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Improvement Software Tips and Tricks


Maggie Millard

As the Director of Marketing, Maggie educates the continuous improvement community, KaiNexus customers, executives, managers, and staff in just about every industry you can think of about improvement principles and KaiNexus' continuous improvement software. Her desire to improve the American healthcare system combined with a love of spreading knowledge to the far reaches of the internet inspires her work with KaiNexus every day. Maggie graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2010 with a BA in History. She spends her free time hanging out with her sweet, sticky, stinky new baby and two displaced dogs in the mountains of Virginia.
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Recent Posts

Upcoming Changes to KaiNexus Workflow Team Permissions

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 21, 2020 9:55:59 AM

The Product team here at KaiNexus is driven by the desire to continuously improve our software - and our best source of ideas for improvement comes from YOU, our customers. Whenever you submit an improvement idea for us via the web or through a person on our team, it’s immediately logged for our Product team to review and consider in future development plans.

Sometimes, we hear the same idea from a bunch of you - and that’s when it’s immediately clear that there’s a no-brainer opportunity to make KaiNexus better, and we have to jump on it.

For example, a lot of you have reached out lately about how a Facilitator is able to delete a Project. We originally thought that more flexibility is better - but when you all started pointing out how you can have these elaborate, long-term, complex Projects that someone can delete willy-nilly, that’s a serious problem… and, you’re right!

The need to delete an item in KaiNexus is rare, because generally, you want to preserve the record of that item and who submitted it even if you don’t intend to implement it. In most cases, the correct action is to archive the item, rather than to delete it.

This prompted us to take a look at how permissions work in KaiNexus, and we found several related areas to improve too, including who can edit Project due dates and what items different people are allowed to nest. In this post I’ll go into the nitty gritty details of how these changes impact different types of Workflows.

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How to Make Better PICK Charts Using Weighted Scores

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 19, 2020 12:10:00 PM

I’m always on the lookout for cool Boards that I can “borrow” for my own use in KaiNexus, and when I recently discovered PICK charts configured with Weighted Scores, I knew that I had to share with you.

I’m sure I’m late to the party and you know all about PICK charts, but just in case, let’s review.

In our scenario, a PICK chart is a tool useful for visualizing the relative value, risk, and feasibility of a large number of improvements. They’re commonly used after a brainstorming session to help people choose which improvements to work on.

I’ve known about setting up PICK charts in KaiNexus using attribute values (as described here), but never really thought about how this Board functionality could be combined with weighted scoring to create a more objective, automated filtering system for the cards.

That’s what I’d like to share with you today.

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How to Set Up a COVID-19 Response Dashboard in KaiNexus

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 2, 2020 6:41:16 PM

In the COVID-19 era, companies around the world are struggling to meet changing demands, ensure the safety of their staff, and keep their businesses afloat. Hospitals, in particular, are feeling that strain (or will be soon). While some hospitals are more prepared for crisis situations than others, no one feels prepared for the influx of patients they’re about to receive. From staffing concerns to limited protective gear and overcrowded facilities, this is a scary time to be a healthcare professional. 

One of our healthcare customers reached out last week with a request for help putting together a COVID-19 Response Dashboard to better track vital information, and we thought we’d be remiss to not share it with the rest of you. Perhaps you can learn from it and get some ideas for your own COVID-19 Response Dashboard. 

Contact your Account Manager for help setting up a similar to help your organization manage your COVID-19 response. We’ll help you tailor it to meet your specific needs. As the owner of the board in this example says, “You don’t need this until you need it, and then you’ve got to go fast.” Even if you don’t need this board yet, we’d love to help you get it ready now. 

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Coming Soon: KaiNexus Personas!

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 23, 2020 3:14:20 PM

Before we dive into this blog post, we want to take a minute to share the KaiNexus response to COVID-19, and share the resources we're developing daily to promote public safety. We hope that you and yours are staying safe and healthy, and we look forward to continuing to serve you through this crisis.

Next month, we're rolling out a cool new feature in KaiNexus called Personas.

We know that it can be difficult to organize users in KaiNexus based on their role in your improvement culture. This can make it hard to quickly monitor the activity and engagement of users who may have vastly different goals and responsibilities. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to tell at a glance who your CI Experts, Executives, Senior Leaders, and Frontline staff are and what they're doing in KaiNexus?

Personas are identifiers added to every User Profile to address this challenge. Here's an overview of each Persona.

