<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=749646578535459&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

Subscribe

How to Share Standard Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 19, 2018 11:22:06 AM

Standard Work is one of the bedrock elements of continuous improvement. In fact, Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, once said, “Without Standard Work, there is no Kaizen [positive change].”

Unfortunately, we’ve seen many organizations create a Standard Work document, check the box, and move on to business as usual.

This does little to stabilize processes or prepare for the next improvement. In order for Standard Work to be effective, it must be widely shared and actively managed.

Read More

Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

8 Sure Fire Ways to Ruin a Kaizen Event

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jan 10, 2018 6:51:00 AM

Kaizen events, also known as Rapid Improvement Events, are an effective way to tackle many difficult problems in short order. They can also help improve team cohesion and cross-functional collaboration. But like many other continuous improvement techniques, if they are not executed properly, they can cause more harm than good. We’re in the lucky position to have the opportunity to chat with people from all types of organizations about their improvement work. They’ve shared some lessons learned when it comes to Kaizen events. Here are some of the biggest mistakes.

Ignoring Daily Improvement

Kaizen events are one tool in the improvement toolbox, but not the only one. Continuous improvement requires daily attention. Efforts shouldn’t be limited to special events. In most cases, only a few people are involved in each Kaizen event, but daily improvement should be the responsibility of every person in the organization.

Read More

Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

The Use of Control Charts for Non-Manufacturing Activities

Posted by Kade Jansson

Dec 27, 2017 2:42:25 PM

Many of the continuous improvement tools and techniques that we write about in this blog originated in the manufacturing industry. This makes a lot of sense because mass manufacturing is, by definition, the production of large quantities of standardized products, frequently utilizing assembly line technology. The whole goal is to create large numbers of similar products efficiently. Statistical process control is necessary in order to achieve acceptable quality results at a predictable pace.

However, the application of statistical methods of process control provides a better understanding of the behavior of any operation. This is an essential piece of management information that is required for making smart decisions about process improvements regardless of the type of process. In addition, the use of statistical methods also provides valuable insight to the employees who are working the process.

Fortunately, one does not need a deep understanding of statistical theory or mathematics in order to apply statistical measurements to improve quality and productivity. The approach can be useful to almost any organization, regardless of the industry.

 

Read More

Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

A Quick Guide to DMAIC for Beginners

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 13, 2017 8:39:00 AM

If you are new to continuous improvement or just interested in trying out a new technique, this guide to DMAIC is for you. We’ll explain each of the steps and talk about why it is such a popular approach.

When most people think about continuous improvement, they are focused on making business processes more efficient with less waste. But don’t forget that improvement itself is a business process. In order to produce lasting positive change, there needs to be a structure and consistent approach to improvement efforts.

DMAIC is a simple, but powerful technique for setting a standard for improvement in a way that is repeatable and effective for many opportunities for improvement.

DMAIC consists of five steps: define, measure, analyze, improve and control. While it is generally associated with the Six Sigma business methodology, it can be used as a standalone improvement technique or alongside other approaches like Lean management and TQM.

Read More

Topics: Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC

5 Prerequisites for Solid Continuous Process Improvement

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 26, 2017 11:41:25 AM

I recently joined a few of my family members on a trip to Disneyland. My 9-year-old niece from Utah was among the group. She’d never been to California before and had never seen a palm tree. She was fascinated by them, but also a little angry. “Why don’t we have trees like this at home?” she asked. I’m no botanist, but I explained to her that different plants grow in different places because they need certain conditions to thrive. The temperature, soil composition, humidity, rainfall, and other factors create the environment that determines what vegetation will take root. That’s why you don’t see cacti in a swamp, or tomatoes in the desert.  

Over the years we’ve spent working with organizations interested in positive change, we’ve seen time and time again, that much like palm trees, continuous process improvement (CPI) needs certain conditions to flourish. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on Mother Nature to create a conducive atmosphere. If you are just beginning your CPI journey, or if you are struggling to achieve results, make sure that these crucial prerequisites are in place.

Read More

Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

Why Process Control Charts are a Roadmap to Improvement

Posted by Matt Banna

Aug 1, 2017 7:13:00 AM

Organizations that subscribe to the Lean or Six Sigma business methodology, and others that are devoted to continuous improvement, often use a host of visual management tools to achieve consistency and introduce positive change. Kanban, huddle boards, and value stream maps are all very popular and effective. Process control charts are another valuable visual management tool for recognizing and reacting to process variation.

