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KaiNexus Blog

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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.

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Select the Best Kaizen Software Solution

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 15, 2017 7:00:00 AM

If you are like most people, you don’t buy technology to support Kaizen every day, even though you know that you should be implementing something more strategic and robust than spreadsheets and paper boards. Most people who come to us have never faced the challenge of evaluating solutions and choosing a vendor themselves, so don’t feel alone if you are in that boat. It's not as hard as it seems at first blush!

The good news is that there are some easy ways to sort out which solutions you should seriously consider.

Here’s a primer on what to look for.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

An Introduction to Kaizen Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 8, 2017 7:19:00 AM

The practice of Kaizen along with the Six Sigma and Lean business process methodologies has been widespread in manufacturing for decades.

More recently other sectors have realized that the practices and principles of Kaizen can accelerate improvement in almost any organization.

Like manufacturers, leaders in every industry from construction to higher education are leveraging Kaizen software to support and perfect their efforts to execute on more opportunities for improvement.

For those who are not yet familiar with Kaizen software, we’ve put together this broad introduction.

 

What is Kaizen Software?

Kaizen software is technology designed to help organizations complete more improvements, track the results of improvement work, and maintain a historical record of every project. Modern solutions are typically cloud-based, accessed via the Internet, and available on mobile devices. Users simply log-in and gain access to the platform.

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Important features include:

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Idea Boards: The Case for Change

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 30, 2017 7:12:00 AM

Behind every improvement technique and tool there is a winning spirit. There is no downside to the ideas that processes can always be made better and that positive change is everyone’s business.  But today we’re going to focus on one common improvement tool, the idea board, and make the case that there’s a better way. After all, why wouldn’t the force of Kaizen be applied to improvement itself?

The Intention of Idea Boards

Let us begin by saying that there is a lot we love about idea boards. Whether they are just a simple space where notes with employee ideas are randomly affixed or a more organized board with status indicators or categories, there are a few things they get right.

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Anyone can contribute.

Idea boards are very democratic, giving everyone the opportunity to make suggestions within and beyond the scope of their every day jobs. Does a customer service representative have an idea about how to improve safety in the office? Great! They can share it on the idea board for the facilities team to see. The best ideas can come from anywhere, and there’s a good chance that people already have a notion of how to handle your toughest challenges, so bring it on.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Make Your Next Kaizen Event a Slam Dunk

Posted by Clint Corley

Mar 27, 2017 7:16:00 AM

March madness is in full swing, and we’re not going to lie. We’ve got basketball on the brain. The level of talent and dedication that players display even when they don’t win the game is truly inspiring. As spectators, we see the game. What we don’t see are the countless hours of practice, the sacrifice, the workouts, the strategy sessions, and all of the other hard work that goes into competing at this level. We’re impressed.

A Kaizen event is a bit like a basketball game. In order to win in basketball, there are some things you need to do during the game, but also a bunch of stuff that needs to happen off the court. The same is true for completing a successful Kaizen event. You must strive for great execution while the event is in progress, but much of the work happens before it begins and after it ends. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind if you want your next event to be as easy as an uncontested layup.

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Learn the Fundamentals

Some ball players are born with a ton of talent, but even they need to learn the basic fundamentals of the game. Your team may be very good at problem-solving, but if they have never participated in a Kaizen event, or if it has been a while, it is important to provide training and open communication. They should understand why Kaizen events are used, how they are structured, and what to expect before, during, and after.

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Convince Your Boss to Invest in Kaizen Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Mar 22, 2017 11:07:36 AM

Selling up can be tough. If you believe that your organization could benefit from Kaizen software, but your boss (or whoever has to approve the investment) hasn’t quite arrived at that conclusion, you are in a frustrating spot. We’d like to help. We spend a lot of time talking to customers about where they find the most value in Kaizen software and they’ve made a pretty compelling case for applying a technology solution to the challenge of improvement. Here’s what they’ve told us about how they have benefited.

Maybe one or more of these reasons will push your team over the tipping point.

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

The World’s Saddest Kaizen Board?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 24, 2017 8:11:00 AM


A friend who knows that I am interested in continuous improvement techniques of all sorts was visiting a relative in the ER in a California hospital. She sent me this photo. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you probably know why this upset me, but I think it is worth listing the reasons it made me cringe.

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Topics: Kaizen

Why Rapid Improvement Events Are Better with Software

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Feb 21, 2017 12:05:41 PM

Rapid improvement events are an important tool in the Kaizen toolbox. They are great for ensuring energy gets focused on a particularly challenging problem or one that needs to be solved pronto. We’ve seen them produce terrific, long-lasting results. We’ve also seen them devolve into a disorganized mess. Without clear direction and effective communication, the event can become a demoralizing waste of time.

How can you ensure the success of your next rapid improvement event and avoid the pitfalls experienced by so many others? Here’s our best tip – use software to manage the project before, during and after your event. Here is how it can help.

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Before

The success or failure of a rapid improvement event depends very much on what happens before it even begins. Key steps in the planning stages are:

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Topics: Kaizen

Top Reasons to Consider a Digital 5S Tool

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jan 31, 2017 4:09:34 PM


The 5S technique is part of a broader set of management practices known as visual management or visual control. Although these tools are often used by organizations that employ Lean management or the Toyota Production System, they can be used by any organization seeking to optimize workspaces and processes. 5S can be implemented without technology to support it, but our clients have found that the digital approach can smooth the process and amplify the results.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

How to Avoid 3 Visual Management Mistakes

Posted by Clint Corley

Jan 30, 2017 8:10:00 AM


Visual management, sometimes called visual control, is the technique of communicating information using visual signals rather than text or written instruction. People process visual images much more quickly than text, so the approach is an excellent way to achieve efficiency and clarity of communications. We often think of huddle boards or Kanban cards when we think about visual management, but it can take many forms. For example, some organizations have different colored uniforms for different teams, others use visual cues to mark where tools should be placed when not in use.

The advantages of visual management are easy to imagine, but there are a few common mistakes that keep organizations from getting the most out of the approach. Here are a few that you can avoid.

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Topics: Kaizen, Kanban