(For more details, download this PDF)

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A Year in Review: Highlights of KaiNexus Development

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 16, 2019 10:25:08 AM

Raise your hand if you've ever relied on CliffsNotes to pull you through when you needed a quick review of a book or help understanding it. Never because you didn't read the book, right? *Wink wink*

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Sneak Peek: New Features Announced at KaiNexicon 2019

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 9, 2019 10:46:50 AM

A couple of weeks ago, time stopped and the earth stood still.

At least, it did if you were in Austin, Texas...


At the Westin...

At KaiNexicon 2019... 

Ok, and in my brain. It only happened in my brain. But what happened IRL WAS exciting, for everyone that was there. Not just me.

You see, I might run the marketing at this company, but if I'm being honest, I can't keep up with all the features that have come out, those that are being developed, and those that are coming out soon. I depend on the Support Site as heavily as any of the rest of you! 

So, when CEO Greg Jacobson and Product Manager Ryan Rippey unveiled the new features that are coming out in our HUGE next release, I was as surprised and excited as everyone else at the conference.

There are too many features for me to tell you about right now - and you'll get the full scoop later this month when the version is released - but I wanted to go ahead and release the video from that KaiNexicon presentation so the rest of you can share in the anticipation.

I will tell you the thing I'm MOST excited about, though - the updates to how comments work. When this release comes out, you'll be able to:

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Join Mark Graban for Upcoming Workshops on "Measures of Success"

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 8, 2019 7:43:00 AM

Mark Graban has been involved with KaiNexus for a long time, since 2011. You might know him from our webinar series, KaiNexicon, and more.

His most recent book, Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, and Improve More, has been really helpful to us at KaiNexus. We've learned to stop questioning every up and down in our various performance measures. We have a copy or two floating around the Austin office, as he shared on LinkedIn.

One of our stories is featured in the book (you can read a blog post about that) and our CEO, Dr. Greg Jacobson, endorsed it, saying: 

" Mark Graban taught the KaiNexus team how to understand the story a metric is actually telling over time. We've saved time by not overanalyzing every up and down in our metrics — and that’s valuable time we now put to better use. This new way of thinking also decreases stress, which further helps us do better work. I'm excited that Mark is sharing these lessons through 'Measures of Success,' a book that will help accelerate your progress and lead to better results."

If you want to learn the lessons we've learned and applied, Mark has an excellent day-long workshop (he has done it as part of a KaiNexus User Conference before) and he has some upcoming dates that we wanted to tell you about:

We hope this helps you in your improvement journey! You can also contact Mark about bringing this workshop to your organization.

As a preview, check out the webinar that he did on this subject of "Process Behavior Charts:

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Introducing the 2018 Nexie Categories!

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 14, 2018 10:32:48 AM

Do you ever work on something that makes you giddy with excitement? At last year's User Conference, we started the tradition of giving out awards to honor the hard work of our customers. I was into it when we came up with the idea... I was super excited when I saw the lightbulb trophies that our VP of Customer Experience found... but standing next to the stage waiting to whip a surprise Nexie hidden in my dress pocket, I felt (as we say in the South) fit to burst.

And you guys, it's going to happen again this year. Well, not the dress pocket thing - I feel like I can only pull that off once. But definitely the Nexie Award Ceremony.

The people at our conferences are usually the ones recognizing and rewarding others for their hard work around continuous improvement. The Nexie ceremony is our way of changing the game for an evening by honoring them for their hard work and commitment to excellence throughout the year. The awards are meant to be a play on the Oscar or Grammy, and are given out based on a variety of criteria and categories.

Here are the categories we'll be awarding at this year's conference. If you haven't registered yet, do so here - you definitely won't want to miss this.

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Newsflash: KaiNexus Featured in CAP Today

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 26, 2016 8:58:00 AM

We're always super excited when KaiNexus appears in a publication. Recently, our CEO Greg Jacobson got the opportunity to be interviewed by Jan Bowers of CAP Today. Also featured in the article is Tania Lyon, who leads the improvement culture transformation at St. Clair Hospital.

CCAP Today is a monthly publication targeted towards the people responsible for clinical laboratory purchases. It features articles about advances in technology and procedures, management and operation trends, changes to regulations, finance, and news about the College of American Pathologists. CAP Today operates a print magazine as well as a digital version.


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How I Kept Track of 72 Improvements from Last Year's User Conference

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 18, 2016 9:36:00 AM

I don’t think there’s ever a time for improvement more obvious than when you’ve taken on a big project at work for the first time with zero experience in that area. Quite frankly, that was me, trying to organize last year’s KaiNexus User Conference in Austin, TX. I had a couple of awesome contacts who gave me the basics, a team that was willing to pitch in with the legwork and brainstorm ideas, and my dear old friend Google. The rest was accomplished through sheer willpower.

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Topics: KaiNexus User Conference

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