When people ask me about my job and I explain that my company offers Lean software, people who know anything about the Lean business management methodology usually assume that all of our customers are manufacturers. That’s not an unreasonable assumption given Lean’s origins in the Japanese automobile industry, but it’s also not true. We have customers in all sort of industries from banking to non-profit. We have clients in industries ranging from logistics and financial services companies to construction companies and hospitals.
Feb 14, 2018 6:26:00 AM
Feb 2, 2018 10:45:28 AM
If you are still tracking your Kaizen activities in spreadsheets, I get it. Spreadsheets are a tempting approach because you already have them, most people know how to use their basic functions, they’re infinitely configurable, they never get the math wrong, and rows and columns are an intuitive way to organize things.
But let me ask you a question.
Do you use spreadsheets to track sales activity, inventory, customer support requests, and employee data? Probably not. You probably have a CRM, and ERP, and HR software.
Could you track those things in spreadsheets?
Sure, but you don’t because those functions are important enough that you want a solution custom-built to support them. You want consistency across users, you want data security and integrity, and you want active functionality.
If you are serious about continuous improvement, you’d want all of those things for Kaizen tracking as well.
There are a number of reasons that spreadsheets are a particularly bad fit for Kaizen tracking.
Jan 23, 2018 8:17:00 AM
Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) is an essential ingredient in many quality management strategies. The approach relies on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or risks. Corrective actions are applied to issues that have occurred (reactive), and preventive actions attempt to eliminate the potential for problems in the future (proactive).
Many organizations have implemented software to support CAPA efforts. While the methodology can be followed with or without technology, applications designed to streamline the process and measure results help companies get more value out of the work.
Jan 15, 2018 12:08:44 PM
In 1986, Masaaki Imai founded the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) to help western companies to introduce the concepts, systems, and tools of Kaizen. That year, in Japan he also published the book “Kaizen: Japanese spirit of improvement," which helped to popularize the Kaizen concept in the United States. He believed that “The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company.”
Most leaders would likely agree with that sentiment, but it is certainly easier said than done. In order to achieve daily improvement, there must be a structure for both supporting and measuring it. Without visibility into the work of Kaizen, leaders can’t say whether daily improvement is happening, nor can they take action to accelerate the pace of positive change. Fortunately, Kaizen software provides this insight and offers other significant advantages as well.
Dec 29, 2017 1:21:55 PM
As 2017 comes quickly to a close, we took a minute to look back over some of the blogs we’ve posted on one of our favorite topics, the Lean Management system. If you are interested in learning more about Lean management, or continuous improvement in general, this post is a great place to start.
We’ve curated our best content on the subject and pulled together some descriptions and excerpts.
Links to each post are provided if you are interested in learning more. Enjoy!
Dec 22, 2017 3:43:43 PM
Before we dig into the topic of A3 problem solving and software, here’s a little peek into how the sausage is made for this blog. One of the ways we decide which topics to cover is that we take a look at what improvement related terms people are searching for, and if we have something useful to add to the conversation, we write about it. We can’t really say that Lean management and improvement terms “go viral,” but there are definitely trends in what people want to learn more about.
Lately, we’ve noticed that interest in the A3 method of problem-solving is increasing. That’s probably because more organizations are looking for a simple, yet effective way to streamline improvement projects and set a standard for how to report on these efforts.
Here’s how the approach got started and how it has changed with the times.
Topics: Continuous Improvement Software
Dec 8, 2017 7:15:00 AM
We are occasionally asked if it is possible to implement Kaizen without using
The answer is yes.
It is possible to adopt a continuous improvement mindset, embrace the belief that positive change is everyone’s responsibility, and execute improvement projects all without a dedicated solution to support the effort. Heck, Toyota did it before email was a thing.
However, we can say with confidence that organizations that do choose to leverage a Kaizen software solution see more impactful improvements in a shorter period of time. They are able to manage more projects and capture more opportunities.
This post is about how and why.
Dec 4, 2017 12:20:25 PM
If you have implemented - or are planning to implement - strategy deployment software, let me take a minute to congratulate you. Too many organizations leave what is arguably the most important function of the organization without support. Pat yourself on the back for recognizing that if software helps you manage everything from your finances to your customer relationships, it can help manage the strategic direction of the company as well. That said, not all strategy deployment software implementations are equally effective. We’ve seen leaders with their hearts in the right place make tactical mistakes that diminish - or even eliminate - the value of strategy deployment software. Don’t let these missteps happen to you.
Nov 27, 2017 11:59:03 AM
A3 software may seem like something of an oxymoron. After all, the A3 technique gets its name from the size of paper early practitioners used to document the problem-solving methodology. (A European paper size that is roughly equivalent to an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper.) But we’ve come a long way since the A3 technique was first invented. Now there are software solutions designed to support the A3 process, making it even more useful and resulting in lasting results. It is a subject that comes up quite a bit in our conversations with folks interested in finding the most efficient ways to structure continuous improvement. Here are some of the questions they ask us most often.
Nov 27, 2017 10:25:24 AM
Rapid improvement events are a popular continuous improvement approach with for good reasons. By focusing all of your team’s firepower on one challenge or opportunity for a few days, you dramatically speed the pace of change and increase the chances of successful collaboration and broad agreement on the right actions to take.
But not every rapid improvement event is a resounding success. In fact, if not properly executed they can cause more harm than good.