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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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How to Sell Lean Software to Your CEO

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Feb 26, 2019 8:08:00 AM

You know that Lean software would help your organization implement more opportunities for improvement, eliminate waste, sustain improvement, and get more people involved in positive change. You know that the investment will reap significant returns by increasing and calculating the impact of improvement work. Your CEO, on the other hand, hasn’t quite seen the light.

That’s OK. Investing in technology to support Lean is a big step, and it isn’t free, so a bit of reluctance is natural. In most cases, the key to convincing top executives that Lean software will be worth it is to stay away from feature/function discussions and focus on their top-of-mind concerns. The practical advantages of Lean software like streamlined communication, document management, and automated alerts aren’t what typically gets CEOs excited.

Here’s what does.

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Topics: Lean, Software

What is Leader Standard Work?

Posted by Matt Banna

Feb 21, 2019 8:42:00 AM

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.

Many organizations have little in the way of documented best practices for leaders. Supervisors, managers, and directors are left with only their job description to guide their daily activities. Given this reality, it's not surprising that many fail to start, spread, and sustain the continuous improvement mindset.

The alternative is leader standard work which is a set of actions, tools, and behaviors that are incorporated into the daily activities of leaders at all levels. Like the standard work for any process, leader standard work must be documented, practiced consistently, and changed only with reflection and experimentation.

Although the specifics of leader standard work vary across organizations, some practices are universally useful and commonly included.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership

21 Questions to Help You Apply the Principles of Lean Management

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 20, 2019 11:03:10 AM

We’ve written before about how the Lean management approach is prevalent in almost every industry. That’s because its twin pillars of continuous improvement and respect for people make sense in every sector. Supporting those pillars are the five principles of Lean. This post takes a closer look at each of them and will give you some questions to ask yourself that will help you find how best to apply them in your organization.

Value

Value is defined as anything that the customer wants and will pay for. Only the customer gets to decide what represents value. Successful companies are those that provide value more efficiently than the competition. Because Lean organizations have value as a first principle, they are necessarily customer-centric.

How do you know if your organization is living the principle of value? Ask yourself these questions, and the answer to that should be clear.

  • How do I know what the customer values?
  • Is customer value a daily topic of discussion?
  • Does customer value drive decisions?
  • Is what the customer values static or does it change?
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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management

What it Takes to Achieve Operational Excellence

Posted by Lisa Hanna

Feb 12, 2019 8:17:00 AM

No executive in the world would turn down operational excellence if you handed it to them on a platter even if they don’t exactly know what it is. It just sounds like something awesome. But operational excellence isn’t like an hors d'oeuvre you can pluck off a tray. In order to be achieved, it must be clearly understood, injected into the culture, and supported with a methodology to guide decisions. The principles of excellence must become ingrained in everyday activities. Getting there isn’t easy, but it is operationally excellent companies that can achieve rapid growth and sustain a leading market position.

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

Lean Management System Implementation Tips

Posted by Kade Jansson

Feb 7, 2019 7:42:00 AM

If you are considering a Lean management system to boost your efforts at continuous improvement and waste reduction, it’s a smart move. Technology helps bring people together, ensure accurate data, collect organizational knowledge, and speed the progress of Lean projects. It also gives leaders greater insight into the health of Lean across the entire organization.

We’ve helped scores of companies get up and running on a Lean management system and have learned the keys to success. If you follow these tips, you’ll set yourself up for smooth sailing.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

6 Reasons Lean Project Management Initiatives Flop

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 31, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Many of the people who come to us to talk about our Lean improvement management software are not embarking on their first rodeo. 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.

This gives us a lot of insight into what can go wrong.

Here are some of the most common factors that lead to failure and what you can do to avoid them.

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Topics: Lean

The Lean Visual Management Tools Your Team Will Love

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 28, 2019 4:19:53 PM

Although the overarching objective of Lean management is to create an unhindered flow of value to the customer, another of its primary concerns is transparency. If you can see roadblocks, process irregularities, resources that aren’t at capacity, and poorly aligned goals you can do something about them. That’s why so many Lean tools are designed to allow visual management. People process images much more quickly than text (knowing what’s going on around you is somewhat central to staying alive), that’s why icons, signs that use color and shape, and dashboards are so popular.

Over the years, many valuable tools for Lean visual management have evolved. They offer significant benefits for leaders and team members alike. Here are a few that we’re sure your team will appreciate.

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Topics: Lean, Visual Management

How to Select Lean Management Software [eBook Preview]

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jan 11, 2019 8:11:00 AM

We are super excited about the launch of our new eBook designed to take the guesswork out of choosing Lean management software for your organization. Of course, we hope you’ll consider KaiNexus, but even if you don’t, this new guide to improvement management software selection will help.

Our roadmap for getting the best solution will be useful whether you are using the Lean management business methodology or another approach. That’s because the best solutions allow you to tailor the platform to fit your organization’s improvement paradigm.

Here’s a preview of what is covered.

 

 

Free eBook: How to Choose an Improvement Platform

Download Now


In this eBook, you will learn:

  • Benefits of improvement software
  • Does your organization need an improvement platform?
  • Why not just use Excel, analog boards, or a suggestion box?
  • Improvement software feature checklist
  • How to evaluate vendors
  • How software supports popular improvement techniques
  • Implementation best practices

 

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

What Are the Most Popular Methods for Managing Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 10, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Organizations that embrace the continuous improvement approach to business have many great tools and techniques from which to choose. Some organizations use them as part of a structured methodology like Lean, Six Sigma, or Toyota Kata. Others leverage them on their own. Every organization has unique needs and will need to adjust each method for their own environment, but the most popular techniques are flexible enough to be used by organizations of every size and in every industry.

 

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC, Visual Management

Improvement Kata - A Workout for Kaizen

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 31, 2018 11:15:22 AM

In fitness, there’s nothing complicated about a push-up. But when executed properly, it’s an outstanding exercise that strengths your arms, chest, and core muscles. Adjustments can be made to increase or decrease the level of difficulty, so it is a useful training tool regardless of your fitness level. However, if you fail to use proper form and end up with your butt in the air or an incomplete range of motion, push-ups are not helpful at all. The way you do it really matters.

The same is true for Kaizen. Just like we’d all love to be strong and fit, every organization would love to maximize positive change. But not all teams that attempt continuous improvement succeed, often as a result of poor “form.” Improvement kata is the answer.

In Japanese, the word kata literally means "form." A kata typically refers to basic movements in Japanese martial arts but can apply to any basic form, routine, or pattern of behavior. In business, improvement kata brings form to process improvement by structuring the way people think about problem-solving and engage in change.

The kata process has four steps.

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Topics: Lean, Kaizen, Improvement Methodology

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