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KaiNexus Blog

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Kaizen Program Management – The Fundamentals

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jun 7, 2019 7:32:00 AM

For many years, the continuous improvement philosophy of Kaizen was most closely associated with industrial manufacturing and high technology. That’s because it was developed by the Japanese auto industry and then later adopted by technology companies like GE and Motorola.

But if you’ve been hearing about Kaizen program management in other sectors over the last few years, you are not alone.

The principals of Kaizen apply to almost every industry and are now widespread in healthcare, construction, software development, education, logistics, and everything in between.

We can’t teach you everything you need to know in one blog post, but we can lay out the fundamentals of Kaizen program management and offer further reading recommendations.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership, Improvement Methodology

How to Justify, Evaluate, and Implement Kaizen Software Solutions

Posted by Jake Sussman

Jun 6, 2019 9:48:49 AM

We get the chance to chat with lots of people who have concluded that a Kaizen software solution will help them get the most out of their continuous improvement efforts. But most people have never sought such a solution before, and they are unsure how to convince the rest of the organization that it is time to move forward.

To help, we’ve put together some tips on how to convince the team that investing in a software solution for Kaizen will result in positive returns, demonstrate that you know what to look for, and give everyone confidence that implementation will be successful.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software

Kaizen Process - Roles and Responsibilities

Posted by Kade Jansson

May 10, 2019 7:42:00 AM

The Kaizen process is a brilliantly simple approach to business operations. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “good change.” The methodology is credited with helping the Japanese auto industry recover and outpace the competition following World War II. Organizations that embrace it can reduce errors and defects, speed up production, deliver more customer value, and improve employee satisfaction.

When the Kaizen process is implemented, every person in the organization has a role to play. Before we describe them, let’s revisit the philosophy of Kaizen.

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Topics: Kaizen, Leadership

11 Essential Elements of a Kaizen Event Charter

Posted by Jake Sussman

May 7, 2019 1:30:15 PM

While we are huge fans of standardization and consistency, we understand that each Kaizen event is unique. That’s why we would expect that each event charter has its own nuances that change from one project to the next. However, there are some elements that our clients have found to make the difference between a successful event and one that does not reach the mark.

Before we get into the specifics of what should be included in the charter document, we’d like to add a note about access. You may have the most complete, and well-written Kaizen event charter on the planet, but it is of no use unless everyone who needs access to it can get to it with ease.

Whether you craft it as a document, use an Excel format, or something else, your improvement management platform is the best place for it to live.

Now on to the must-have components.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

What Happens When an Organization Takes a Kaizen Approach to Improvement?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 25, 2019 7:32:00 AM

In my opinion, Kaizen is one of the most brilliantly simple, yet powerful business philosophies there is. Translated from Japanese, it simply means, “good change.” The Kaizen approach rests on the principle that everyone should be involved in improvement, every day. It is a form of mutual respect that empowers employees to create the conditions under which they can do their best work.

Organizations that embrace the Kaizen approach are all over the map in terms of industry, geography, and size, but there are a few ways that you can recognize them. Kaizen has a transformative impact, and some common attributes start to emerge when the approach is consistently applied.

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Topics: Kaizen

Your Kaizen Board Software Selection Guide

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jan 29, 2019 1:37:22 PM

Kaizen boards are excellent tools for visualizing the progress of work and capturing ideas for improvement. They give teams instant insight into the health of improvement and make excellent starting places for daily huddles and other meetings. When the Kaizen board is managed in online software, teams can collaborate across locations, the entire organization can benefit from collected knowledge, and the documents and other artifacts can be linked to items on the board, accelerating the pace of improvement.

Because of the popularity of digital Kaizen management, many software providers are offering up solutions that are marketed for that purpose. That’s good news for people concerned about continuous improvement, but there’s a catch. Not every solution is purpose-built for Kaizen. Some are general project management solutions with a new marketing spin, while others are rudimentary improvement tools at best.

Make sure to look for the following attributes in each solution you consider.

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Topics: Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Software

Improvement Kata - A Workout for Kaizen

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 31, 2018 11:15:22 AM

In fitness, there’s nothing complicated about a push-up. But when executed properly, it’s an outstanding exercise that strengths your arms, chest, and core muscles. Adjustments can be made to increase or decrease the level of difficulty, so it is a useful training tool regardless of your fitness level. However, if you fail to use proper form and end up with your butt in the air or an incomplete range of motion, push-ups are not helpful at all. The way you do it really matters.

The same is true for Kaizen. Just like we’d all love to be strong and fit, every organization would love to maximize positive change. But not all teams that attempt continuous improvement succeed, often as a result of poor “form.” Improvement kata is the answer.

In Japanese, the word kata literally means "form." A kata typically refers to basic movements in Japanese martial arts but can apply to any basic form, routine, or pattern of behavior. In business, improvement kata brings form to process improvement by structuring the way people think about problem-solving and engage in change.

The kata process has four steps.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

What to Include in Your Kaizen Event Template

Posted by Matt Banna

Dec 6, 2018 7:34:53 AM

This post is the second in our series about Kaizen Event Templates. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check out our guide to the ultimate pre-event template. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the success of a Kaizen event is highly correlated to the amount of effort put into planning and preparation. Our pre-event template will help.

You’ll also want a template to use when the big day arrives. Our clients who get the most from Kaizen events use a standard template so that all of the right information is captured and can be shared in a familiar format. Kaizen software supports this by allowing users to create and disseminate their event templates.

You will probably have some unique needs or elements to capture, but here are the basics for a useful and simple Kaizen event template.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

The Perfect Template for Planning Your Kaizen Event

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Dec 4, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Kaizen events, also called Rapid Improvement Events, involve a team dedicating all of their energy for three to five days on solving a specific challenge or implementing targeted improvements. They are resource intensive, but effective tools for organizations that are dedicated to consistent and constant improvement.

Because they are so quick and consuming, it is essential to be well prepared. In fact, planning for the event should get as much care and attention as the event itself. Our clients who have been successful with event planning have found that it helps to have a standard pre-event template that can be used every time a Kaizen event occurs. This ensures that everyone is using the same standards and that the essential boxes are checked. The best improvement management software solutions allow you to set up your Kaizen Event Templates within the system to make it easy for everyone to access and report relevant information.

Of course, each organization is different, but here are the elements that we recommend considering when you set up your rapid improvement templates.

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Topics: Kaizen, Improvement Process

What Changes When You Implement Kaizen Software?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 8, 2018 10:22:33 AM

One thing that we hear quite often from leaders who have attempted to create a Kaizen culture is that initial enthusiasm quickly wanes, and improvement projects move in fits and starts. In most cases, these leaders have embraced the Kaizen mindset, but haven’t implemented a software platform to support it.

On the flip side of that, our clients who have implemented an improvement platform tell us that it has helped transform their organization into one that consistently produces positive change.

Here’s what they say happens when Kaizen software is deployed.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

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