<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=749646578535459&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

Subscribe

Improve Your Life in 29 Easy Steps: Continuous Improvement at Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 28, 2015 11:49:00 AM

Developing a culture of continuous improvement is one of the most important things you can do for your employees, and your business. Empowering people to make daily improvements to their work increases job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. It shows that you respect your employees and value their contributions to making your business better, and gives you more eyes and brains focused on increasing the value you provide to your customers. Really, it's a win-win.

Increasing job satisfaction isn't just a nice thing to do -  it makes financial sense, too. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, turnover can cost an organization 33% of an employee’s total compensation, including both salary and benefits. Although some turnover is enviable, engagement programs have been shown to combat it. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies with strategic engagement and recognition program reported a mean employee turnover rate 23.4% lower than retention at companies without such a program.

If you work at a company that doesn't value employee engagement in continuous improvement, the following steps to improving your life will sound pretty familiar to you. If you're the leader of such an organization, I'd suggest changing the way you manage improvement - before too many of your employees make it to steps 27, 28, and 29. 

Read More

Topics: Change Management, Employee Engagement

4 Common Gemba Walk Mistakes: Are You Slipping Up?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Mar 26, 2015 7:23:00 AM

As I started to put together some thoughts on this blog post about some potential Gemba Walk hazards, I recalled a quote by Mike Dooley, author of the New York Times bestselling, Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams.  He said, “Great intentions become tragic action when delivered without careful thought.”

Gemba Walks are an important part of continuous improvement initiatives in many companies.  They are designed to offer leaders the opportunity to observe work, in the place where it is being done, in order to gain insight into current processes and see (or listen to) opportunities for improvement. Your Gemba Walk is unlikely to become tragic, exactly, but it can be less effective - or even counterproductive - when some of these common mistakes are made.

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Change Management

PDSA: A Scientific Approach to Continuous Improvement

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 23, 2015 7:26:00 AM

Dr. W. Edwards Deming is considered by many to be the father of modern quality improvement. Among other important insights into how businesses could become more efficient, reduce costs and increase customer value, he popularized Plan-Do-Study-Adjust (PDSA), a four-step cycle used to achieve continuous improvement in processes and products.

The PDSA approach, sometimes called the Deming Cycle, is based on the scientific method, which approaches problems through hypothesis (plan), experimentation (do) and evaluation (study). In business, the output of a successful PDSA cycle is a new standard that institutionalizes the improvement. The cycle can begin again and further improvement can be achieved.

Read More

Topics: Change Management

The Value Of Sharing Our Mistakes and Opportunities for Improvement

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 17, 2015 6:31:00 AM

We’re all human. Nobody’s perfect. I’ve produced 215 podcasts and there was that one time when I forgot to click “record” while recording a phone call with one of my guests. I owned up to it and said that it was my mistake. No excuses. We had to do the podcast recording over again. I did start using a checklist, though, that helps ensure that I don’t forget important steps (such as clicking “record.”) I haven’t made that mistake a second time.

But… I did manage to make a similar mistake during one of our KaiNexus webinars. I forgot to click record! That, again, created rework for myself and our co-founder Greg Jacobson, MD. We had to re-record the webinar before we could post that for attendees and those who had missed the webinar. We also use checklists for our webinars and have, again, avoided making that mistake a second time. As in operating rooms, we have to be disciplined about using checklists each and every time, to prevent human error from creeping back in when we get cocky from not making a mistake in a while.

Read More

Topics: Change Management, Collaboration

Standard Work: The Baseline for Continuous Improvement

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Feb 3, 2015 2:34:00 AM

Merriam-Webster defines “improvement” as “The act or process of making something better.” The very word is relative. To determine if something has been made better, you must first answer the question, “Better than what?”  For many businesses, this is a more difficult question than it may seem. If processes are undocumented or performed differently by different teams or people, it can be difficult to establish a baseline, let alone measure the results of any improvement efforts. That’s why standard work is central to business process methodologies that aspire to practice continuous improvement.

Read More

Topics: Change Management

4 Innovation Tools that Accelerate Business Momentum

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 26, 2015 8:26:00 AM

Most business leaders recognize that their organization could benefit from more innovative products and processes. However, the practical path to new and novel ideas isn’t always as clear. How does one begin the process of forming a culture that values creative thought and seeks opportunities for improvement? Here are a few innovation tools that help to get the dust off of organizations that have become stuck in old thinking.

Read More

Topics: Innovation Software, Change Management

The Advantages of Complexity Reduction

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 15, 2014 7:37:00 AM

Most businesses start out with fairly simple processes, product lines and structure. However, over time, adjustments are made, new elements are added, technology changes, and operations become much more complicated. Eventually it can be difficult to determine why things are done the way they are. Complexity reduction helps organizations focus on customer value and eliminate unnecessary activities, expenses, and potentially even products.

Read More

Topics: Change Management

Value Stream Mapping Best Practices

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 10, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Value stream mapping (VSM) is used to visually depict, analyze, and improve the flow of materials and information through end-to-end processes. It is an effective method of identifying waste and opportunities for error. It is used by companies who have adopted the Lean Manufacturing or Lean Sigma business methodologies, as well as by others who are practicing continuous improvement. The visualization of value stream maps often makes bottlenecks, unnecessary activities, and information flow problems more readily apparent, making it easier for stakeholders to agree on opportunities for improvement. The best practice is to approach the initiative in the following phases.

Read More

Topics: Change Management

Improve Safety with These 4 Techniques

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 10, 2014 9:26:00 AM

Back in junior high school, they made us take something called industrial arts, AKA shop class.  They weren't going to turn a bunch of twelve-year-old kids loose on arc welders or grinders, but there was a shiny little jigsaw that we got to use. 

Before we could even look at the thing, our teacher, Mr. Leatherwood, spread out his hand in front of the class and started yelling about safety while we all counted his fingers and noticed he was one short.  He told a bloody tale about saw blades and paying attention to your work and waved that hand at us to prove his point.  It was unsettling, but effective. The whole lot of us made it through 7th grade with all of our fingers. That’s one way to improve workplace safety, but let’s talk about a few that are less extreme.

Read More

Topics: Change Management

4 Surprising Advantages of Change Management Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 27, 2014 7:10:00 AM

The idea of change management came to prominence in the 1980’s and 1990’s when the large consulting firms leveraged it as a way to make sure that technology innovations were adopted by clients in the most effective way possible.  Change management software was inevitability developed to bring structure to the process. Perhaps because of its origins, change management software is often thought of by business leaders as necessary only for organizations undergoing massive systemic change or for the management of complex multi-stage projects.  While it is useful in both scenarios, it has also been implemented by organizations that simply want to capitalize on a wide variety of opportunities for improvement, some small, some large.  In doing so, leaders have uncovered some surprising benefits beyond successful project completion.  Here are a few.

Fresh Perspectives

The word perspective has several definitions including, “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”  It is natural for individuals at various levels of an organization to have different perspectives regarding almost every aspect of business.  Problems that look insignificant from the C-suite may represent real pain to front-line workers or clients.  Change management software is designed to gather ideas, input and energy from all levels of an organization and consider each opportunity for improvement from the perspective of those closest to the problem and most invested in positive change.  Surprisingly impactful and easy-to-implement ideas are often uncovered for immediate, tangible improvement.

Read More

Topics: Innovation Software, Change Management, Change Management Software

Recent Posts