Step Gemba Walk Template for Executive Leaders

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Mar 29, 2019 9:04:00 AM

“We say seeing is believing, but actually, we are much better at believing than seeing. In fact, we are seeing what we believe all the time and occasionally, what we can’t believe.” – Robert Anton Wilson


Gemba walks
are a critical continuous improvement technique. They are useful for leaders at every level but particularly eye-opening for executives and other top-level managers. Why? The simple process of going to the place where works is done, showing respect for workers, asking questions, and reflecting on observations can change one’s perception of how well a process is operating. It also offers an opportunity to build trust and increase employee engagement. Many direct supervisors and mid-level managers practice Gemba walks, especially in Lean organizations, but it is important for executives to do them as well. That’s why we’ve put together this Gemba walk template for executives. It addresses elements that would be less important to managers who are closer to the process daily.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management, Gemba Walk

Webinar | Metrics & Statistics Don't Have to be Scary

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Mar 5, 2019 8:01:00 AM

A while back, we recently had the honor of hosting a webinar with our Senior Advisor, Mark Graban, author of "Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More." Mark’s new book focuses on managing variation, understanding data, and leading improvement. Mark has been a part of KaiNexus in various capacities since 2011. He is an internationally-recognized consultant, published author, professional speaker, and blogger. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Northwestern and a Masters in mechanical engineering and an MBA from MIT.

This post is a recap of Mark’s presentation. However, the webinar is full of examples that will make a lot more sense if you see the charts that he uses by way of explanation, so we highly recommend that you watch the webinar.

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Topics: Quality, Webinars, Visual Management

The Lean Visual Management Tools Your Team Will Love

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 28, 2019 4:19:53 PM

Although the overarching objective of Lean management is to create an unhindered flow of value to the customer, another of its primary concerns is transparency. If you can see roadblocks, process irregularities, resources that aren’t at capacity, and poorly aligned goals you can do something about them. That’s why so many Lean tools are designed to allow visual management. People process images much more quickly than text (knowing what’s going on around you is somewhat central to staying alive), that’s why icons, signs that use color and shape, and dashboards are so popular.

Over the years, many valuable tools for Lean visual management have evolved. They offer significant benefits for leaders and team members alike. Here are a few that we’re sure your team will appreciate.

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Topics: Lean, Visual Management

9 Reasons to Consider a Digital Kanban Management Tool

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 9, 2019 8:01:00 AM

As you might expect, we write quite a bit about Lean and Six Sigma management techniques that have been modernized by moving to digital form and becoming an integrated part of a continuous improvement management platform.

Huddle boards, suggestion boxes, task tracking, and improvement cycles like DMAIC and PDSA all become more effective and efficient when moved to the cloud.

When it comes to Kanban, some applications will remain in the analog world. But for the management of work-in-progress, a digital Kanban management tool can be a real game-changer.

Moving status cards off of the wall and into an improvement management platform has a number of tremendous benefits. Here are what we consider the top 10.

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Topics: Kanban, Continuous Improvement Software

What Should You Include in Your Hoshin Kanri Training Materials?

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 2, 2019 10:23:09 AM

If you’ve been tasked with introducing the Hoshin Kanri strategy deployment methodology to your organization, and you are like many of our other clients, you might be at a loss for what to include in the training materials. Organizations don’t roll out a new strategic planning method every day, so we are often asked how to go about bringing everyone up to speed. Of course, you’ll need to tailor your instruction to your organization, but the following elements are a good place to start.

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Topics: Hoshin Kanri

How to Apply the A3 Problem-Solving Methodology

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Dec 14, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The A3 problem-solving methodology was first used by Toyota in the 1960s and later embraced by proponents of Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean, and other systematic approaches to continuous improvement. “A3” references a European paper size that is about the same size as an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper. Using the A3 method, teams create a one-page improvement project report. By limiting the report to one page, teams are forced to be concise and thoughtful about including only relevant information. This makes the report easy to digest.

Because our solution supports the A3 technique, we are often asked for tips on how to deploy it. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind.

Webinar Recording: The Lowdown on A3 Software

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

8 Ways Software Makes Idea Boards More Effective

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jun 26, 2018 7:53:00 AM

Idea boards are an essential visual management technique. They help keep improvement work front and center and make it easy for everyone to recognize progress.

However, there are some pretty significant limits to the helpfulness of physical idea boards hanging on a wall.

That’s why we’ve seen a widespread digital transformation that has idea boards transitioning from the wall to the cloud. Idea board software has many advantages over the bulletin board and sticky notes approach.

Here are a few of the most significant benefits.

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Topics: Visual Management

The Essential CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) Glossary

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Dec 15, 2017 7:09:00 AM

CQI, like many other disciplines, has a language all its own. Many of the terms are acronyms, others are Japanese words retained from Toyota’s original improvement methodologies, and some reference specific techniques that may be unfamiliar. So, if you’re a bit confused when getting into the weeds of CQI, you are not alone. This is not a comprehensive list of improvement terms, but it is a good start and should be a welcome asset to anyone new to the approach. We’ll tackle the list alphabetically.

5S: This is a workplace organization technique with roots in the Japanese auto industry. The five words that start with S in both Japanese and English are sort, set, shine, standardize and sustain. 

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Methodology

Want to Get More Out of Rapid Improvement Events? Click Here.

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Nov 27, 2017 10:25:24 AM

Rapid improvement events are a popular continuous improvement approach with for good reasons. By focusing all of your team’s firepower on one challenge or opportunity for a few days, you dramatically speed the pace of change and increase the chances of successful collaboration and broad agreement on the right actions to take.

But not every rapid improvement event is a resounding success. In fact, if not properly executed they can cause more harm than good.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software

A Mission to Partner with Patients to Improve Safety

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Sep 21, 2017 7:20:00 AM

If you’ve been following our blog, watching our webinars (which are available on demand), or listening to our podcasts for a while, you’ll know that we love collaboration here at KaiNexus. Probably the most important collaboration possible is the kind that happens between patients, their families, and their healthcare providers. This type of collaboration happens to be the topic of a recent webinar hosted by Mark Graban, our Vice-President of Improvement & Innovation Services, titled Teaming with Patients to Improve Safety.

Graban sits on the board of directors for the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. To talk about the foundation and its important work in helping patients and healthcare professionals recognize the importance of involving patients and families as partners in their care Graban spoke with Laura B. Townsend, Elise Matocha, and Carol Wratten, respectively.

Watch the webinar here:

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