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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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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

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

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

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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

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