We get the chance to chat with lots of people who have concluded that a Kaizen software solution will help them get the most out of their continuous improvement efforts. But most people have never sought such a solution before, and they are unsure how to convince the rest of the organization that it is time to move forward.
To help, we’ve put together some tips on how to convince the team that investing in a software solution for Kaizen will result in positive returns, demonstrate that you know what to look for, and give everyone confidence that implementation will be successful.
Justify: What are the Benefits of Kaizen Software?
There are several ways that Kaizen software solutions produce a positive ROI. Here are some of the most important:
Gather More Opportunities for Improvement: Most people that implement Kaizen software discover that employees have terrific ideas about how to improve processes and eliminate waste. Too often, they remain silent because there is no easy way to document and share them. Software changes this by giving everyone a common platform to report each opportunity. It also increases engagement by assuring that each idea will be evaluated, and many will be implemented.
Bring More Projects Across the Finish Line: Capturing ideas for improvement is the first step, but executing them is where the rubber meets the road. It is common for improvement projects to be placed on the back burner as the stresses of day-to-day firefighting take over. By implementing a Kaizen software solution, you help short-circuit this common problem. The platform helps keep improvement work visible, and it allows managers to keep up to speed on the progress of each project.
Get More Long-Term Engagement: Too often, Kaizen is introduced with great enthusiasm that wanes in the subsequent months. That’s where Kaizen software can help. By calculating the impact of improvement work, along with activity and engagement statistic, people begin to personalize the results of continuous improvement. Measurable success helps keep everyone from the C-level to front-line employees in the game.
Streamline Collaboration: A common platform for improvement work helps eliminate silos between departments and teams. When everyone is using the same language and tools to make improvement happen, cross-functional collaboration improves, and the toughest problems can be solved. Increased visibility helps everyone to remain accountable and informed.
Develop a Repository of Knowledge: Your Kaizen software platform becomes your organizations vault of knowledge. The team gains access to the lessons learned and assets created by every other project. Before a new challenge is addressed, people can look for similar projects and build on what’s been done before. Your entire team gets smarter every time an opportunity is implemented.
Evaluate: What are the Essential Features of Kaizen Software?
Opportunity Capture: Employees should be able to log in to the system and document any opportunities for improvement that they observe at any time from anywhere. They should also be able to attach whatever images and documents are necessary to communicate the issue entirely.
Automated Workflow: Once an improvement is recorded, it should be automatically routed to the appropriate manager or supervisor for evaluation. If the opportunity will be implemented or further investigated, leaders must have the ability to assign tasks and assemble teams.
Active Alerts and Notifications: The appropriate project team members should receive email notifications when tasks are assigned, and notifications related to due dates. Managers should receive alerts when due dates or missed or other milestones need attention.
Impact Reporting: Users should be able to assess the qualitative and quantitative results of improvement work with reports that visualize KPIs such as savings, safety measurements, customer satisfaction, project speed, or other relevant business objectives.
Opportunity Broadcasting: One way to keep people engaged in Kaizen is to select a software solution that makes it par for the course to broadcast success. When people see that others are recognized for their contributions, they are more likely to suggest their own opportunities and get involved.
Visual Management: Data visualization brings information to life and helps leaders quickly access how well Kaizen is taking root in the culture of the organization. Look for a solution with configurable boards so that each person has the charts and graphs that mean the most to them front and center.
Robust Search: We mentioned that the Kaizen software platform becomes the repository of knowledge. Therefore, it is essential that the data be searchable based on a number of criteria so that the relevant current or past improvement projects can be quickly located.
Implement: How to Get the Most out of Your Solution?
Go Wide: Excellent ideas can come from anyone in the organization, so when it comes to a Kaizen software solution, the more people you involve, the better. Look for solutions that have flexible roles and access settings so that you can control who has which capabilities.
Don’t Neglect Training: Especially if Kaizen is new to your organization, people will need to be trained in both the philosophy of Kaizen and the software platform. The solution you choose should be intuitive and easy to use, but training is still a curtail part of the rollout.
Celebrate Early Wins: People will get motivated to work harder at Kaizen when they see tangible results. When you re first getting started with Kaizen, use your solution’s impact metrics and success broadcasting to make sure everyone knows the details of each win, no matter how small.
Introduce Accountability: One thing that a Kaizen software solution does is help managers hold people accountable for Kaizen work. The level of engagement, activity, and impact should be considered as part of each employee’s performance assessment.
Implementing Kaizen software is a big step, but it is an important one on the path to continuous improvement. There will be bumps in the road, but if you select a solution that meets the criteria we’ve outlined and follow these implementation tips, you’ll be well on your way to implementing more improvements faster and with less friction. Of course, we’re always happy to answer any questions that you or your team may have.