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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement


8 Tips for Error-Proofing Your Lean Project Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 26, 2021 4:31:51 PM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not implementing an improvement program for the first time. In fact, in many cases, the very reason they are turning to us is that previous attempts to implement Lean project management have been disappointing.

Here are our best tips for avoiding the common problems that lead to sub-par results.

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Topics: Lean

What is the best way to become more effective at work?

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jul 12, 2021 11:38:16 AM

The internet is full of blog posts with productivity tips and advice about how to work smarter, not harder. There’s a lot of useful information about the best way to work, but we think it is important to keep in mind that the foundation for all of it is something called standard work

We've written about standard work in the past, but it is a subject that is often overlooked or misunderstood in the continuous improvement efforts of many organizations, so it's definitely worth spending some time on. If you’re in the process of implementing Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma, or just trying to become more efficient at work, we strongly recommend making standard work a part of your process.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

What is Lean Thinking? The Framework for Customer Value

Posted by Kade Jansson

Jul 8, 2021 3:23:57 PM


James Womack and Dan Jones are the founders of the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Enterprise Academy (UK), respectively. Their book, Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, is considered by some to be the bible of Lean manufacturing. It was initially published in 1996 based on their in-depth study of Toyota’s fabled Toyota Production System (TPS).

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

How to Apply the Right Lean Tools for Every Improvement

Posted by Adam Darnell

Jun 28, 2021 11:30:10 AM

Whether or not your organization fully embraces the Lean business paradigm or just borrows some of its best practices, the methodology has many valuable tools and techniques. So many that it can be challenging to decide which one to use for various types of projects. There’s no “right” way to apply lean tools, but there are some situations for which particular techniques are generally well suited. Here are some of the ways our customers have used Lean to accelerate positive change within their organizations. 

In this post, we’ve broken down the most useful tools that can be leveraged to support daily improvement, problem-solving, and strategic planning. Before we get into specific tools, however, it is helpful to understand the common goals of all Lean tools. Each performs one or more of the following functions: 

  • Communicate Information  
  • Define and Share Standards
  • Enforce the Standards
  • Bring Attention to Variation
  • React to Variation 
  • Prevent Variation from Occurring

Lean practitioners focus on delivering maximum value to the customer by eliminating waste and creating processes that produce consistent, predictable results. These Lean management tools are used to achieve those goals.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Lean Software

The History & Evolution of the PDSA Cycle of Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 24, 2021 6:09:34 PM

The PDSA cycle is a popular approach to process improvement because of its simultaneous simplicity and effectiveness. PDSA cycles can be applied to an unlimited number of processes, making them applicable across almost every industry. We thought it was worth a quick look back at how it came to be and how it has changed over time.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean

Engaging Physicians in Lean: A 2021 Virtual Indiana Lean Healthcare Summit Presentation

Posted by Morgan Wright

Jun 15, 2021 2:44:55 PM

At the 2021 Virtual Indiana Lean Healthcare Summit, several incredible Lean leaders shared their experience fostering a state of healthcare excellence within their organizations. This blog post is a recap of one speaker's presentation, Deanna R Willis MD MBA FAAFP FNAP, Otis R Bowen Professor of Family Medicine at Indiana University, in which she discussed “Engaging Physicians in Lean.”

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Topics: Lean, Employee Engagement, Lean Healthcare

A Structured Approach to Problem-Solving | Webinar Recap

Posted by Noah Paratore

Jun 9, 2021 1:08:46 PM

We had the pleasure of presenting a webinar hosted by Chad Westbrook, a manufacturing engineering manager and AGCO production system manager at AGCO Corporation. AGCO is a full-line manufacturer of agricultural equipment. The company makes everything, including tractors, tillers, sprayers, bailers, and other equipment. Chad joined our own Mark Graban to discuss a different way of thinking about problem-solving. This post is a recap of the presentation - watch the full thing for all the details!

A Structured Approach to Problem-Solving

Presented by Chad Westbrook, AGCO

Watch Now

In this webinar, you'll learn a structured approach to problem-solving using the following tools:

  • 5G – A tool used to describe a loss phenomenon
  • 5W1H – An approach to the revised phenomenon
  • 4M1D – Defining the contributing factors to the revised phenomenon
  • 4M1D Confirmation – Validating the contributing factors
  • 5 Why’s – Root cause and effective countermeasures

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Topics: Lean, Spread Continuous Improvement

2 Popular Process Improvement Methodologies Explained

Posted by Morgan Wright

Jun 2, 2021 11:14:50 AM

The world’s most successful organizations are relentless in their quest for flawless processes and perfect execution. The ability to reliably produce quality outcomes with minimal waste is elusive but achievable with the right leadership and attention. That’s why many organizations turn to proven process improvement methodologies and techniques.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement Software

How Lean Healthcare Management Can Elevate Patient Care

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 28, 2021 5:17:07 PM

Although the Lean quality improvement methodology was initially developed to improve the quality and productivity of automotive factories, it has been used with great success in industries and settings of all types, including software development, government, retail, and other service settings.

Healthcare organizations, in particular, have found that the approach can be used to reduce costs and improve quality of care, patient safety, and satisfaction at the same time.

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Topics: Lean

DMAIC Tools Offer a Solid Structure for Problem Solving

Posted by Kade Jansson

May 11, 2021 10:30:14 AM

DMAIC (Deh-May-Ick) tools are some of the most critical options in the continuous improvement toolbox. They are most closely associated with the Six Sigma methodology. Still, the DMAIC approach to problem-solving is also used by those who practice Lean manufacturing or don’t use a formal management structure. DMAIC is so widely used because the problem-solving framework takes teams from discovering root causes to long-term, stable standard work. It is a repeatable process that employees can learn to apply to any number of process problems.  

What Are DMAIC Tools?

DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.  Motorola is credited with bringing it to prominence, although it was essentially an evolution of the Toyota production system.

A deeper dive reveals why it works so well.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Process, DMAIC

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