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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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Top Reasons to Consider a Digital 5S Tool

Posted by Kade Jansson

Nov 18, 2021 3:32:01 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

Six Sigma FAQ: Which Tools are Commonly Used for DMAIC?

Posted by Kade Jansson

Nov 2, 2021 10:16:00 AM

The Six Sigma business methodology aims to eliminate waste and defects. It also aims to reduce variation in business processes. Efforts to improve are considered Six Sigma projects and are often made using a systematic model known as DMAIC. DMAIC stands for Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control.

As with any other improvement effort, the ultimate goal of the DMAIC method is to improve customer satisfaction. The key to satisfaction is quality. Satisfied customers become loyal customers who engage in repeat business and refer others.

Lean management is another business methodology similar to Six Sigma and leverages many of the same tools, so if your business has deployed Lean, this content will be of value to you.

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Topics: Lean, Six Sigma, Improvement Methodology

How Leader Standard Work Templates Drive Innovation

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 12, 2021 1:03:07 PM

Standard work is the documented and current best way to do a particular task, procedure, or process. Workers develop the standard and follow it until an improvement process results in a new standard. Standard work ensures that results are consistent and forms the foundation upon which improvements are made. Leader standard work applies this same concept to the task of driving Lean thinking and behavior throughout the organization.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

Answers to Common Questions about the Lean Management System

Posted by Morgan Wright

Sep 28, 2021 10:14:00 AM

The Lean Management System is a popular business process methodology that started in the manufacturing sector but quickly spread to healthcare, software development, construction, and a host of other fields. While its use is widespread, many of the business leaders we talk to still have questions about its origins, structure, and benefits. This post answers the ones we hear most often.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Lean, Improvement Methodology

The Tenets of Process Thinking in Operations Management

Posted by Kade Jansson

Sep 22, 2021 11:03:59 AM

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).

What Womack and Jones realized is that every outcome is the result of a process. Process thinking in operations management requires leaders and workers to view businesses as a set of related processes that work together rather than a group of departments that each support a specific function.

These ideas are widely used by businesses of any industry to better design, track, and optimize business processes operations. Companies have not done away with functional departments. However, they view the work departments do differently. A department can't exist as a silo. It receives inputs from other functions, and it provides outputs that other departments must consume to complete their work.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

Improving Business Operations to Achieve Excellence

Posted by Adam Darnell

Sep 7, 2021 3:09:05 PM

What is Operational Excellence?

Executing a business strategy more effectively and consistently than the competition is called Operational Excellence. Ideally, every employee can see the flow of value to the customer and fix it when the flow is interrupted.

We are often asked if continuous improvement and operational excellence are the same. They are not, but they are closely related. Continuous improvement involves constantly improving your business operations to reduce waste, cut costs, improve quality, and maximize human potential. It focuses on making each existing process perfect. Operational excellence goes further. It involves setting the organization up for growth by understanding what the market wants and creating an uninterrupted value stream that continuously feeds the need.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Culture, Strategy Deployment, Operational Excellence

Examples of the 8 Wastes of Lean in Everyday Life

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 26, 2021 10:39:25 AM

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

How to Apply the Right Lean Tools for Every Improvement

Posted by Adam Darnell

Aug 12, 2021 12:32:45 PM

Whether or not your organization fully embraces the Lean manufacturing business paradigm or just borrows some of its best practices, the methodology has many valuable tools and techniques. There are so many that it can be challenging to decide which one to use for a given project or problem. There’s no “right” way to apply lean tools to achieve continuous improvement, but there are some situations for which particular techniques are generally well suited. 

We’ve broken down the most valuable tools that can be leveraged to support daily improvement, problem-solving, waste elimination, and strategic planning in this post. 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 deliver maximum value to the customer by eliminating waste and creating processes that produce consistent, predictable results. These Lean management and total quality tools are used to achieve those goals.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Lean Software

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

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