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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


Key Objectives and Activities for Each Step of DMAIC

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 14, 2021 12:12:02 PM

DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is a data-driven, structured, customer-centric problem-solving methodology. Each phase builds on the last to arrive at practical solutions for challenging problems. Define tells you what to measure. Measure tells you what to analyze. Analyze tells you what to improve. And Improve tells you what to control.

Each phase has particular objectives and is supported by a specific set of activities. Let's take a closer look at them.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma

Real Life Examples of the 7 Wastes of Lean (Plus 1)

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 12, 2021 11:33:36 AM

Ecologists and other environmentally aware people often talk about a goal of "Zero Waste." We think that's an outstanding goal for business as well.

Eliminating waste is at the heart of the Lean business methodology. The purpose of Lean is to spend more of your time creating value for customers by reducing or eliminating everything that does not produce value (AKA the waste). To make it easier to find and eliminate waste in business processes, Lean practitioners identified the "7 Wastes of Lean." Some include an 8th waste, the waste of human potential.

Although the Lean approach originated in manufacturing, it is used in almost every sector. Strikingly the seven wastes are common across industries, including software development, construction, and education.

While some of the wastes are self-explanatory, others are more difficult to recognize. This post aims to help by giving a few examples of each type of waste in various businesses. Hopefully, they will help you think about how waste may be occurring in your processes. Of course, the people who are most likely to find and correct waste are the process operators, so it is a good idea to share these examples with them and provide a way for each employee to submit opportunities for improvement.

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Topics: Lean

PMBOK: Project Management Body of Knowledge

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 8, 2021 3:32:50 PM

Project management is necessary for organizations of all types and sizes, whether it is formally recognized or not. But for complex organizations, applying a standard for project management and professionalizing the role of project manager helps improve results.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is the Project Management Institute’s flagship publication. The guide lays out well-proven, consensus-based practices that are widely used. The publication, which was first released in 1996, is now in its 6th edition.

The PMBOK® Guide is developed by active project management practitioners and subject matter experts. The project management community reviews it before it is released to make sure it continuously reflects the profession’s current state.

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DMAIC Model:  An Essential Guide

Posted by Clint Corley

Apr 5, 2021 5:33:13 PM

DMAIC is a structured, customer-focused, data-driven approach to problem-solving. The acronym stands for:

1- Define

2- Measure

3- Analyze

4- Improve

5- Control

It is often associated with the Lean Six Sigma business methodology, but it can be valuable for any organization.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

KaiNexus Office Relocating to Antarctica, Summer 2021

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 1, 2021 2:36:46 PM

Companies around the world have spent the last year learning how to manage a remote workforce as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. While many are looking forward to life getting back to normal, the KaiNexus team is looking to go in a different direction.

“Our Austin office lease expired while our team was working fully remote last summer, and we realized that we had a golden opportunity to finally take the leap we’ve been dreaming about for years,” said KaiNexus CEO Greg Jacobson. Jacobson first visited Antarctica back in 2012, where he fell in love with the solitude and expansive views. “There’s room to think out here.”

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Evidence that Lean CLEAR-ly Works in Healthcare

Posted by Mark Graban

Mar 30, 2021 2:14:00 PM

Dr. John Toussaint has long been one of the world's leading practitioners and advocates in the world of Lean healthcare, so it's always great to see what he has to say and share. 

John recently shared an email newsletter that also included this video message:


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Topics: Lean Healthcare

The Fundamentals of the Lean Methodology

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 25, 2021 1:39:40 PM

The Lean methodology is an evolution of the Toyota Production System that the Japanese automaker implemented following World War II to improve the efficiency and flexibility of its manufacturing. Two important books, The Machine That Changed the World (1990) by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel T. Jone and Lean Thinking (1996) by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, outlined the structure and principles for the Lean method.

Although Lean got its start in manufacturing, today it is widely used across the globe in every sector including logistics and distribution, services, retail, healthcare, construction, maintenance, and even higher education.

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Topics: Lean

Kaizen 101. New to The Approach? Start Here.

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 23, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The world was first introduced to kaizen's philosophy and practice in 1986 with Masaaki Imai's book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. Today, it still holds up as an excellent read for anyone interested in finding ways to make their organization more successful at achieving continuous improvement. 

While kaizen concepts are straightforward, volumes have been written about how organizations build the improvement mindset into operations and culture. Our goal with this post is to give you the basic framework of kaizen and hopefully leave you excited about exploring the ways you might begin to transform your organization into one that consistently exhibits operational excellence.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

An Overview of DMAIC for Beginners

Posted by Brittany Currier

Mar 18, 2021 1:20:21 PM

DMAIC (pronounced də-MAY-ick) is a data-driven technique used to improve processes. It is a key tool of the Six Sigma methodology, but it can be implemented as a standalone improvement method or as part of other process initiatives like Lean.

The technique is simple, yet powerful. It brings structure to the improvement process and helps teams explore potential solutions, decide a course of action, and implement process controls in short order.

Trying any new improvement strategy can be intimidating, so we thought it would be helpful to break down all the details of DMAIC so that you can give it a try with confidence.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology

3 Fundamental Quality Management Techniques

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 16, 2021 11:16:00 PM

Quality management is a subject that's often studied in business. There are hundreds of books and countless blog posts with advice on how to improve quality. Some organizations choose to adopt comprehensive process management methodologies like Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, or the Toyota Production System.

These systematic, structured approaches all have their place and can help the right situation, but you don’t have to fully adopt any of them to improve the quality of your results. There are some fundamental quality management things you can do to reduce waste and deliver more value to customers.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Methodology

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