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KaiNexus Blog

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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

10 Special Considerations for Remote Kaizen Events

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Apr 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Many leaders are finding themselves faced with the task of managing a 100% remote team for the first time. The challenge is amplified by the fact that remote work is new to most employees, and even getting together for an in-person meeting once in a while is impossible.

Unfortunately, business challenges and process defects don’t disappear because there’s a pandemic. In many cases, they just get worse. That’s why we’ve been getting questions about how to operate tried and true improvement tools in this new reality.

This post offers some things to think about if you are going to hold a kaizen event with a remote workforce. It assumes that you have some experience with kaizen events, if not, we recommend you start with this article.

Here are 10 special considerations for remote kaizen events.

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Topics: Improvement Methodology

Continuous Quality Improvement is Hard to Sustain. We Know Why.

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Feb 25, 2020 12:23:46 PM

Has your organization started a quality improvement program with great fanfare and a ton of enthusiasm only to see it peter out over time? If so, you are not alone. Starting down the path to continuous improvement is easy. Sustaining momentum is not.

This post examines some of the most common reasons that CI programs go off the rails and how you can avoid or recover from them.

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Topics: Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Beyond the Problem – Bonus Benefits of Kaizen Events

Posted by Noah Paratore

Oct 21, 2019 2:08:00 PM

Kaizen events, sometimes called rapid improvement events, are an effective way of solving difficult challenges within organizations. A team of stakeholders and subject matter experts takes a few days away from regular order to focus on improving a process. Because the effort is concentrated, root causes can be identified, and potential fixes implemented in short order. The obvious goal of a Kaizen event is to solve the issue at hand, usually defined in a project charter.

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Topics: Kaizen, Employee Engagement, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

13 Essential Process Improvement Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 16, 2019 8:59:37 AM

After many years speaking with leaders and managers looking to implement continuous process improvement tools in their organizations, we’ve learned a few things. The first is that every organization is different and what scores a home run for one, may not even get a hit in another. The second is that despite these differences, many of the process improvement tools that have been developed over the last 50 years can be adapted to be useful for organizations of all types and sizes.

This post provides a brief introduction to some of the process improvement tools that our customers have used to reduce costs, improve safety, assure quality, and increase customer satisfaction. For each tool, we've included a link to more detailed information. Many are borrowed from the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, but you don’t have to be using one of them to find value in these techniques.

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Topics: Daily Lean Management, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

More Brilliantly Simple Continuous Improvement Techniques

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 4, 2019 2:35:56 PM

A while back, we wrote about some continuous quality improvement techniques that we love because they are easy but powerful. One of the most important realizations that people have, when they start to build an organization focused on excellence and constant improvement, is that the path is not complicated. It’s really all about getting the little things right and providing people with a structured way to think about incremental operational change. The original post contained some of our favorite tools. This one has a few more.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Improve DMAIC Process Results with Improvement Software

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Jun 11, 2019 7:42:00 AM

DMAIC is a widely used structured process improvement technique developed at Motorola in the 1980s. It is popular among organizations that use the Lean manufacturing or Six Sigma business methodologies but is also used as a stand-alone continuous improvement tool. It helps teams tackle challenges by finding root causes and applying thoughtful fixes. DMAIC ensures that change is well documented, managed, and successful.

Improvement software is not required to complete a DMAIC process, but there are smart reasons for making it part of your organization’s approach. Technology can help speed up the DMAIC process, it helps to measure the results, and it creates your organization’s repository of knowledge. In fact, software has a role to play during each stage of the DMAIC process. Here’s how it works.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

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