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KaiNexus Blog

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Webinar Preview: How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 1, 2018 2:00:21 PM

What's commonly known as "A3" is a very powerful methodology for problem solving, the planning of projects, or the articulation of strategy. A3, in a way, is a 11x17 piece of paper. You might think of it as a Powerpoint template or an improvement type you have configured in KaiNexus. 

In our upcoming webinar, former Toyota engineer Jess Orr will explain how A3 problem solving and "Toyota Business Practices" are an approach that can be used even in the improvement of aspects of our personal lives. It's a way of thinking, a way of improving. And she'll articulate that well in our upcoming webinar that's being held on February 8th:

How to Use A3 Thinking in Everyday Life

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In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why and when to use the A3 / TBP problem-solving tool
  • Overview of the 8 components of an A3
  • Example of how to build an actual A3 using an everyday example
  • Recommended resources for further learning

 

 

Today, we're sharing a podcast preview that I recorded with Jess and with the host and moderator of this webinar, Clint Corley, an Enterprise Account Executive with KaiNexus.

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Topics: Webinars

Lean Management System FAQs

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 31, 2018 7:52:00 AM

Wooden Blocks with the text Faqs.jpegMany of our clients are continuous improvement veterans. They know all of the ins and outs of the tools and techniques designed to support their efforts to get better every single day.

Lately, we’ve also had a number of inquiries and conversations with people who are new to the idea. Getting to know more about Lean can be exciting, but overwhelming at the same time.

If you’ve got questions about what it means to introduce a Lean management system, this post is for you.

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Event Next Week! The Toyota Way to Service Excellence, with Lean Frontiers

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 26, 2018 11:45:31 AM

I know I'm a bit last minute with this one, but I just couldn't miss the opportunity to make sure you lovely readers are aware of an event being put on by our friends Lean Frontiers next week.

On Monday January 29, Lean Frontiers is hosting The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: An Online Event with our other friend Karyn Ross and her co-author Jeff Liker. I know, I know. We have great friends.

We've hosted a webinar with Karyn Ross before, called How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence, which you can watch here.

In the book The Toyota Way to Service Excellence, Liker and Ross refocus people on the idea that Lean isn’t a mechanistic set of tools to drive out cost and focus on end results, but rather, is a system to deeply understand each of your customer’s needs and then create the services that are going to address those needs. Doing so ensures that your company fulfills its purpose over the long term.

As Ross explained leading up to our webinar, creativity is a large part of this process but sadly, some people believe that they aren’t creative. Herself believing that creativity is the ability to combine and synthesize knowledge and experience rather than flashes of inspiration, Ross is confident people can rediscover or regain their creativity simply by practicing to use it. But while creativity can be rediscovered through practice, just like diet and exercise it’s a much easier process with a coach.

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The Pocket Sensei: Mastering Lean Leadership One Lesson at a Time

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 25, 2018 7:05:00 AM

Know Why Kata.pngMany Lean initiatives fail not because of the accessibility to Lean tools, but because leadership is unavailable when it is needed most. There seems to never be time for developing the important skill of Lean leadership - how do you lead team improvement efforts while urgent daily fires consume your project and your attention?

Our friends Hal Macomber and Calayde Davey have written a book to aid in this effort, called "The Pocket Sensei: Mastering Lean Leadership with 40 Kata." 

The book delivers a rich yet simple repository of Lean leadership and kaizen practices focused on in-the-moment behavioral adaptations you can make within your work situations. This on-the-job learning tool demonstrates how to engage and build fundamental Lean leadership skills across all your project and organizational levels. It is a wonderful starting point to develop individual and team Lean Leadership in a very practical way.

The book will be released as a special edition for the Lean Construction Institute, Vancouver, Canada, in 2018.

In celebration of this event, the book will be free to download from Kindle until January 26!

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The What and Why of CAPA Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 23, 2018 8:17:00 AM

Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) is an essential ingredient in many quality management strategies. The approach relies on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or risks. Corrective actions are applied to issues that have occurred (reactive), and preventive actions attempt to eliminate the potential for problems in the future (proactive).

Many organizations have implemented software to support CAPA efforts. While the methodology can be followed with or without technology, applications designed to streamline the process and measure results help companies get more value out of the work.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Our Best 6 Tips for Implementing Lean Construction

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 18, 2018 7:45:00 AM

We are starting to see a sharp increase in the number of construction companies that are coming to us in search of a software solution to support their efforts to implement Lean management principles.

Many leaders in the space recognize that they can reduce costs, improve safety, deliver more value, and adhere to budgets by applying the tools and techniques that have been popular in healthcare and manufacturing for so long.

For those in that camp, we’d like to share some important advice that we have learned from our clients in construction and related industries.

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Topics: Lean

What the KaiNexus Team Expects to See When We Visit Toyota

Posted by Mark Graban

Jan 16, 2018 4:58:00 AM

Later this week, the entire KaiNexus team is meeting in Austin for our bi-annual team meeting (we have team members in the Dallas area and Virginia so it’s always helpful to get together in person with those who work in Austin every day).

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How Software Amplifies the Impact of Kaizen

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jan 15, 2018 12:08:44 PM

In 1986, Masaaki Imai founded the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) to help western companies to introduce the concepts, systems, and tools of Kaizen. That year, in Japan he also published the book “Kaizen: Japanese spirit of improvement," which helped to popularize the Kaizen concept in the United States. He believed that “The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company.”

Most leaders would likely agree with that sentiment, but it is certainly easier said than done. In order to achieve daily improvement, there must be a structure for both supporting and measuring it. Without visibility into the work of Kaizen, leaders can’t say whether daily improvement is happening, nor can they take action to accelerate the pace of positive change. Fortunately, Kaizen software provides this insight and offers other significant advantages as well.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Leadership, Standard Work, and Sustainment: Questions from the Audience, Answered

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 12, 2018 12:06:32 PM

mark_and_greg.jpgThis month's episode of our Ask Us Anything webinar series kicked off with some excitement about the KaiNexus team's upcoming tour of the Toyota plant in San Antonio. Mark's gone to the plant a few times already, but this will be the first time that the whole KaiNexus team is getting together to make the trek down there. Maybe you're wondering why a technology company is taking a day off to tour a manufacturing plant... so Mark asked Greg.

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8 Sure Fire Ways to Ruin a Kaizen Event

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 10, 2018 6:51:00 AM

Kaizen events, also known as Rapid Improvement Events, are an effective way to tackle many difficult problems in short order. They can also help improve team cohesion and cross-functional collaboration. But like many other continuous improvement techniques, if they are not executed properly, they can cause more harm than good. We’re in the lucky position to have the opportunity to chat with people from all types of organizations about their improvement work. They’ve shared some lessons learned when it comes to Kaizen events. Here are some of the biggest mistakes.

Ignoring Daily Improvement

Kaizen events are one tool in the improvement toolbox, but not the only one. Continuous improvement requires daily attention. Efforts shouldn’t be limited to special events. In most cases, only a few people are involved in each Kaizen event, but daily improvement should be the responsibility of every person in the organization.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

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