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Everything Continuous Improvement


What is Kaizen? Everything Your Team Needs to Know

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Jan 25, 2022 3:27:42 PM

In 1986, Masaaki Imai introduced the world to the philosophy and practice of Kaizen in his book Kaizen, The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success. We highly recommend reading it if you are exploring ways to make your organization more efficient and better at achieving continuous improvement. (We’ll recommend a few other titles at the end of this post as well.) Our aim today is to share information about the framework of Kaizen. Hopefully, it will leave you ready to discuss the approach and eager to learn more.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

11 Fundamental Kaizen Principles

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Feb 22, 2021 11:15:30 AM

In Japanese, the word Kaizen means "good change." It describes the continuous improvement of all functions of an organization across the entire hierarchy.

Kaizen's guiding philosophy is simple: operations can always be made better, even if they are functioning at an acceptable level for the moment. In addition, all problems are recognized as opportunities to improve.

Of course, creating a culture driven by Kaizen thinking is easier said than done. Fortunately, some simple yet powerful ideas can shape how team members think. Embracing these ideas makes improvement inevitable.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership, Improvement Methodology

Software's Role In Measuring Continuous Improvement

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Feb 15, 2021 11:01:00 AM

The most common way organizations manage continuous improvement is with an assortment of improvement tools, spreadsheets, and email. We call this a "Franken-system."

A continuous improvement Franken-System can take many forms; you probably know them well. Perhaps you manage daily improvement with a physical Kaizen board that hangs on the wall. Maybe leaders get email updates when changes are made to the board. Do you take photos of the board so that a snapshot is captured? Are improvement tasks scheduled in a spreadsheet while project plans are kept in Word? Does every department have its approach? If so, you are certainly not alone.

The problem with this disconnected, chaotic approach to measuring improvement results is that there is no one vision of the truth. Spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone. Physical boards and assets like A3s and value stream maps are hard to share widely and don't inspire collaboration. Lack of standardization opens up improvement reporting to subjectivity and uncertainty. Data-driven leaders will doubt your results and possibly write off continuous improvement altogether.

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Topics: ROI of KaiNexus, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Methodology

How to Improve Business Processes with Kaizen

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 1, 2021 11:06:51 AM

Most organizations don't have a single solution for addressing all business process hurdles. Even those that spend time and money managing months-long improvement projects often see only temporary results. 

The good news is that lasting business process improvement doesn't have to be complicated or require dedicated resources. Using the Kaizen method of continuous improvement, organizations can change slowly but steadily as they drive toward optimal processes.

Better yet, anyone from the CEO to frontline managers and staff can implement it.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

How Software Supports 10 Popular Improvement Techniques

Posted by Noah Paratore

Dec 28, 2020 10:06:22 AM

Organizations that adopt the continuous improvement approach to business management have many tools and techniques at their disposal. Some organizations leverage these instruments as part of a structured business methodology such as Lean, Six Sigma, or Toyota Kata, while others take advantage of them independently. Improvement management software supports them all in various ways and creates a unified platform for all types of improvement work.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Methodology

Kaizen Thinking: 4 Ideas to Shape Your Outlook

Posted by Kade Jansson

Dec 21, 2020 11:04:19 AM

In Japanese, 'Kaizen" means "good change" (Kai = change, Zen = good). Kaizen describes a corporate philosophy of continuous improvement across the entire organization. In a clutter of Kaizen, employees work alongside each other to ensure consistent positive change.

Kaizen's foundation is simple: operations can always be made better, even if they are working well right now. When there are problems, people who practice Kaizen see them as opportunities for improvement.

The world's most successful companies have adopted Kaizen as a way to remain competitive by getting better all of the time.

While there are many tools and techniques used by Kaizen organizations, and even substantial management methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma that build on Kaizen thinking, you don't need a complicated approach to benefit from Kaizen.

All that is required is a mindful approach to problems and processes. Of course, technology can be a big assist in implementing improvements, but positive change starts with what you and other leaders in your organization believe.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

A Quick Guide to 5S Workplace Organization

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 7, 2020 4:39:37 PM

The 5S workplace organization technique is a prevalent methodology that companies can use to improve operations. The intent is to improve efficiency, minimize waste, and generally optimize how things are run. The 5S technique is most often used in manufacturing and warehousing organizations, but it can significantly benefit almost any industry. Learning the principles of 5S will help your organization gain its benefits and implement it with great success.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

7 Common Auto Manufacturing Continuous Improvement Tools

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 16, 2020 11:24:33 AM

The Lean and Six Sigma business methodologies have deep roots in the automotive manufacturing sector. One of the reasons they are so popular in the auto industry is that they bring a set of techniques and tools designed to help organizations achieve continuous improvement and a seamless flow of value to the customer.

Fortunately for today's auto manufacturers, software is available to support Lean Six Sigma efforts and streamline the road to improvement and waste reduction. The best Lean Six Sigma software solutions for automobile manufacturers and suppliers have features to enhance multiple Lean Six Sigma techniques in a single platform that becomes the repository for all improvement knowledge and work.

Here are seven popular auto industry Lean Six Sigma tools that can be better supported by software.

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

6 Tips for Accelerating the Pace of Positive Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 26, 2020 9:47:26 AM

It is difficult to underestimate the potential to transform your organization through a dedicated effort to achieve continuous improvement. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, but with leadership and consistency, the possibilities are limitless.

Whether you are just getting started with continuous improvement or need to get more out of an existing program, these six tips can help you get more people engaged, complete more projects, and demonstrate significant impact.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Continuous Improvement Model: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Noah Paratore

Oct 19, 2020 11:21:36 AM

We are lucky to have the chance to work with many companies looking for ways to deploy, enhance, and maintain a continuous improvement model for their organization. Many companies come to us with the same group of basic questions, so we thought it might help to share the answers to those we are asked most often.

What is the way of thinking behind continuous improvement?

The continuous improvement model is based on an idea called Kaizen. It is the philosophy of always looking for ways to improve operations and, therefore, results. Central to the approach is the belief that every part of an organization’s operations and processes can be improved and that the workers who are most closely involved are best positioned to identify opportunities for improvement.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

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