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KaiNexus Blog

Everything Continuous Improvement

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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, Visual Management, DMAIC, Improvement Methodology, Improvement Process

The Essential Features of Visual Project Management Software

Posted by Clint Corley

Jan 3, 2019 7:41:00 AM

Lately, we’ve been having lots of conversations with people who have decided that 2019 is the year they will truly embrace visual project management. This is smart. Because of the way the human brain processes information, using charts or graphs to visualize complex data is more natural and more effective than reviewing spreadsheets or reports. Data visualization is a quick way to convey concepts in a manner that can be understood by almost everyone. If you want to get more improvement projects completed this year and gain better insight into how your team is working to cause positive change, then visual project management software is the way to go.

As with any category of technology, not all solutions are the same. We recommend looking for a visual management platform that will support your needs today - as well as those that may become pressing in the future. These applications are pretty sticky once you start using them, so making the right choice in the beginning is critical.

Here are some of the features you can expect from the best solutions.

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Topics: Visual Management, 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: Visual Management, Lean, Software

Get More Impact from Improvement with Digital Visual Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Oct 23, 2018 9:53:52 AM

The human brain processes visuals significantly faster than text. Smart leaders take advantage of our ability to process and remember visual information and leverage it to get more from all of the continuous improvement practices they oversee.

Visual management can be used to support a culture of improvement and spread success across the organization. By choosing the digital approach to visual management, it is possible to introduce an improvement management system that makes visualization easy and accessible for every employee.

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Topics: Visual Management

How to Have Better Team Huddles

Posted by Maggie Millard

Sep 25, 2018 8:12:00 AM

We recently had a chat with a potential client in a healthcare organization that has been doing daily team huddles for years. She has been frustrated by the lack of tangible results and the apparent disinterest of her team. People show up (unless they can find any reasonable excuse not to), but it is clear that the huddle is just one thing to check off the list each day, rather than a valuable exercise. She asked how to make the practice more useful and here’s what we recommended.

Set a Firm Time Limit

Daily huddle meetings are meant to be extremely focused and quick affairs. If you have the right measurements and technology in place (more on that in a minute), 15 minutes should be sufficient. That means that everyone will need to think ahead about what is important to discuss and stick to the most relevant topics for discussion. Keeping meetings quick makes them less burdensome and allows employees to schedule their day around them.

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Topics: Visual Management, Daily Lean Management, Improvement Process

8 Ways Software Makes Idea Boards More Effective

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jun 26, 2018 7:53:00 AM

Idea boards are an essential visual management technique. They help keep improvement work front and center and make it easy for everyone to recognize progress.

However, there are some pretty significant limits to the helpfulness of physical idea boards hanging on a wall.

That’s why we’ve seen a widespread digital transformation that has idea boards transitioning from the wall to the cloud. Idea board software has many advantages over the bulletin board and sticky notes approach.

Here are a few of the most significant benefits.

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Topics: Visual Management

Everyday Examples of Visual Management

Posted by Matt Banna

May 8, 2018 10:46:52 AM

When we write about visual management, we are usually talking about sophisticated quality management tools like Kanban, huddle boards, and the dashboards available in the KaiNexus application. These are all incredibly valuable applications of visual management in the workplace, but visual management is actually all around you. Understanding these everyday examples of visualization may help you apply the same principles more thoughtfully at work.

Visual management falls into six categories based on the purpose.

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Topics: Visual Management, Continuous Improvement Software

Are You Making One of These Idea Board Mistakes?

Posted by Maggie Millard

May 3, 2018 7:42:00 AM

Idea boards are a common and useful tool for collecting ideas for improvement and displaying the status of projects. The instinct is spot on. This type of visualization creates clear communication, inspires action and creativity, and helps emphasize the importance of employee engagement.

However, we often hear from leaders who have had bad experiences and achieved no significant results with idea boards.

What are they doing wrong?

If they are using a physical idea board, like the ones we see so often arranged in the “To-Do, Doing, Done” format they likely suffer from one or more of the following common mistakes.

Do you?

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Topics: Visual Management

Common Questions About Kanban Boards

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 25, 2018 2:17:29 PM

One of the great things about working at KaiNexus is that our team has lots of insightful conversations with customers, prospects, consultants, trainers, and others interested in the tools and techniques associated with continuous improvement. We often get together and share notes on what topics are trending and what information people in the field are looking for.

Lately, the subject of Kanban and Kanban boards has come up quite a bit. We think this is driven by a larger trend toward visual management and dashboards for all business functions. It’s clear from our conversations that people have questions about how Kanban fits into a well-managed improvement culture.

We can’t claim to have all of the answers, but here are a few of the most important.

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Topics: Kanban, Visual Management

Is it Time to Rethink Your Daily Huddle Board?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 23, 2018 10:15:46 AM

Daily huddle meetings accompanied by the visual management tool of a huddle board are a favorite improvement management technique in several business methodologies including Lean and Agile management. Industries of all types use them to help teams stay on the same page and ensure that forward momentum on improvement projects is maintained.

However, as with many other business practices, sometimes an idea comes from a good place, but over time, in practice, it no longer achieves its purpose as well as it could.

We find that situation quite a bit when it comes to huddle boards. Teams get in the habit of the daily meeting, but after a while, it becomes a thing to check off the list every day, rather than a useful, efficient approach to improvement.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your huddle meeting and boards that will help you determine if you are on the right track or need a course correction.

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Daily Lean Management, Visual Management

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