As a guy that works on the Sales Team at KaiNexus, I often hear a lot of objections about making the move from paper and pencil, physical boards, and excel spreadsheets to a completely digital system. I understand those objections. As humans, we’re creatures of habit. Change can be difficult, especially moving to something new and unfamiliar.
Luckily, I’m also a part of the Customer Experience team here at KaiNexus. I get to see our customers have objections and worries going into the process and then come out the other side thinking “How did we ever do this any differently?”.
Case in point: At our 2016 KaiNexus User Conference, we talked to a few KaiNexus customers who originally had qualms with moving from physical process improvement tools to a continuous improvement software to see what changed for them.
Physical huddle boards are often a staple of a continuous improvement program. They create a place that team members can meet and see their improvement idea on the wall. Kristin Bentz, Lean Transformation Officer at Lee Health also used physical huddle boards. “We had physical huddle boards in all departments where staff would submit their improvement ideas [and] discuss on a weekly basis," explained Kristin.
Linda Vicaro, Process Improvement Coordinator & Coach at St. Clair Hospital relayed her initial concerns: “We were worried about shifting from these visible, tangible boards in their department to virtual boards.” Both Linda and Kristin knew that there were benefits from physical boards that they were worried about losing when switching to digital boards.
Pam Pothoven, Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, was already used to using some form of technology for their improvement program. Her employees “worked off Excel spreadsheets”. Pam mentioned that “[Her] whole company [was] filled with spreadsheets”.
After implementation took place, all three of these organizations could see the immense benefits of a digital continuous improvement platform.
Linda Vicaro found that digital huddle boards were even more practical than the physical ones. “The value of switching to KaiNexus has been that we’re able to provide so much more assistance. [Coaches] have such an easier time identifying areas where employees or managers might need help managing the improvement process” said Linda.
Instead of being a hindrance, the digital boards gave Linda and the Process Improvement team at St. Clair a clearer insight into exactly who needed the attention. With only two full-time members of the team, KaiNexus allows for them to allocate their time much more efficiently.
When Lee Health implemented their digital boards, Kristin Bentz saw different benefits. “Limited access was a real issue for us with spreading improvement”, she clarified. “KaiNexus has provided us with a database where everyone has access, which improved our ability to communicate across facilities system-wide, share improvement ideas, and comment on each other’s progress”.
The change was a little easier for Pam Pothoven because of her and UICCU’s history with Excel, but it produced similar benefits to those at Lee Health. “The thing about [spreadsheets] is they sit to the side. You have to email them to someone” said Pam. “We’ve taken those spreadsheets, uploaded them into KaiNexus, and so now we have people who can see all the ideas, can manage them, and implement them”.
For these continuous improvement leaders, bringing in a continuous improvement software platform like KaiNexus allowed each organization’s program to flourish. They were able to be more effective coaches and spread and manage more improvements.
“[KaiNexus] definitely allowed us to implement far more ideas than those excel spreadsheets just sitting there”
If you want to see the same growth as Linda Vicaro, Kristin Bentz, and Pam Pothoven, get in touch with the KaiNexus team here.