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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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How to Introduce CQI to New Hires

Posted by JJ Puentes

Sep 4, 2019 8:11:00 AM

I've noticed something interesting in all of the articles and blogs I read about CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement). Most of the writing addresses how to launch a new CQI program for the organization, which is obviously essential. However, I've found less written about how to bake CQI into the onboarding process for new employees. After you've been doing CQI for a while, it will be second-hand nature for your existing team, but your new hire may have no experience with Kaizen or daily improvement.

Here are some ways that our customers have had success getting new team members ready to contribute to positive change right out of the gate.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Quality

Webinar | Metrics & Statistics Don't Have to be Scary

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Mar 5, 2019 8:01:00 AM

A while back, we recently had the honor of hosting a webinar with our Senior Advisor, Mark Graban, author of "Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More." Mark’s new book focuses on managing variation, understanding data, and leading improvement. Mark has been a part of KaiNexus in various capacities since 2011. He is an internationally-recognized consultant, published author, professional speaker, and blogger. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Northwestern and a Masters in mechanical engineering and an MBA from MIT.

This post is a recap of Mark’s presentation. However, the webinar is full of examples that will make a lot more sense if you see the charts that he uses by way of explanation, so we highly recommend that you watch the webinar.

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Topics: Quality, Webinars, Visual Management

The Bedrock Principles of Continuous Quality Management

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Nov 1, 2018 8:11:00 AM

Continuous quality management (CQM) does not look the same in every organization. Some practice CQM as part of a business management philosophy like Lean or Six Sigma, while others implement it on its own. There are a bunch of tools and techniques that support CQM such as Gemba Walks, Catchball, and DMAIC that may or may not be used. However, there are some core principles that tie successful continuous quality management organizations together. They form the basis for the approach and are indispensable.

Quality Management is About Process Management

When you break it down, organizations are made up of hundreds, if not thousands of interlocking processes. The quality of the products or services that are delivered to external and internal customers alike is dependent on the quality of those processes. The financial health of the organization is dependent to a large extent on the efficiency of those processes. If you focus on the processes one at a time, you can fundamentally change the game and deal with the challenges facing your organization.

Quality management is not about placing blame on people. W. Edwards Deming believed that the system was responsible for 97% of the problems. The downside to simply blaming a person when quality standards are not met is that it prevents leaders investigating a bit more to find a root cause finding solutions that improve the performance of all the workers. If a worker makes a mistake, it is essential to ask why and find the process conditions that made the error possible.

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Topics: Quality, Spread Continuous Improvement

10 Ways to Build a Culture that Supports CQI

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 30, 2018 9:42:19 AM

The dictionary defines corporate culture as, “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” Every organization has a culture whether or not leaders think about it or try to shape it. But smart executives know that culture is a crucial (if not the most important) ingredient for success. Leaders who are dedicated to the practice of continuous quality improvement (CQI) should understand the role that culture plays and actively work to shape it. Here are ten best practices for creating a culture in which CQI can thrive.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Culture, Improvement Process

9 Brilliantly Simple Continuous Quality Improvement Techniques

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 8, 2018 11:09:33 AM

I often find myself falling into the common trap of believing that if something is worthwhile, it is necessarily difficult. I think we all expect that valuable things are hard. The truth is, however, that sometimes the most effective and impactful things we can do are really quite simple.

When it comes to continuous quality improvement, this is absolutely the case.

Here are 9 examples of quality improvement tools, techniques, and technology that are uncomplicated yet extremely valuable.

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Topics: Quality, Spread Continuous Improvement

Top 8 Reasons that CQI Initiatives Fail

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Aug 29, 2017 8:01:00 AM

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) isn’t a subject that inspires a lot of debate. We’ve yet to find a business leader or even a front-line employee who doesn’t think that quality improvement is a good thing. But many companies struggle to achieve this nearly unanimous goal. Our work with companies trying to get there has given us some insight into why. Here are 8 of the most common problems we’ve seen.

There is No Formal CQI Initiative

Because quality improvement is so obvious, many organizations will say, perhaps in their mission or vision statement, that they strive for continuous improvement, but when you dig deeper and ask what that means, they can’t give a definitive answer. There is no plan to achieve CQI and no set of metrics to measure it. It is just an ideal tethered to nothing. Of course, the organizations we know have successfully achieved CQI put in the effort to craft a plan, define success, and constantly measure progress.

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Topics: Quality, Customer Testimonials

CQI Software: Advantages Beyond Project Management

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 11, 2017 7:28:00 AM

We recently had an interesting conversation with a newly minted director of quality improvement in a regional hospital. The position is new, but she has years of experience implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs. The first thing she realized that she needed was CQI software to support the initiative. She made the request for budget to the CFO who told her that fortunately, the hospital already had project management software and that she was free to use it to manage improvement projects.

This is a common response. Many executives think that CQI software simply tracks projects, assignments, due dates, and status updates. In that case, it makes sense to use the general project management software you already have. Heck, maybe even a spreadsheet will do.

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Topics: Quality, Continuous Improvement Software

Common Questions about Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

Posted by Kade Jansson

May 5, 2017 7:05:00 AM

We’ve noticed a theme to many of the conversations that we’ve been having with clients and at the events we’ve attended lately. Lots of folks have questions about the concept of Continuous Quality Improvement or CQI for short. We’ve put together some answers to the questions we are asked most often and even a few that people don’t ask, but they really should.

Is Continuous Quality Improvement Just for Manufacturing Companies?

This comes up quite a bit with many of the methodologies that our improvement management software helps customers manage. The literature around CQI and other techniques is full of references to manufacturing because many of the methods got their start in that sector. Approaches like Lean, Six Sigma, TQM and others were first applied in auto manufacturing and then spread to factories that made just about anything.

But other industries began to take note of the success of improvement efforts in manufacturing and realized that the core principles of CQI can be applied to almost any sector. We now see the approach being applied in healthcare, higher education, construction, software development, transportation and almost any industry you can name. This is because all of them are made up of a series of processes that can be broken down, analyzed and made better.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Quality, Spread Continuous Improvement, Improvement Methodology

The 4 Essential Functions of CAPA Software

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 6, 2016 10:08:35 AM

Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) is an important part of the quality management approach of many organizations. It focuses on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or identified risks. A corrective action deals with an issue that has occurred, and a preventative action addresses the potential for problems in the future. Corrective actions are applied in response to things like customer complaints and unacceptable or inconsistent product quality.

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Topics: Software, Quality

Getting Started with Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Mar 20, 2015 8:02:00 AM

The great philosopher Aristotle is reported to have said, “’Quality is not an act. It is a habit.

Many business leaders who agree are turning toward an approach called Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). Continuous Quality Improvement involves creating an environment in which management and employees work together to achieve constantly improving quality. Rather than reacting to quality problems when there is a crisis, organizations that embrace CQI embark on a never ending, proactive, journey toward delivering the highest quality possible every single time a product or service is delivered.

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Topics: Quality

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