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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Deciding to Take the Leap: A Look at Improvement Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 22, 2017 7:02:00 AM

Deciding when to move from a paper system of managing continuous improvement to a digital system is tough. You know that you're not as effective or efficient as you could be, but growing pains in an improvement culture come on so gradually, it's hard to know how much better things could really get with the right platform.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and Snow Cones

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 21, 2017 7:26:00 AM

Preface: I’m in northern California today. Summer doesn’t even officially begin for three days and it is 107 degrees! So, the fact that I started thinking about what quality improvement and delicious frozen treats have in common should not imply that I’ve finally lost it.

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is one of those things that is like a snow cone. It’s something that pretty much everyone can agree is awesome. Who wouldn’t want it?  “Always getting better is overrated,” said nobody – ever. Yet for some reason, not every organization has a plan for how to achieve CQI. Fewer still, have systems and processes in place to support it, and many that try never successfully reach their goals.

Why is that?

Let’s see if my snow cone analogy can help explain some of what conditions are necessary for CQI to catch hold.

 

If Neglected, It Will Melt

We don’t have hard data to back it up, but it is quite likely that the number one killer of CQI programs is simple neglect. Leadership gets very excited about this opportunity to revolutionize the organization, cut waste, and clobber the competition. They hold a meeting, send out a message, maybe even put up some signs and then go back to business as usual. Pretty soon, everything reverts to the old way of doing things, except that maybe employees are sharing Dilbert strips about CQI, or TPS, or Lean, or whatever you’ve called the program. (Don’t doubt that there is a Dilbert strip for all of them.) If you want to see what happens to CQI programs with disengaged leadership, just leave your snow cone on the driveway for the afternoon.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Continuous Improvement Software

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Digital Huddle Board

Posted by Jake Sussman

Jun 12, 2017 11:58:46 AM

Whether you are new to huddle boards or have decided it’s time to move yours from the wall into the cloud, we offer you congratulations. Digital huddle boards are an excellent way to organize and track improvement projects. They have the potential to increase the number of completed improvements and to help you prove how valuable this effort is to the organization.

Selecting the right solution is critical, but it can be tricky. Lots of solutions can claim to fill the role of a huddle board, but very few are designed specifically for that purpose with all of the features and capabilities needed to really get the most out of the approach.

If you are looking for a solution, here are some of the questions you might ask and the answers you should expect.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software

The Need for Improvement Software to Measure Improvement KPIs

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 9, 2017 7:03:00 AM

We've written time and time again about the value of monitoring and measuring the impact, activity, and engagement of people in an improvement culture. Doing so enables you to track strategic progress, pinpoint problems, identify top performers, and inspire engagement - among other things. Your activity, engagement, and impact metrics are the vital signs of your improvement culture, yet many organizations fail to take the time to capture and evaluate these KPIs. A big part of the problem is that it's difficult to ensure that everyone logs an impact for every improvement or projects, you wind up trying to compare apples to oranges and can't aggregate the data, the numbers quickly become outdated, and there's no way to ensure that accurate numbers are shared.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Digital Huddle Boards

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 23, 2017 8:04:00 AM

I noticed this old ad the other day and it made me laugh. I don’t know what year it was made but at the time, the best new idea in business automation apparently was the Rolodex. “The last word in filing convenience.”

OK, well, maybe not so last.

I doubt that you are still using index cards to organize your contacts, but your organization’s approach to huddle boards may be just as outdated. In the same way that an electronic contact database has a ton of advantages over a Rolodex, digital huddle boards offer valuable benefits than paper notes pinned to a poster on the wall. Here are the top reasons to consider an upgrade.

 

1 – Digital Boards Are Available from Anywhere

The modern workforce is often distributed with people working from home either some or all of the time. In addition, the ease of collaboration has made it so that team members don’t necessarily need to work in the same location to be successful. Physical huddle boards have the obvious limitation that you have to be present to look at or interact with them. This is not the case with the latest huddle board software. It can reside in the cloud so that team members can access it anytime, from wherever they happen to be. Engagement with improvement can be sustained even if folks are working remotely, traveling, or if inspiration strikes after hours or on the weekend.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

How Software Makes Gemba Walks More Effective

Posted by Kade Jansson

May 16, 2017 12:50:20 PM

We get the chance to chat with a lot of frontline employees, managers, and executive leaders about all aspects of continuous improvement. We love to learn about how organizations are using the techniques and tools of Lean and other methodologies to improve results and reach their most important business goals. Gemba Walks are a practice that comes up quite a bit. Some leaders find them to be incredibly effective and welcomed by managers and staff alike, while others find them to be a chore with disappointing results.

Why is that?

Proper technique is certainly an issue (there are lots of ways that Gemba Walks can go wrong), but the use of software to support the effort also makes a big difference.

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Here’s how it helps.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Gemba Walk

How to Select the Best Kaizen Software Solution

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 15, 2017 7:00:00 AM

If you are like most people, you don’t buy technology to support Kaizen every day, even though you know that you should be implementing something more strategic and robust than spreadsheets and paper boards. Most people who come to us have never faced the challenge of evaluating solutions and choosing a vendor themselves, so don’t feel alone if you are in that boat. It's not as hard as it seems at first blush!

The good news is that there are some easy ways to sort out which solutions you should seriously consider.

Here’s a primer on what to look for.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Free eBook Download: An Introduction to Continuous Improvement Software

Posted by Jake Sussman

May 11, 2017 7:04:00 AM

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you're probably aware by now that we produce a lot of educational material about continuous improvement methodologies, leadership, engagement strategies, and how to spread an improvement culture. We have a regular webinar series, producing new videos a couple of times per month, we have a set of awesome educational videos discussing best practices for continuous improvement and a library of eBooks we've written on these topics.

Today's blog post is an excerpt from our latest eBook, An Introduction to Continuous Improvement Software.

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To read the full eBook, download it free here:

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

An Introduction to Kaizen Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 8, 2017 7:19:00 AM

The practice of Kaizen along with the Six Sigma and Lean business process methodologies has been widespread in manufacturing for decades.

More recently other sectors have realized that the practices and principles of Kaizen can accelerate improvement in almost any organization.

Like manufacturers, leaders in every industry from construction to higher education are leveraging Kaizen software to support and perfect their efforts to execute on more opportunities for improvement.

For those who are not yet familiar with Kaizen software, we’ve put together this broad introduction.

 

What is Kaizen Software?

Kaizen software is technology designed to help organizations complete more improvements, track the results of improvement work, and maintain a historical record of every project. Modern solutions are typically cloud-based, accessed via the Internet, and available on mobile devices. Users simply log-in and gain access to the platform.

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Important features include:

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

9 Ways a Lean Management System Propels Positive Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 28, 2017 8:16:00 AM


I was at a neighborhood gathering the other day when I ran into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in years.  She asked me what I had been up to, so I told her a bit about my role at KaiNexus and mentioned that we have software that helps companies achieve success with business methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma.

“Oh,” she said. “I figured they just used spreadsheets and email.”

I didn’t want to hog the conversation or turn a social event into a business lecture, so I just responded that there are a lot of reasons that organizations are more successful if they use software to support improvement efforts.

I was trying to be chill then, I’m not now. You’ve come to this blog for a reason, so hopefully (unlike my friend) you are interested in the gritty details about how a Lean management system can act as a booster rocket for positive organizational change. Here are nine ways that spring to mind.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software