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KaiNexus Blog

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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.

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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

The Fundamentals of a Lean Deployment Plan

Posted by Maggie Millard

Nov 21, 2018 11:25:22 AM

If you’ve decided to set your organization on the path to Lean, that decision will likely be one of many that will bring measurable benefits in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. Leaders who have taken this journey before have told us that getting started with Lean can be somewhat overwhelming. We thought it might be helpful to share, step-by-step, how some of the most successful organizations have launched their Lean programs. Hopefully, you’ll see that it isn’t as daunting as you might think.

We should note that every organization and every Lean program is different. Organizations can go all in or take an incremental approach. There’s no one “right” way to do Lean, so you’ll have to find the path that works best for your team. But whatever route you take, these elements are vital to success and should be included in your Lean deployment plan.

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Topics: Lean

3 Awesome Benefits of Lean Project Management Software

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Nov 14, 2018 8:11:00 AM

The Lean business management methodology prizes an optimized flow of value to the customer with as little waste as possible. Waste is defined as anything that the customer would not volunteer to pay for. Lean practitioners have identified eight types of waste and work tirelessly to find and minimize them.

Lean is a popular approach across many industries because it is easy to understand and effective at improving business results when it is properly executed. Lean got its start in manufacturing, but today is used in healthcare, construction, software development, retail, professional services, education, and other industries.

Specialized Lean project management software has been developed to help organizations dedicated to the approach get the most out of it. Every organization has its own reasons for investing in technology to support Lean, but most find three substantial advantages.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

5 Incredibly Powerful Lean Visual Management Tools

Posted by Matt Banna

Oct 31, 2018 9:11:00 AM

Visual management tools surround us - although they are so ubiquitous, we might not even think about them. When your car is about to run out of gas, a light will alert you to the problem. You’ve probably got a message waiting indicator on your desk phone. Your fitness app may even show you how close you are to your daily goal. Your brain can quickly process these visual clues and use the information to make decisions.

The Lean business approach takes advantage of this fact and leverages several powerful tools for management and improvement. You don’t have to be all in on Lean to take advantage of them. Any organization striving for continuous improvement can benefit.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Visual Management

Why Software Needs to be Part of Your Lean Strategy

Posted by Clint Corley

Oct 18, 2018 8:42:00 AM

If you’ve decided to embrace the Lean business methodology, we offer our congratulations. It is an excellent approach to reducing waste, capturing opportunities for improvement, and creating a culture of innovation.

When most leaders start their Lean journey -- and it is a journey, we’re sure no one has achieved Lean perfection yet --  they focus on training managers and staff to ensure that they understand what Lean is really all about. This is a critical undertaking, but our clients have found that it is not enough on its own.

In addition to education, you and your team need the right tools in place to support Lean, and that starts with Lean management software.

Not only does software make your organization more effective at continuous improvement, but it also increases your strength as a leader.

Here’s why software should be a central part of your Lean strategy.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Strategy Deployment

What Kind of Businesses Need Lean Software?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Sep 20, 2018 7:45:00 AM

Our standard answer when we get asked, “What kind of businesses need Lean software,” (which happens quite a lot), has always been that businesses in every industry including healthcare, construction, software, engineering, and even higher education benefit from Lean software. And that’s true, but the industry labels tell only part of the story. Lean is industry agnostic, but there are certain business conditions under which Lean software can have an enormous impact. So this post will look at the business attributes that signal an organization stands to make huge gains with Lean technology.

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Topics: Lean, Software, Continuous Improvement Software

How Software Enables Lean Leadership

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 19, 2018 9:45:00 AM

It’s 2018, and if you haven’t heard, there’s an app for that. We use software to manage almost every aspect of business today from HR to accounting. You’ve got systems for inventory management, sales performance, customer communications, social media monitoring, and even conference room scheduling.

That’s why we are not surprised that more and more organizations are implementing Lean software to support their critical objectives of increasing customer value and reducing waste.

Not only does Lean software make your team more productive at continuous improvement, but it also increases your strength as a Lean leader. Here’s how.

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Topics: Lean, Leadership, Software

The Fundamentals of the Lean Methodology

Posted by Maggie Millard

Aug 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The Lean methodology is an evolution of the Toyota Production System that the Japanese automaker implemented following World War II to improve the efficiency and flexibility of its manufacturing. Two important books, The Machine That Changed the World (1990) by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel T. Jone and Lean Thinking (1996) by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones outlined the structure and principles for the Lean method.

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Topics: Lean

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