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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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DMAIC Model:  An Essential Guide

Posted by Clint Corley

Apr 5, 2021 5:33:13 PM

DMAIC is a structured, customer-focused, data-driven approach to problem-solving. The acronym stands for:

1- Define

2- Measure

3- Analyze

4- Improve

5- Control

It is often associated with the Lean Six Sigma business methodology, but it can be valuable for any organization.


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Topics: Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

Kaizen 101. New to The Approach? Start Here.

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 23, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The world was first introduced to kaizen's philosophy and practice in 1986 with Masaaki Imai's book, Kaizen, The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. Today, it still holds up as an excellent read for anyone interested in finding ways to make their organization more successful at achieving continuous improvement. 

While kaizen concepts are straightforward, volumes have been written about how organizations build the improvement mindset into operations and culture. Our goal with this post is to give you the basic framework of kaizen and hopefully leave you excited about exploring the ways you might begin to transform your organization into one that consistently exhibits operational excellence.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology

An Overview of DMAIC for Beginners

Posted by Brittany Currier

Mar 18, 2021 1:20:21 PM

DMAIC (pronounced də-MAY-ick) is a data-driven technique used to improve processes. It is a key tool of the Six Sigma methodology, but it can be implemented as a standalone improvement method or as part of other process initiatives like Lean.

The technique is simple, yet powerful. It brings structure to the improvement process and helps teams explore potential solutions, decide a course of action, and implement process controls in short order.

Trying any new improvement strategy can be intimidating, so we thought it would be helpful to break down all the details of DMAIC so that you can give it a try with confidence.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology

3 Fundamental Quality Management Techniques

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 16, 2021 11:16:00 PM

Quality management is a subject that's often studied in business. There are hundreds of books and countless blog posts with advice on how to improve quality. Some organizations choose to adopt comprehensive process management methodologies like Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, or the Toyota Production System.

These systematic, structured approaches all have their place and can help the right situation, but you don’t have to fully adopt any of them to improve the quality of your results. There are some fundamental quality management things you can do to reduce waste and deliver more value to customers.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Methodology

5 Root Cause Analysis Techniques to Breakthrough Barriers

Posted by Kade Jansson

Feb 23, 2021 11:13:00 AM

A root cause analysis is a structured method for finding the underlying causes of process problems and undesirable outcomes. Root cause analysis is a core problem-solving technique used by organizations dedicated to continuous improvement. As the name implies, it is all about addressing the origin of the issue rather than employing solutions that address only surface problems.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

What is a Kaizen Event? Your Complete Guide Rapid Improvement

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 9, 2021 10:09:00 AM

Kaizen events, also called rapid improvement sprints or blitzes, are an impactful way to implement improvement quickly, but they require planning and preparation to make them useful. We've heard many stories about Kaizen events that went wrong. That's not surprising because there are many ways that improvement events can go off the rails. The best way to avoid that outcome is to put in the effort ahead of time to ensure your event is a huge success.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

Continuous Improvement Goal Suggestions for 2021

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 5, 2021 10:45:00 AM

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that I believe we are all glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. While life isn't going back to normal any time soon, there is hope on the horizon. The COIVD-19 vaccine rollout is on the way, and our healthcare professionals have made great strides in treatment for the disease. 

Last year at about this time, we laid out some suggested continuous improvement resolutions for 2020. If the pandemic thwarted your plans and best intentions, give yourself a pass. No one knew what unprecedented challenges would arise.

But this is an excellent time to begin again. Even knowing that COVID-related disruptions will continue, it is still a healthy exercise to think about what your team can accomplish for continuous improvement in 2021. You'll have to consider your unique priorities, but we do have some suggestions for goals that will help your organization achieve excellence in the coming year.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Methodology, Strategy Deployment

6 Steps to Continuous Improvement in Automotive Manufacturing

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Dec 28, 2020 11:25:57 AM

Manufacturers of all kinds seek to achieve continuous quality improvement because it ensures the consistency of products delivered to customers and protects against the competition. It also paves the path to compliance with industry-specific standards. This is crucial in the automotive sector because defective vehicle parts may lead to expensive recalls or worse accidents that cost lives.

Fortunately, continuous improvement has a long history in automotive manufacturing. Many of the tools and techniques widely used by organizations worldwide were explicitly developed to ensure the quality and efficiency of automotive manufacturing. Toyota was a pioneer of many of the CQI approaches used today.

As you might imagine, the benefits of a successful continuous improvement program are significant, including:

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

What it Takes to Receive the Leapfrog Top Hospital Award

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 8, 2020 4:09:03 PM

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers of healthcare concerned with quality and safety. The cornerstone Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and reports hospital performance, giving consumers and other purchasers the ability to make informed decisions and find the highest-value care. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their patient safety record, providing transparency around critical issues such as errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

The best performing hospitals on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey are recognized each year with the prestigious Leapfrog Top Hospital award. These hospitals have better systems in place to prevent infection, reduce medication errors, deliver the highest quality maternity care, among other qualities. To be eligible to receive the award, hospitals must have received a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of A in the most recent scoring round. The award is not limited to a particular number of hospitals; instead, all teaching, rural, general, and teaching hospitals, that meet the high standards for each year can receive the award.

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Topics: Software, Lean Healthcare, Improvement Methodology

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

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