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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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"Lean Thinking" and the 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Posted by Kade Jansson

Dec 3, 2020 1:10:46 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 originally published in 1996 based on their in-depth study of Toyota’s fabled Toyota Production System (TPS). Philip Caldwell, Chairman and CEO of Ford from 1980-1985, said of the book, “Truly remarkable...The most comprehensive, instructive, mind-stretching and provocative analysis of any major industry I have ever known.” 

Lean Thinking lays out the five Lean manufacturing principles: value, value streams, flow, pull, and perfection. Here’s some insight into what Womack and Jones meant by each.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

Applying Lean Six Sigma in the Auto Manufacturing Sector

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Nov 17, 2020 12:40:20 PM

As you might guess from the name, a Lean Six Sigma methodology combines Lean manufacturing principles and those of Six Sigma. This approach to production management is popular in the automotive manufacturing industry. Although there are a few areas of caution, the methodology has helped Ford, Caterpillar, General Motors, Goodyear, and many more achieve their quality and value goals.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Process

The Right Way to Talk About Standard Work with Your Staff

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 12, 2020 1:01:47 PM

We've written about standard work in the past, but it is often a topic that is overlooked or misunderstood in the continuous improvement process of many organizations, so it's definitely worth revisiting. If you’re in the process of implementing LeanKaizen, Six Sigma, or another method of continuous improvement, we strongly recommend making standard work a part of your process.

What is Standard Work?

Standard work is the practice of setting, communicating, following, and improving standards.

Establishing standard work begins with creating, clarifying, and sharing information about the most efficient method to perform a task that is currently known with everyone performing that process. Once this information has been shared, everyone practices this standard consistently so that the work is done the best way every time. This is where continuous improvement comes into play; standard work isn't a "set it and forget it" process, announced once and then permanently unchanging. Instead, everyone should work to improve the standard, and share new best practices as they're discovered.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

An Introduction to the Lean Concept of Catchball

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 6, 2020 3:25:53 PM

Most of us have memories of playing the game of catch either as children or with our children. I really shouldn’t call it a “game” because there are no winners and losers. There is no defense because everyone is on the same side. One participant tries to deliver the ball to the other in a way that they will be able to grab and return it. The ability to catch and throw a ball is important because it is a foundation for success in many other more complex sports. The Lean idea of catchball involves moving ideas and information from one person or team to another and, much like catch from childhood, it forms the basis for complicated decision making and policy development.

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Topics: Lean

Examples of the 8 Wastes of Lean in Everyday Life

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 2, 2020 4:39:28 PM

If you are striving to become a Lean organization, waste elimination is probably near the top of your list. In fact, Lean practitioners have identified very specific types of waste, known collectively as the 8 Wastes of Lean. Certain types of waste are really easy to spot and fix, while others can remain unnoticed. We thought it might be helpful to share some practical examples of how each type of waste occurs in business and in the larger world.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management, Lean Healthcare

Why Simplicity Was Essential for CI at a Nuclear Plant

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Sep 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The principles of Lean and continuous improvement methodologies originated from manufacturing, but there’s no doubt that they have been applied to other industries quite successfully, such as nuclear energy. The nuclear industry believes that there is no defect or opportunity that is too small to go after, and there’s always room for improvement. This important principle is a cornerstone belief of what many refer to as a High-Reliability Organization or HRO

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Topics: Lean, Leadership, Spread Continuous Improvement

Twitter’s “Blame Processes, Not People” Moment

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Sep 28, 2020 3:12:13 PM

With the blistering speed of this summer’s news cycle, we can’t blame you if you’ve already forgotten about the single largest security incident in Twitter’s history that took place on July 15 but was a doozy. It was also a teachable moment for Twitter and every other organization that involves people and technology. 

What Happened?

Early in the day on July 15, 2020, Twitter’s automated detection systems flagged some suspicious activity. Several Twitter accounts with short handles, like @USA, @drug, @love, and others, seemed to be compromised. These short handles are valued among certain hacker communities, so Twitter knows to keep an eye out for unusual access. The appropriate people were notified, and they began looking into the issue. Security incidents like this are common when you have a platform with hundreds of millions of users.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

The Principles of Lean in Banking

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

We often get questions about whether the Lean management methodology can be applied in the financial services industry. Because of its manufacturing roots, many people assume that it doesn’t apply to banking or other services-oriented sectors. However, because banking is very process-intensive, the Lean approach can generate significant operational improvement and waste reduction. That’s why many financial services organizations have implemented Lean in one form or another.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process

The Application of Lean Six Sigma in Oil & Gas

Posted by Taylor Edwards

Aug 25, 2020 1:26:43 PM

Oil & Gas companies need to be ever more flexible and agile to succeed as the industry continues to face price volatility, technical innovation, and an uncertain regulatory environment. Given these unstable conditions, it’s not surprising that some Oil & Gas companies are reluctant to adopt a standardized continuous improvement method. However, when applied thoughtfully, with an eye on the long-term, the principles of continuous improvement are relevant and can drive results even in the most dynamic environments. That’s why the Lean Six Sigma model is gaining traction in oil & gas.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma

14 Benefits of Standard Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 20, 2020 12:15:38 PM

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, once said, “Without Standard Work there is no Kaizen.” That’s a pretty bold statement, but when you think about the continuous improvement cycle, it makes a lot of sense. How can you move from the current state to the desired state if the current state is a moving target? Standard Work, which documents the current best practice for performing a task or process, and ensures that everyone is applying it, is a prerequisite for improvement.

Here are 14 ways that Standard Work benefits organizations that leverage it.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen

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