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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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How A3 Software Supports Problem Solving

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Oct 16, 2017 11:20:59 AM

The A3 approach is a brilliantly simple problem-solving technique. It is based on the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Adjust) improvement cycle and is a systematic method for solving problems on a single piece of paper. This one-pager of A3 size (11 X 17), is how A3 got its name.

 

The Benefits of the A3 Technique

A3 is popular with Six Sigma and Lean management practitioners and others who are interested in continuous improvement. Organizations benefit from A3 because it:

  • Creates a consistent approach to solving problems throughout the entire organization
  • Requires a balanced way of thinking both visually and analytically (Right Brain/Left Brain)
  • Reduces complexity and keeps focus on the problem
  • Generates alignment and consensus
  • Provides a visual representation of data that is easy for everyone to understand
  • Short circuits the temptation to jump to conclusions and implement improvements without due consideration

 

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

A Simple Introduction to Putting Process Control Charts to Work

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 29, 2017 9:07:00 AM

We’ve written a few posts introducing process control charts and explaining why they are so useful. Today we want to dig a little bit deeper and get into the weeds of actually putting them to work.

As we’ve noted, a process control chart is a graph used to monitor how a process behaves over time. Data are plotted in time order. A control chart always has a central line for the average (sometimes a median), an upper line for the upper control limit, and a lower line for the lower control limit. These lines are calculated from historical data and usually cover three standard deviations from the mean.

Process control charts help get managers out of the trap of overrreacting to every up and down in the data. It also helps avoid problems caused by only looking at average results. Instead, they help leaders understand the variation of results. Why does variation matter? Consider an example, if you are planning an event and are told that the average age of attendees is 32, you might ponder a swanky cocktail party. But in reality, your guests might include many children and elderly people, who aren’t interested in a dry martini. More information is always better.

So where to begin? Here is a quick guide to implementing and using process control charts.

 

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

5 Prerequisites for Solid Continuous Process Improvement

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 26, 2017 11:41:25 AM

I recently joined a few of my family members on a trip to Disneyland. My 9-year-old niece from Utah was among the group. She’d never been to California before and had never seen a palm tree. She was fascinated by them, but also a little angry. “Why don’t we have trees like this at home?” she asked. I’m no botanist, but I explained to her that different plants grow in different places because they need certain conditions to thrive. The temperature, soil composition, humidity, rainfall, and other factors create the environment that determines what vegetation will take root. That’s why you don’t see cacti in a swamp, or tomatoes in the desert.  

Over the years we’ve spent working with organizations interested in positive change, we’ve seen time and time again, that much like palm trees, continuous process improvement (CPI) needs certain conditions to flourish. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on Mother Nature to create a conducive atmosphere. If you are just beginning your CPI journey, or if you are struggling to achieve results, make sure that these crucial prerequisites are in place.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

Break Through Common Barriers to Improvement with CQI Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 20, 2017 12:40:15 PM

Given the nature of our business, you can probably imagine that we get the chance to talk to lots of folks who are struggling to create a culture of improvement that lasts.

One of the most common emotions that these leaders express is frustration. It’s fairly obvious that improvement is good for everyone in the organization. “Why doesn’t it just happen on its own, or with some support from management?” they ask.

Our experience with clients over the years has taught us that there are some barriers that get in the way of positive change. The good news is that CQI software can help break them down.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

Keys to a Successful Lean Construction Software Implementation

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 19, 2017 8:33:00 AM

There are many compelling reasons to invest in Lean construction software. Companies that do so are able to reduce costs, improve safety, get projects done faster, and delight clients.

But not every Lean construction software implementation is a success.

Some organizations struggle with inadequate user adoption, poor data management, and other barriers to a smooth and effective solution roll out.

We’ve helped tons of organizations implement improvement technology and can share the best practices we’ve uncovered.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software

How Digitizing Your Idea Boards Amplifies their Impact

Posted by Jake Sussman

Sep 5, 2017 7:21:00 AM

If you have (or are considering creating) an idea board to collect employee suggestions for improvement, please take a minute to pat yourself on the back. You obviously realize the value of employee ideas and understand that not all innovation comes from the top down. You are also willing to act on that instinct and try to gather opportunities for improvement from all sources. Good for you!

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Methodology

What to Focus on When Picking Six Sigma Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 25, 2017 12:15:25 PM

Investing in software to support your Six Sigma initiatives is an effective way to make sure that you get the most out of the methodology. Setting up a structure for improvement makes it simpler for people throughout the organization to participate in, and effectively oversee, continuous improvement efforts.

Organizations that leverage Six Sigma software collect more opportunities for improvement, implement more solutions, and see a higher ROI for Six Sigma. There are a number of solutions on the market that were either developed as Six Sigma management tools or repurposed as such, so we thought it might be helpful to identify some of the most important capabilities that you should look for when evaluating this type of technology.

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Topics: Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement Software

CQI Software: Advantages Beyond Project Management

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 11, 2017 7:28:00 AM

We recently had an interesting conversation with a newly minted director of quality improvement in a regional hospital. The position is new, but she has years of experience implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs. The first thing she realized that she needed was CQI software to support the initiative. She made the request for budget to the CFO who told her that fortunately, the hospital already had project management software and that she was free to use it to manage improvement projects.

This is a common response. Many executives think that CQI software simply tracks projects, assignments, due dates, and status updates. In that case, it makes sense to use the general project management software you already have. Heck, maybe even a spreadsheet will do.

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Topics: Quality, Continuous Improvement Software

Not Every Organization is Ready for Process Improvement Software. Is Yours?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 10, 2017 11:45:52 AM

It may seem odd for a company that sells process improvement software to declare that not every company is ready to buy it. We do like partnering with new customers, after all. But the thing is, we only want happy customers. And happy customers are organizations that have successful process improvement software rollouts, good adoption of the solution, and measurable impacts on key business metrics as a result.  

Even if you choose another solution provider, we think it is important that leaders ask a few difficult questions before going straight to technology to solve their problems.

Obviously, we believe that software is a critical component in any improvement initiative, but it is not the only one.

Here are some questions smart leadership teams ask before starting a process improvement software implementation.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

The Trick to Implementing Efficient Bottom-Up Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 6, 2017 7:37:00 AM

Organizations all over the world, in almost every industry, are turning to continuous improvement software to solve their most challenging issues. The most successful of these Lean organizations are aware that they need 5 elements to succeed in creating an improvement culture: bottom-up improvement, top-down improvement, strategy deployment, coaching, and visual management.

That sounds like a lot to excel at all at once, doesn’t it?

So how do these Lean organizations pull it off?

With continuous improvement software. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at how technology facilitates improvement from the bottom-up, looking at it from both the perspectives of the staff AND of the coaches.

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With improvement software, employees are able to:

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Continuous Improvement Software