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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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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

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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

How to Apply Lean Principles Beyond Work

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 18, 2018 8:12:00 AM

We promise not to turn this blog into the next big thing in lifestyle content, but a recent conversation sparked an idea. Everyone here at KaiNexus is a massive fan of the Lean business approach - and for good reason. It helps companies reduce cost, better position themselves to compete, and develop leadership qualities in team members. Well, it turns out, that enthusiasm isn’t limited to helping our clients understand and implement Lean. After chatting a bit about it, we discovered that many members of our team have applied Lean principles to life outside of the office as well. In some cases, we didn’t even realize we were doing it; Lean thinking just took over.

Here are a few examples of how to leverage the power of Lean in real life.

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Topics: Lean

How to Apply the A3 Problem-Solving Methodology

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Dec 14, 2018 8:01:00 AM

The A3 problem-solving methodology was first used by Toyota in the 1960s and later embraced by proponents of Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean, and other systematic approaches to continuous improvement. “A3” references a European paper size that is about the same size as an American 11-inch by 17-inch tabloid-sized paper. Using the A3 method, teams create a one-page improvement project report. By limiting the report to one page, teams are forced to be concise and thoughtful about including only relevant information. This makes the report easy to digest.

Because our solution supports the A3 technique, we are often asked for tips on how to deploy it. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind.

Webinar Recording: The Lowdown on A3 Software

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology

The Lean Thinking Behind Popular Improvement Techniques

Posted by Maggie Millard

Dec 11, 2018 2:54:10 PM

Many tools and techniques support the Lean management methodology. For those new to the approach, they can seem a little all over the map. You may ask what control charts and Catchball have in common. We find it helpful to put the Lean approach in context by looking at how the techniques fit into the Lean mindset. Once you outline the core values of Lean, the synergies of each common practice become clearer.

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Topics: Lean

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