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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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The Development & Use of the PDSA Cycle of Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 20, 2022 10:52:24 AM

The PDSA cycle is a popular approach to process improvement because of its simultaneous simplicity and effectiveness. Although it started in manufacturing, the PDSA model for improvement can be applied to any process, making it applicable across almost every industry. Today, PDSA is prevalent in healthcare, hospitality, education, construction, and professional services.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Management: Which Style is Best?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 27, 2021 3:01:06 PM

John Shook, president of the Lean Enterprise Institute, is among those who describe Lean or the Toyota Production System as being neither top-down management nor bottom-up management. It's not about the boss telling people what to do, and it's not a system where employees are empowered to do whatever they want. Instead, an effective culture and management system has top-down AND bottom-up communication, decisions, and improvement elements. Ideally, leaders will communicate the big picture and the "why" of improvement, while those lower in the organization tend to figure out "what" and "how" to improve.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement

9 Easy to Deploy Continuous Quality Improvement Tools

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Nov 24, 2021 10:30:11 AM

Quality management programs are often associated with large organizations, such as automotive manufacturing or large healthcare systems. These organizations often have teams dedicated to quality control, and they may leverage specific business process methodologies such as Lean or Six Sigma. While that level of sophistication may not be possible or even necessary for your business, there are still many continuous quality improvement tools that are easy to implement and can have an enormous impact on your organization, no matter its size.

Some of the following tools have been borrowed from Total Quality Management, Lean, and the Toyota production system. Still, they can be used independently of these methodologies to accelerate improvement in any organization.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Change Management, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Answers to Common Questions about the Lean Management System

Posted by Morgan Wright

Sep 28, 2021 10:14:00 AM

The Lean Management System is a popular business process methodology that started in the manufacturing sector but quickly spread to healthcare, software development, construction, and a host of other fields. While its use is widespread, many of the business leaders we talk to still have questions about its origins, structure, and benefits. This post answers the ones we hear most often.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean, Improvement Methodology

32 Business Process Improvement Examples to Guide Your Efforts

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 17, 2021 10:19:43 AM

One of the biggest challenges we hear from organizations that are new to structured business process improvement is that it is hard to articulate for employees what constitutes an opportunity for improvement. Usually, there are some low-hanging-fruit ideas that people jump on right away, but once those are cleared away, it can be difficult to spot flaws in processes, especially ones that you operate every day.

An excellent remedy for this problem is giving employees categories of improvement possibilities to consider. By providing a few examples and asking questions, leaders can spark ideas, get people thinking innovatively, and support their improvement cultures.

Once problems are identified, a variety of improvement techniques can be deployed to solve them.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process

How To Reduce Waste with More Productive Meetings

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 20, 2020 10:56:00 AM

Even before the pandemic, most American workers felt that they were being forced into wasteful or even counterproductive meetings regularly. According to a study by Korn Ferry, 51% of professionals reported that spending too much time in meetings and on calls distracts them from making an impact at work to some extent. Another 16% said that it was true to a great extent. A whopping 67% of workers said excessive meetings keep them from getting their best work done.

Think that the sudden work to remote work driven by COVID-19 means fewer meetings? Think again.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Daily Lean Management

The Improvement Project Version of 20 Questions

Posted by Adam Darnell

Jun 3, 2020 9:00:00 AM

I'm sure you've all played the game 20 questions. The goal of the traditional parlor game is to uncover an object chosen by one player by asking questions that eliminate other possibilities until deductive reasoning reveals the answer. Careful selection of questions can significantly improve the odds of the questioner winning the game.

When it comes to improvement projects, it is also true that careful selection of questions can significantly improve the odds of "winning," also known as producing positive change. What follows are 20 questions, that if considered at the outset, can help set your improvement project up for success.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Bonus Insights You Get from Digital Continuous Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 13, 2020 10:00:00 AM

When we chat with people about making the switch to digital continuous improvement, many of the benefits are immediately apparent. People know that using software with workflow capabilities to manage projects is a much better option than using spreadsheets and email. They sense that having a platform designed for the purpose will streamline work and get individual projects across the finish line more often.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Leadership, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

5 Easy Improvement Ideas to Get Ready for 2020

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Dec 27, 2019 11:14:00 AM

I’m not sure about you, but at this time of the year, I don’t feel like tackling any major new projects. There seem to be a ton of interruptions, people are in and out of the office, and it is just harder to focus with holiday thoughts on the brain. On the other hand, these next couple of weeks present an opportunity to do a few self-contained improvement projects that can tee up 2020 and help you enjoy the holidays knowing you’re ready to rock the new year.

Here are a few ideas. If you tackle any one of them, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something useful amid all of the year-end excitement.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

4 Big Improvement Ideas to Set the Stage for Success in 2020

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 7, 2019 9:13:47 AM

It seems like every year goes by faster than the last. I keep making plans to work on my summer tan, and suddenly, it's November. The holidays will be upon us before we know it and then – boom! We're in a brand-new decade.

Before things get too crazy, this is an excellent time to think about how you can set your team up for outstanding results in 2020. It won't surprise you to hear us say it, but making just some small adjustments in your leadership approach can have an enormous impact. Here are four improvement ideas to consider in the new year.

Take Strategic Planning to the Next Level

Most organizations go through some sort of strategic planning exercise for each new year, but few can execute the strategy successfully. That's because the strategy is planned but not fully deployed. It doesn't become part of daily conversations or activities. Perhaps the revenue targets are well understood and receive frequent attention, but what about everything else.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

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