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KaiNexus Blog

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Who Should Participate in Kaizen?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 14, 2018 9:21:13 AM

One of the questions that we get asked most often by leadership teams trying to adopt the Kaizen approach to business that made Toyota so successful is who in the organization needs to be involved? It’s a good question, but one that’s relatively easy to answer by examining the principles behind the Kaizen philosophy.

Kaizen means “positive change” or “continuous improvement” in Japanese. Those who practice Kaizen believe that small changes can produce impressive results and that ideas for positive change should come from the people doing the work. When Toyota introduced Kaizen, they made it clear that continuous improvement was everyone’s job. The goal of modern organizations is to develop a culture of improvement that envelops every single member of the team.

Once you realize that everyone should participate in Kaizen, but the next question is how? Each role has a different set of responsibilities related to improvement.

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Topics: Kaizen

An Example Kaizen Event Agenda

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 25, 2018 10:11:27 AM

Kaizen events are the optimal approach for solving many challenging and persistent problems within an organization. (That does not mean they are right for every situation, however.) Recently several customers have asked us for advice when putting together one of these improvement events. I figured that would be an excellent topic for this blog and will share an example five-item Kaizen event agenda.

Depending on the nature of the issue you are about to address, it might make sense to complete one agenda item each day and plan for a 5-day event. Or, if you're confident that success can be achieved in short order, a three-day event may be long enough. Of course, every organization and opportunity for improvement is different, so you may find some adjustments are necessary, but this will give you an excellent place to start.

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Introduce Kaizen to New Employees

Posted by Matt Banna

Jul 20, 2018 9:53:02 AM

There has been a lot written in this blog and in many other resources about how to launch the Kaizen philosophy within an organization. Companies are often willing to invest significant amounts of time and resources to make sure that a culture of improvement takes hold. That’s awesome, but we’ve noticed that fewer organizations dedicated to continuous improvement, have a solid plan for introducing the Kaizen way to new employees who join the organization after the initial launch. After a while, Kaizen will become a way of life for your team, but it may be an entirely new concept for your most recent hire. Here are a few tips for bringing them up to speed.

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Topics: Kaizen

Explaining Kaizen Software to Aunt Martha at the Family Reunion

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 13, 2018 7:44:00 AM

When I get the chance to interview someone who would like to join the KaiNexus team, I really only have one important question. I can safely assume that someone else has reviewed the candidate’s qualifications and vetted that they have the skills required for the position in question. What I really want to know is whether the applicant understands the nature of our business and what we offer to our customers. With that in mind, my question is this,

“If you are selected for this role, and you go to your family reunion this summer, your aunt “Martha” will undoubtedly ask you about your new job. How will you describe what our company does?”

It’s a tricky question, but not a trick one. There is no one perfect way to describe our Kaizen software solution, but there are some things I’m looking to hear. Aunt Martha’s probably never heard of Kaizen, and she’s even less likely to know that there are technology solutions designed to support it, so where does one begin?

Here are the fundamental Ideas I’d hope someone would mention when describing our business.

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Topics: Kaizen, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

Our Best Tips for a Successful Kaizen Event

Posted by Jeff Roussel

May 16, 2018 7:35:00 AM

Kaizen events are a frequent subject of discussion when we are meeting with potential clients or others who are interested in the technology that powers improvement. Although we talk to folks in almost every industry, almost everyone we talk to has one thing in common. They’ve lived through a disastrous - or at least ineffective - Kaizen event. We’re not surprised because there are lots of ways that rapid improvement blitzes can go off the rails. We don’t want that to happen to you, so we’ve assembled a list of our most important advice for making your Kaizen event a smashing success.

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Topics: Kaizen

How to Choose a Kaizen Management System

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Mar 21, 2018 10:02:00 AM

Organizations implement technology to support Kaizen for a number of reasons. It provides structure for improvement, allows for active management of projects, forms a repository of knowledge, gives leaders insight into the health of Kaizen, and allows for tracking of results.

People who try to manage Kaizen work in spreadsheets quickly find that they lack the interactive capabilities necessary to spread and sustain improvement.

Use this free download to compare and rank different Kaizen management systems:

 

 

Continuous Improvement Software Comparison Matrix

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Download this free matrix to:

  • See a list of all features and functionality available in improvement platforms
  • Calculate a weighted score for each platform based on available features and your organization's unique needs
  • Make an educated, intentional choice about which improvement platform is the best fit for your organization
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Topics: Innovation Software, Kaizen, Change Management Software, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

When to Use a Kaizen Event vs. Daily Kaizen

Posted by Matt Banna

Mar 12, 2018 12:06:34 PM

We get the chance to talk to leaders implementing the Kaizen approach to continuous improvement on a regular basis. One of the questions people who are new to the Kaizen way often ask is, “Should I do daily Kaizen or Kaizen events?”

The short answer is, “Yes.”

Daily Kaizen is essential for tackling small problems before they become big ones and for sustaining improvements that have been implemented. Making continuous improvement part of everyone’s job forms the basis of Kaizen culture.

However, some challenges require a more focused approach. Kaizen events require a significant investment of human capital. The team puts their other work aside for three to five days to focus on the target process or problem. That’s not trivial, so Kaizen events aren’t always the right tool for the job. But here are some situations where they make perfect sense.  

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Topics: Kaizen

10 Things a Digital Kaizen Board Can Do That a Paper One Can’t

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 7, 2018 7:23:00 AM

Kaizen boards are a fantastic addition to any improvement program. They arrange information visually so that a quick glance provides useful information about the progress of improvement projects. They are popular in every industry from healthcare to construction. In terms of implementing a Kaizen board, there are really two choices. A physical board that hangs on a wall in or near the workspace or an electronic Kaizen board that can be accessed from computers or mobile phones.

While paper boards make nice artifacts, there are a bunch of things that only their digital counterparts can do.

Here are our top 10.

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Topics: Kaizen, Continuous Improvement Software

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

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