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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Common Excuses for Neglecting the Continuous Improvement Cycle

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 3, 2019 7:43:00 AM

Every business leader we talk to says that they would like to achieve continuous improvement. We’ve never heard one yet say, “Nah, who needs that?” But, strangely, not every organization has implemented a structure to support improvement or worked to develop a culture that values it.

That seems odd, right?

It turns out that this isn’t the result of leaders who are stupid or lazy. There are a lot of ways to rationalize against the effort and investment it takes to make using a continuous improvement cycle part of everyday operations. But if you press on these ideas a bit, you’ll find that they deflate under pressure. Here are a few that we see quite a bit.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

What Changes When an Organization Implements a Lean Management System?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 2, 2019 12:59:05 PM

We talk to people who are interested in investing in software to support their continuous improvement efforts every day. Some of them are already using the Lean business methodology, others are just rolling it out, and still others are taking a “Lean light” approach by leveraging some of the principles without adopting all of the techniques. In any case, leaders want to have a good understanding of what to expect and how a Lean management system can help them achieve their goals. Fortunately, we are well positioned to share what our customers have told us happened when they invested in technology to bolster their improvement and waste reduction efforts.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Daily Lean Management, Continuous Improvement Software

An 11 Step Gemba Walk Template for Executive Leaders

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Mar 29, 2019 9:04:00 AM

“We say seeing is believing, but actually, we are much better at believing than seeing. In fact, we are seeing what we believe all the time and occasionally, what we can’t believe.” – Robert Anton Wilson


Gemba walks
are a critical continuous improvement technique. They are useful for leaders at every level but particularly eye-opening for executives and other top-level managers. Why? The simple process of going to the place where works is done, showing respect for workers, asking questions, and reflecting on observations can change one’s perception of how well a process is operating. It also offers an opportunity to build trust and increase employee engagement. Many direct supervisors and mid-level managers practice Gemba walks, especially in Lean organizations, but it is important for executives to do them as well. That’s why we’ve put together this Gemba walk template for executives. It addresses elements that would be less important to managers who are closer to the process daily.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management, Gemba Walk

Introducing: The KaiNexus Partner Program

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 28, 2019 7:56:00 AM

I frequently speak with consultants looking to see how they can improve the services that they provide to their clients. They often mention the same problems: too much time building and implementing their systems, difficulty tracking and visualizing excel projects, and reporting the impact of their work. Ditch spreadsheets, SharePoint sites, homegrown systems. We have the perfect solution.

Introducing the KaiNexus Partner Program!

The KaiNexus Partner Program has been designed from the ground up to help make consultants more efficient by using KaiNexus continuous improvement software. You have knowledge about how to build a culture of continuous improvement and KaiNexus has knowledge of how to use technology to support it. Combine forces to make your engagement more effective than ever!

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6 Excellent Reasons to Consider Lean Construction Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 27, 2019 9:11:00 AM

While many people associate the Lean business methodology primarily with manufacturing, it is an ideal approach in the construction industry. Construction projects are complex. They involve many disciplines, require the movement of people and materials, they are expensive, and they involve significant risk. We can’t think of a situation more perfect for Lean. Lean construction software isn’t a requirement for leveraging the approach which seeks to respect workers, eliminate waste, and continuously improve. However, implementing a platform to support Lean puts construction firms in the best position to solve problems, maximize profits, and sustain growth. Here are some of the reasons why.

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Topics: Lean, Software, lean construction

What Other Industries Have Learned from Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Mar 26, 2019 7:11:00 AM

Lean manufacturing is a business methodology that is based on tools and techniques implemented at Toyota in their post-WWII efforts to improve the quality of its automobiles. They called it simply "The Toyota Production System" and “The Toyota Way.” Other manufacturers recognized the success the company enjoyed and applied the approach. Visits to Toyota to observe Lean manufacturing in action are common to this day.

The beauty of Lean is that it can be applied to almost any type of organization. Its pillars of continuous improvement and respect for people are universally relevant. Today, Lean is used in healthcare, high-technology, construction, education, services, and government.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

Webinar | How One Community Hospital is Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Clint Corley

Mar 21, 2019 7:43:00 AM

Recently, our very own Senior Advisor, Mark Graban had the opportunity to chat with Mike McGowan, Director of Process Excellence at Marietta Memorial Hospital. Mike has worked as a Medical Technologist, Chemistry Supervisor, Laboratory Director, and Senior Director in healthcare for the last 35 years spending most of that time at Marietta Memorial Hospital. He is a Lean Six Sigma black belt and is a 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University with a Master’s Degree in Business Operational Excellence.

Their conversation centered on how Marietta Memorial Hospital System uses training and five specific roles to build and spread a culture of continuous improvement. Mike shared what their organization does well and where there are still opportunities for improvement. He also reflected on the leadership behaviors necessary to achieve cultural change. This post is a recap of their conversation.

View the Webinar:

 

How One Community Hospital is Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Presented by Mike McGowan, Director of Process Excellence at 
Marietta Memorial Hospital

 Watch Now

  • Learn how Memorial Health System uses training and five specific roles to build and spread a culture of continuous improvement
  • Hear what MHS has done well and where we could improve
  • Discuss the leadership behaviors necessary to accomplish a culture change

 

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Topics: Lean Healthcare, Webinars

Two Things Employee Engagement Software Must Do

Posted by Noah Paratore

Mar 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

According to Gallup, only 15% of employees report being fully engaged at work. That’s why it is no surprise that a growing number of companies are leveraging employee engagement software to try to improve that number. There are many software solutions on the market, so how do you decide which ones to consider?

In order to help transform your organization, employee engagement software must do two things. It must increase employee engagement and measure it.

Increase Engagement

How can employee engagement software help coax more discretionary effort from your staff?

When thoughtfully deployed it can:

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5 Principles of a High Reliability Organization (HRO)

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 18, 2019 10:13:10 AM

 A high-reliability organization (HRO) is an organization that has succeeded in avoiding catastrophes despite a high level of risk and complexity. Specific examples that have been studied, most famously by researchers Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe, include nuclear power plants, air traffic control systems, and naval aircraft carriers. Recently healthcare organizations have moved to adopt the HRO mindset as well. In each case, even a minor error could have catastrophic consequences.

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Topics: HRO

The Journey Toward Performance Excellence

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 15, 2019 7:11:00 AM

The urgency to improve organizational performance is at an all-time high. Today’s customers expect more value for every dollar, knowledgeable employees are difficult to find and retain, competition is fierce, technology and data grow increasingly complex, and business models evolve ever more quickly. Given all of that and the complexity of modern organizations, a scatter-shot approach to improvement is not enough. Organizations need a systematic approach to incremental change that will drive them toward the ultimate goal of performance excellence.

The Baldrige Framework, which was developed in 1987 as a public-private partnership to be managed by the Department of Commerce, specifically the National Bureau of Standards (now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology – or NIST), provides a structure that organizations can use to diagnose weaknesses and set priorities for improvement. The approach has been proven to help organizations transform with respect to customer satisfaction, employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, resource optimization, and ultimately performance excellence.

 

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, Operational Excellence

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