One of the reasons that the Lean manufacturing business methodology is so popular with companies in every industry is that it comes complete with a set of tools for structuring and managing the goal of continuous improvement and waste reduction. These tools are great on their own, but many of them become even more valuable when improvement management software is used as a single platform for managing positive change. This post examines some of the most often used.
May 22, 2019 12:39:31 PM
May 15, 2019 7:45:00 AM
Event reporting, also known as incident reporting, got its start in aviation and healthcare, two types of organizations that are considered high-reliability organizations. It makes sense if something goes wrong with an airplane, or there is a medical error, lives are on the line, and it is essential that the error never occurs again.
Today, organizations of all types are adopting the attitude that a problem should never happen more than once. Many are implementing technology to help teams achieve this reality. Lots of providers claim to have support for event reporting, but not everyone has all of the capabilities necessary for it to be effective.
Here are the features that we consider essential when evaluating event reporting solutions.
Apr 17, 2019 2:07:17 PM
There are lies people tell for selfish or malicious reasons. They come up in business from time to time, but far more common are fairytales that are told out of a desire for the fiction to be true. Sometimes folks think if they repeat something often enough, it will become fact. We believe that’s the reason for so many of the myths we hear about the electronic suggestion box. Lots of people (and vendors) sing their praises, but we’ve yet to find an organization that was transformed after implementing a way to collect anonymous employee ideas. Here are a few reality checks.
Apr 16, 2019 2:45:06 PM
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
- Bruce Lee
Kata is a Japanese word that means form. In martial arts, it refers to a detailed choreographed pattern of movements that are practiced alone or in groups. Kata was a way that training methods and the most successful combat techniques were passed from generation to generation. This systematic approach to training allows students to develop the ability to perform the movements with reflex-like precision; they become second nature. When someone is new to the practice, the moves will look difficult, but once they become a master, each action will look effortless and smooth. Repetition, precision, and attention to form are the prerequisites for mastery.
Apr 10, 2019 7:37:44 AM
Starting a quest for operational excellence is one of the most significant steps an organization can take. Operational excellence involves focusing on the customers' needs, keeping the employees engage and empowered, and continually improving processes in the workplace. It requires effective problem-solving, collaboration, and leadership.
While the concept of operational excellence is not new, today’s most competitive companies take a modern approach to achieving excellence by leveraging software designed to help manage the journey toward perfection. The most helpful solutions include each of these thirteen key capabilities.
Apr 4, 2019 8:32:00 AM
As I prepared to write this post, I did a Google Search of, “Visual Management Software,” just to see what popped up. The top 4 posts were about visual project management software. So, it’s not surprising that lots of folks think that’s all there is to visual management technology. Project management software is something that executives will often approve for other people to use, but not something they get excited about for their own use.
But visual management is much more than just project management. Ideally, the entire organization would be managed visually. Why? Because, when presented with information visually, people are significantly more likely to understand and retain it than if the information is presented in other ways. Visual management makes it easier to identify problems and interruptions in a workflow or process. Visual control is a powerful tool for continuous improvement. It makes it easier to engage workers, gives leaders critical insight into operations, and helps to ensure results come in as expected.
We’re not talking about a simple task manager app; we’re talking about using visual management software as the dashboard for running the organization. Here are some of the features that the C-suite will love.
Apr 2, 2019 12:59:05 PM
We talk to people who are interested in investing in software to support their continuous improvement efforts every day. Some of them are already using the Lean business methodology, others are just rolling it out, and still others are taking a “Lean light” approach by leveraging some of the principles without adopting all of the techniques. In any case, leaders want to have a good understanding of what to expect and how a Lean management system can help them achieve their goals. Fortunately, we are well positioned to share what our customers have told us happened when they invested in technology to bolster their improvement and waste reduction efforts.
Feb 13, 2019 10:04:46 AM
Are you trying to spread an improvement culture without the improvement software?
You invest in software for all of the important parts of your business, right?
People. That software exists for continuous improvement, too.
When you started on your improvement journey, you may not realize it, but you actually already made a technology decision. I bet you probably managed the work in spreadsheets and bulletin boards - these are technology! Now that you’re starting to engage more people in it, though, I bet that you’re finding that it’s hard to get the visibility you need to spread that culture efficiently and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Your technology needs an upgrade.
You could theoretically use Dropbox and a folder structure to manage critical components of your business - say, for example, your medical records or accounting transactions - but I promise you, no one is putting their organizations at risk like that. They use software built specifically for the business issue you’re dealing with.
It continues to baffle me that organizations don’t take improvement software as seriously as they take their accounting platform or their medical records system.
Realizing that, it can be tempting to have your IT department build you a solution in SharePoint - which, out of the box, is just another document storage repository and an easy way to make website portals.
There’s not an IT department in the world that would volunteer to build a medical records system themselves when they know there’s software out there built specifically for this purpose. They understand that the resources it would take to build, maintain, and improve the system would be astronomical. I could wax poetic on the decision to build software vs. buying it, but I’ll spare you and just offer up this post and this one with more details on the topic.
Topics: Continuous Improvement Software
Feb 7, 2019 7:42:00 AM
If you are considering a Lean management system to boost your efforts at continuous improvement and waste reduction, it’s a smart move. Technology helps bring people together, ensure accurate data, collect organizational knowledge, and speed the progress of Lean projects. It also gives leaders greater insight into the health of Lean across the entire organization.
We’ve helped scores of companies get up and running on a Lean management system and have learned the keys to success. If you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for smooth sailing.
Jan 29, 2019 1:37:22 PM
Kaizen boards are excellent tools for visualizing the progress of work and capturing ideas for improvement. They give teams instant insight into the health of improvement and make excellent starting places for daily huddles and other meetings. When the Kaizen board is managed in online software, teams can collaborate across locations, the entire organization can benefit from collected knowledge, and the documents and other artifacts can be linked to items on the board, accelerating the pace of improvement.
Because of the popularity of digital Kaizen management, many software providers are offering up solutions that are marketed for that purpose. That’s good news for people concerned about continuous improvement, but there’s a catch. Not every solution is purpose-built for Kaizen. Some are general project management solutions with a new marketing spin, while others are rudimentary improvement tools at best.
Make sure to look for the following attributes in each solution you consider.