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KaiNexus Blog

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How to Ensure Broad Adoption of Kaizen Software

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 23, 2018 10:20:35 AM

If a tree falls in the forest, we’re pretty sure it makes a sound even if no one is around to hear it. We’re 100% sure that if you implement Kaizen software and no one uses it, there will be no impact. There might be a lot of noise from grumbling executives who’ve just wasted a lot of money, but no positive change.

That’s why it is so important to plan your Kaizen Software roll out with a focus on broad user adoption. We’ve helped tons of clients with improvement technology implementations and here’s what we’ve learned works when it comes to getting people on board.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Kaizen, Software

Much of What People Say About Kaizen Events is Wrong

Posted by Matt Banna

Feb 9, 2018 6:30:00 AM

When someone comes to us asking for information about our Kaizen software, we like to ask a ton of questions. It helps us to understand their business and their approach to improvement. We ask about the team, the key business objectives, and past improvement efforts.

The subject of Kaizen events comes up often because so many organizations have tried or are looking to try the technique. These conversations reveal that there is a lot of “fake news” floating around about Kaizen events.

We’d like to set the record straight.

Here are things people say about Kaizen events that aren’t true:

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Topics: Kaizen

3 Arguments Against Kaizen Tracking in Spreadsheets

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 2, 2018 10:45:28 AM

If you are still tracking your Kaizen activities in spreadsheets, I get it. Spreadsheets are a tempting approach because you already have them, most people know how to use their basic functions, they’re infinitely configurable, they never get the math wrong, and rows and columns are an intuitive way to organize things.  

But let me ask you a question.

Do you use spreadsheets to track sales activity, inventory, customer support requests, and employee data? Probably not. You probably have a CRM, and ERP, and HR software.

Could you track those things in spreadsheets?

Sure, but you don’t because those functions are important enough that you want a solution custom-built to support them. You want consistency across users, you want data security and integrity, and you want active functionality.

If you are serious about continuous improvement, you’d want all of those things for Kaizen tracking as well.

There are a number of reasons that spreadsheets are a particularly bad fit for Kaizen tracking.

 

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

How Software Amplifies the Impact of Kaizen

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jan 15, 2018 12:08:44 PM

In 1986, Masaaki Imai founded the Kaizen Institute Consulting Group (KICG) to help western companies to introduce the concepts, systems, and tools of Kaizen. That year, in Japan he also published the book “Kaizen: Japanese spirit of improvement," which helped to popularize the Kaizen concept in the United States. He believed that “The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company.”

Most leaders would likely agree with that sentiment, but it is certainly easier said than done. In order to achieve daily improvement, there must be a structure for both supporting and measuring it. Without visibility into the work of Kaizen, leaders can’t say whether daily improvement is happening, nor can they take action to accelerate the pace of positive change. Fortunately, Kaizen software provides this insight and offers other significant advantages as well.

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Topics: Innovation Software, Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

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.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

Yes, You Can Improve Without Kaizen Software. But Why Would You Want To?

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 8, 2017 7:15:00 AM

We are occasionally asked if it is possible to implement Kaizen without using software .

The answer is yes.

It is possible to adopt a continuous improvement mindset, embrace the belief that positive change is everyone’s responsibility, and execute improvement projects all without a dedicated solution to support the effort. Heck, Toyota did it before email was a thing.

However, we can say with confidence that organizations that do choose to leverage a Kaizen software solution see more impactful improvements in a shorter period of time. They are able to manage more projects and capture more opportunities.

This post is about how and why.

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Topics: Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Software

Kaizen Event Planning in 7 Simple Steps

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Oct 18, 2017 7:59:00 AM

Here at KaiNexus, we get the opportunity to chat with clients and write about many different continuous improvement tools and techniques. Lately, I’ve been thinking about two things that most of them have in common.

First, they are generally simple, but not easy.

And second, the key to success lies in the planning phase.

Both of these observations apply to Kaizen events. The concept is straightforward. A team sets aside other responsibilities for a few days to focus on solving an important challenge in short order. That’s pretty simple, but getting results requires a significant amount of planning and preparation

Fortunately, there is a well-defined path to success.

Here are the seven simple steps to follow before you kick off your next event.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

7 Unexpected Benefits of Kaizen Events

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Aug 14, 2017 10:50:53 AM

Leaders typically deploy Kaizen events when there is a difficult or urgent challenge that needs to be addressed in short order. The obvious benefit of this rapid approach to improvement is that the target process or problem gets solved. That’s awesome, but in most cases, there are many improvement tools that could be deployed to address a known issue. We’re big fans of most of them, but in our experience, Kaizen events have some unique advantages that shouldn’t be ignored when comparing them to your other options.

In addition to a problem solved, Kaizen events can result in:

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

8 Important Questions about Kaizen Events, Answered

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 17, 2017 10:22:11 AM

Kaizen events are an effective way to implement changes quickly. They are also a great way to get team members involved in improvement and to foster cross-functional collaboration. When we chat with people who are relatively new to structured continuous quality improvement, they often have questions about Kaizen events.

Here are answers to the ones we hear most frequently.

What is Kaizen?

This may seem like a strange question for someone considering doing a Kaizen event, but it is surprising how often the technique is introduced without the necessary context. Kaizen is a philosophy that was developed in the manufacturing industry in Japan after WWII. The term is translated as “positive change.” It is the idea that continuous improvement is both necessary and possible. It focuses on respect for people and the belief that even small improvements can have a big impact.

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Topics: Kaizen

Some Recent Kaizen Event FAQs, Answered

Posted by Matt Banna

Jun 14, 2017 7:42:00 AM

The beginning of summer must be a good time for Kaizen events because we’ve been getting a lot of questions about them lately. We thought we’d take a few minutes to answer the ones we hear most often. (If you are entirely new to Kaizen events, check out this page.)

 

Is a Kaizen event the same as a rapid improvement event?

Yep! The technique of deploying a team to be 100% focused on an improvement target for a short period of time goes by a bunch of names. You may also hear it called a Kaizen or improvement blitz.

Listen to this Post and Subscribe to the Podcast:

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Topics: Kaizen

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