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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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The 10 Principles of Operational Excellence

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 25, 2021 11:52:08 AM

The dictionary defines “principle” as “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or a chain of reasoning." Principles help us see the positive and negative results of our actions. They enable us to make smarter decisions about what we choose to do.

In business, when leaders, managers, and team members understand the principles of operational excellence, they are better able to align systems and reward ideal behavior. This creates a sustainable culture of improvement in which achieving the desired results is standard, rather than exceptional.

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Topics: Operational Excellence

Achieve Breakthroughs with Strategy Execution Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 24, 2021 10:21:27 AM

One of the most critical responsibilities of leadership teams in organizations of all types and sizes is to set the strategic direction and develop an executable plan to achieve the most important key performance indicators. Unfortunately, until recently, the data used to drive strategy execution was limited to lagging indicators like financial performance and customer satisfaction ratings. 

Today, a new option that allows management with leading indicators of success is available. Rather than a rearview mirror, strategy execution software provides management teams with a dashboard to help them drive toward the results they need to achieve.

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Topics: Strategy Deployment

How to Deploy A3 Strategic Planning for Maximum Results

Posted by Morgan Wright

Aug 18, 2021 10:16:00 AM

What is an A3 Strategy?

Strategy deployment is a periodic planning technique that sets a company’s goals, performance indicators, targets, and helps the team develop a month-to-month deployment plan to get those achievements. The plan is laid out on one A3-size piece of paper (11” x 17”), which becomes the organization’s strategy execution plan. You can think of it as a map that shows where you are today (What’s actually happening), where you want to go (What should be happening), and ultimately, the planned road to get there. Modern companies use software rather than paper and pencil for A3 planning. 

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32 Business Process Improvement Examples to Guide Your Efforts

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 17, 2021 10:19:43 AM

One of the biggest challenges we hear from organizations that are new to structured business process improvement is that it is hard to articulate for employees what constitutes an opportunity for improvement. Usually, there are some low-hanging-fruit ideas that people jump on right away, but once those are cleared away, it can be difficult to spot flaws in processes, especially ones that you operate every day.

An excellent remedy for this problem is giving employees categories of improvement possibilities to consider. By providing a few examples and asking questions, leaders can spark ideas, get people thinking innovatively, and support their improvement cultures.

Once problems are identified, a variety of improvement techniques can be deployed to solve them.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process

Best Practices for Effective Kaizen Management

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 16, 2021 3:34:33 PM

Kaizen management can give your company a significant edge over your competitors. It involves lean operations and continuous improvement, two vital factors to be effective in today’s economy. Another essential component is empowering your team members to participate in finding the opportunity to improve.

Following a kaizen management style involves a shift away from many of the principles of traditional business management models.

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Apply the Right Lean Tools for Every Improvement

Posted by Adam Darnell

Aug 12, 2021 12:32:45 PM

Whether or not your organization fully embraces the Lean manufacturing business paradigm or just borrows some of its best practices, the methodology has many valuable tools and techniques. There are so many that it can be challenging to decide which one to use for a given project or problem. There’s no “right” way to apply lean tools to achieve continuous improvement, but there are some situations for which particular techniques are generally well suited. 

We’ve broken down the most valuable tools that can be leveraged to support daily improvement, problem-solving, waste elimination, and strategic planning in this post. Before we get into specific tools, however, it is helpful to understand the common goals of all Lean tools. Each performs one or more of the following functions: 

  • Communicate Information  
  • Define and Share Standards
  • Enforce the Standards
  • Bring Attention to Variation
  • React to Variation 
  • Prevent Variation from Occurring

Lean practitioners deliver maximum value to the customer by eliminating waste and creating processes that produce consistent, predictable results. These Lean management and total quality tools are used to achieve those goals.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Lean Software

How To Achieve High Reliability, Error Free Operations

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 11, 2021 11:52:51 AM

A high-reliability organization (HRO) is an organization that is successful in avoiding catastrophes despite a high level of risk and complexity. Specific examples are air traffic control systems, nuclear power plants, naval aircraft carriers, and hospitals. In each of these cases, even a minor mistake can lead to catastrophic results.

Nonetheless, adverse outcomes in these types of organizations are very unusual. How can that be?

Fortunately, we don’t have to guess the answer. Thanks to researchers Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe and the case studies they created, we know precisely which attitudes have taken root in these “High-Reliability Organizations.” The good news is that your organization doesn’t need to deal with life-or-death risk to apply the principles that create an environment where error-free operations are the norm.

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Topics: HRO, Improvement Culture

What is the Value of Digital Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 10, 2021 1:11:06 PM

The generation now entering the workforce will never use a payphone, never write a check, never get off the couch to turn the channel, and never look up movie times in the newspaper. Things that all seemed normal and permanent to those of us over 40 are simply not things anymore. The internet age is upon us, and we can make calls from anywhere, send money with a click, watch shows on-demand, and buy movie tickets with an app. Change isn’t always easy, but new ways of doing things make us more efficient, better connected, and more flexible.

This is true for organizations as well. Modern technology continues to advance and offer organizations more efficient, scalable, and effective ways of doing things. Core business functions still exist. The sales, HR, manufacturing, accounting, and logistics functions continue to be essential, but now they are assisted with software and other technology that aids performance. Likewise, a new digital continuous improvement approach has emerged and been embraced by successful organizations in every sector.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Lean Software

Use A3 Process Mapping for Root Cause Problem-Solving

Posted by Clint Corley

Aug 5, 2021 9:13:00 AM

Most companies today work to improve their performance continuously. The basis of this improvement is practical problem-solving. Unfortunately, many organizations are not very adept at solving the day-to-day, year-to-year problems that they face. Most are very good at emergency firefighting but not as effective at solving the root causes and ensuring that problems don't recur. 

One company that figured it out is Toyota. Toyota's approach to continuous improvement is among the most studied and copied in the world. Many of the tools and techniques they practice are replicated in organizations of all types and sizes across the globe. One such method is called A3 process mapping. When used with the PDSA improvement cycle, it can significantly impact an organization's improvement efforts and deliver structured change that impacts critical business metrics.

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

When to Build vs. Buy Software for Quality Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 3, 2021 10:28:12 AM

Organizations of all types and sizes have realized that continuous quality improvement is easiest to spread and sustain if a software platform is used to support it. If you are ready to take your organization's approach to positive change to the next level by doing so, congratulations! Our customers have found that the benefits of using technology to support improvement are vast.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software

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