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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: Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

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

Fundamental Process Control Chart Concepts

Posted by Matt Banna

Apr 17, 2018 7:11:00 AM

Statistical control charts are a useful tool for managing and improving all sorts of processes. They’ve been used in manufacturing for decades and are increasingly popular in other industries from healthcare to higher education. Control charts give leaders a clear and consistent way of evaluating and talking about process behavior and performance. They help managers make good decisions about which processes are stable and which require attention.

While at first glance, they may look very simple, just a line graph with data points plotted over time, there are some important concepts that you should understand if you are new to the approach.

This post covers the basic, yet critical principles of control charts.

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Topics: Six Sigma, Improvement Methodology, Visual Management

How Digital Visual Management Spreads Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 26, 2018 10:05:42 AM

The human brain processes visual information significantly faster than text. Visuals are also more powerful than what we hear. When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. If you think about how you move through the world, you won’t be surprised that 90% of all the information that goes to your brain is visual and 93% of all human communication is visual.

Organizations dedicated to continuous improvement can take advantage of this reality and use visual management to engage staff, provide insight into key information, and help ensure that improvement projects are moving forward as planned. Visual management can be used to support a culture of positive change and spread success across the organization. With today’s technology, 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

6 New Ideas for Making Your Idea Boards Even Better

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 27, 2018 11:21:55 AM

Your idea board is probably full of smart suggestions about how to improve all sorts of processes, improve safety, reduce costs, eliminate defects, and get more work done faster.

But what about the idea board itself?

We find that it is common for people to forget to think about improving improvement. If you haven’t thought about it for a while, now is a good time to ponder what you could do to make your idea board even more effective.

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Topics: Visual Management

A Simple Introduction to Putting Process Control Charts to Work

Posted by Matt Banna

Sep 29, 2017 9:07:00 AM

We’ve written a few posts introducing process control charts and explaining why they are so useful. Today we want to dig a little bit deeper and get into the weeds of actually putting them to work.

As we’ve noted, a process control chart is a graph used to monitor how a process behaves over time. Data are plotted in time order. A control chart always has a central line for the average (sometimes a median), an upper line for the upper control limit, and a lower line for the lower control limit. These lines are calculated from historical data and usually cover three standard deviations from the mean.

Process control charts help get managers out of the trap of overrreacting to every up and down in the data. It also helps avoid problems caused by only looking at average results. Instead, they help leaders understand the variation of results. Why does variation matter? Consider an example, if you are planning an event and are told that the average age of attendees is 32, you might ponder a swanky cocktail party. But in reality, your guests might include many children and elderly people, who aren’t interested in a dry martini. More information is always better.

So where to begin? Here is a quick guide to implementing and using process control charts.

 

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Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management [WEBINAR]

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Jul 21, 2017 7:10:00 AM

In a recent webinar titled Taking Improvement Boards Digital: How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management, our CEO and Co-founder Dr. Greg Jacobson and Mark Graban, our Vice-President of Improvement & Innovation Services and founder of LeanBlog.org, walked viewers through the ins and outs of improvement boards and how improvement software is helping organizations take their boards to the next level.

Watch the full webinar here:

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Topics: Visual Management

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