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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

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

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