Here are the details about why they are so useful.

Statistical Process Control

It is probably helpful to begin with a definition of process. A process is quite simply anything that gets done. It could be putting gas in your car, filling out a time sheet, delivering source code to QA, or checking in a patient. Each of these activities results in some output. Sometimes it is a product, but often it is a service or a deliverable to the next process. In addition to the result of the process, data is also generated. Statistical process control is the act of using that data to make the process better. The data might be related to timeliness, cost, quality, or quantity.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:



Read More

Topics: Lean, Change Management, Six Sigma, Improvement Process

Not Every Organization is Ready for Process Improvement Software. Is Yours?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 10, 2017 11:45:52 AM

It may seem odd for a company that sells process improvement software to declare that not every company is ready to buy it. We do like partnering with new customers, after all. But the thing is, we only want happy customers. And happy customers are organizations that have successful process improvement software rollouts, good adoption of the solution, and measurable impacts on key business metrics as a result.  

Even if you choose another solution provider, we think it is important that leaders ask a few difficult questions before going straight to technology to solve their problems.

Obviously, we believe that software is a critical component in any improvement initiative, but it is not the only one.

Here are some questions smart leadership teams ask before starting a process improvement software implementation.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

Read More

Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process

Typical Goals for Process Improvement Software

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 20, 2017 7:25:00 AM

We’ll start this blog with radical honesty by saying, we sell process improvement software. If you are thinking about buying process improvement software, that makes us happy. But what makes us even happier is when companies implement process improvement software in a way that helps them reach their most important business goals.

In fact, we don’t think that companies should deploy this kind of software unless they have a clearly defined vision of what success looks like.

Every company is trying to achieve something unique, of course, but we find some common goals for process improvement software among the most prepared organizations we encounter.

Here are a few.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

 

Read More

Topics: Software, Improvement Process

An Introduction to Process Control Charts

Posted by Greg Jacobson

May 3, 2017 7:02:00 AM

Donald J. Wheeler, PhD is a world-renown expert in continuous improvement, having worked with W. Edwards Deming and later writing the classic book Understanding Variation. 

Wheeler once wrote and said, "Statistical Process Control is, at its heart, about getting the most from your processes. It is about the continual improvement of processes and outcomes. And it is, first and foremost, a way of thinking... with some tools attached." 

I’d like to thank him for providing the perfect quote for a blog about process control charts because measurement, control, and improvement are exactly what they are designed to enable.

What is a Process Control Chart?

Process control charts (or what Wheeler calls "process behavior charts") are graphs or charts that plot out process data or management data (outputs) in a time-ordered sequence. It's a specialized run chart. They typically include a center line, a 3-sigma upper control limit, and a 3-sigma lower control limit. There might be 1- or 2-sigma limits drawn in, as well. The center line represents the process mean or average (and sometimes the median).

Listen to this Post or Subscribe to the Podcast:

Read More

Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Process

Common Conceptions that Hinder Continuous Process Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 10, 2017 1:04:16 PM

I’ve been sitting here for five minutes debating with myself over whether to title this blog “Common Conceptions that Hinder Continuous Process Improvement” or “Common Misconceptions that Hinder Continuous Process Improvement.” I decided to go with “conceptions” because I don’t know whether these frequently held beliefs are accurate or not within your organization. We do know from countless conversations with our customers that they are devastating to a culture of improvement whether they are true or not. Here’s how you can combat them in either case.

 

“That’s Not My Job.”

Of course, everyone in the organization has a defined role and set of responsibilities. Most of each person’s time and attention should be focused on their core function, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be expected contribute beyond that scope. No one, for example, should ignore an urgent safety situation and everyone should be held accountable for participating in improvement work.

How do you overcome this notion? With both recognition and ownership. People who go beyond the bounds of their usual role to solve problems and achieve continuous process improvements should be widely recognized and perhaps even rewarded. It is also a good idea to make process improvement one of the elements that get considered when employee performance is evaluated.

Listen to this Post or Subscribe to the Podcast:

Read More

Topics: Daily Improvement, Improvement Process

Recent Posts