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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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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

8 Standard Work Blunders You Can Absolutely Avoid

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 27, 2017 7:52:00 AM

Standard work (sometimes called “standardized work”) is a term that practitioners of a continuous improvement methodology such as Lean, Kaizen or Six Sigma have probably heard before. It is simply a detailed written description of the most efficient and effective way known to complete a particular process or task, safely, with the highest quality result.

The goal is to reduce variation and improve key performance indicators (KPIs) related to delivery, quality, and cost measures. It also makes it possible to predict how long a task will take, no matter which employee does it.

The approach is straightforward, but there are a surprising number of ways to mess it up. I blame some of that on the name.

Standard work is an accurate description of what it is, but I think the name gives some people the sense that the Standard never changes and that employees should blindly follow it without comment or complaint. Nothing could be further from the truth. Standard work is the baseline or “floor” for improvement, not the ceiling. Ignoring this notion leads to a bunch of big mistakes. Here are some of the worst ones.

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Topics: Change Management, Continuous Improvement Software

Fact: Continuous Improvement Software Helps You Implement MORE Improvements

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 25, 2017 7:33:00 AM

One of the things I love about working at KaiNexus is how much joy we each take in the successes of our customers. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a call, text, or email from someone on our team who logged into a customer account to check on something and discovered an improvement with an astronomically high impact, a ridiculously successful engagement rate, or a steep improvement curve. We're all constantly reveling in the cool things our customers are accomplishing.

One of the impacts KaiNexus has on these organizations is that they see a massive increase in the number - and quality - of improvements that they're able to implement once they roll out KaiNexus. We've spent years studying how and why introducing technology has such a startling impact on implementation rates, and recently asked some customers to share the impact KaiNexus has had on the implementation of improvements in their organizations.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

A Video Introduction to Continuous Improvement Software

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 12, 2017 7:23:00 AM

Organizations that have a thriving, long-term culture of continuous improvement succeed because they address the need for improvement from every level. They do this by rolling out top-down improvement with goals and priorities set by leadership along with bottom-up daily, continuous improvement from the front lines. Successful organizations know that it's important to tie all improvement work into their critical goals, and so they use strategy deployment to keep everything on track.

Traditionally, an improvement culture this well-ingrained in the company would rely on project management software to organize the top-down initiatives, spreadsheets to manage the bottom-up improvement, and paper boards to organize strategy deployment. Leading organizations recognize that applying these methods to continuous improvement is outdated and that the smarter way to start, spread, and sustain an improvement culture is to use a single platform for all three of these approaches.

Continuous Improvement Software eBook

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software

Get Your Lean Management System Off to the Right Start

Posted by Jake Sussman

Apr 7, 2017 10:20:48 AM

The first few months of the implementation of any technology or management system are crucial to success. This is doubly true for many Lean management system deployments because often organizations are introducing the Lean approach and the technology to support it at the same time. Over the years, our customers have shared with us some of their best advice for rolling out a solution that will be adopted by employees and effective at speeding the pace of positive change. Here’s what they recommend.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Why Host Training & Classes in Your Continuous Improvement Platform?

Posted by Becca Millard

Apr 6, 2017 7:37:00 AM

Any good continuous improvement platform empowers you to improve in any way you see fit, rather than forcing you to subscribe to one particular methodology. That means people use the software to support a ton of different types of improvement work - including improvement-related certification classes.

Organizing your Lean certifications and classes in the same platform you use to actually do the improvement work makes it possible for students to learn improvement concepts while practicing the methodology at the same time.

This is important because the unifying theme to adult learning is the fact that adults learn better when they actually do the action they are learning. Instead of learning a theoretical improvement concept and then trying to take it back to their workplace, using the improvement concept or tool in a real-life system allows the student to understand the concept or tool better and has the consequence of actually improving the organization. That is why Lean Certification courses generally have an Opportunity for Improvement, A3, Just-do, or larger Lean project component.

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Continuous improvement software is leveraged less as a Learning Management System and more as a Improvement Management System that has a built-in learning component.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software