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Everything Continuous Improvement


What is a Mind Map Used for in Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Jeff Roussel

Apr 27, 2022 10:40:32 AM

If you look at any of the most popular business process improvement methodologies, you'll find that data visualization is a common theme. Kanban, for example, is focused on visualizing workflow. Fishbone diagrams are often used to uncover cause and effect, and histograms are used by Six Sigma practitioners and others. We want to introduce you to one more tool that can play an important role in the quest for continuous improvement, mind mapping.

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Topics: Other Resources

Lean Waste Reduction Strategies and Real-Life Examples

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Apr 26, 2022 12:18:49 PM

Ecologists and other environmentally aware people often talk about the goal of "Zero Waste." But, of course, that's an outstanding goal for business as well.

Reducing waste is at the heart of the Lean business methodology. The purpose of Lean is to spend more of your time creating value for customers by reducing or eliminating everything that does not produce value (AKA the waste). Value can take the form of finished goods, services, or information. To make it easier to identify waste in business processes, Lean practitioners target eight specific types of waste.

Although the Lean approach originated in manufacturing, it is used in almost every sector. Strikingly the eight wastes are common across industries, including software development, construction, healthcare, and education. Although it is not as apparent as it may be on a factory floor, the set of tasks and activities performed in any sector creates a production process that ultimately provides value to a customer.

While some of the wastes are self-explanatory, others are more difficult to recognize. This post aims to help by giving a few examples of each type of waste in various businesses. Hopefully, they will help you think about how waste may be occurring in your operations and how to begin designing processes that minimize it. Of course, the people who are most likely to find and correct waste are the process operators, so it is a good idea to share these examples with them and provide a way for each employee to submit opportunities for improvement.

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Topics: Lean

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: Five Differences

Posted by JJ Puentes

Apr 25, 2022 12:29:24 PM

People often use the terms quality assurance and quality control interchangeably. However, although they are similar, there are essential differences between the two ideas. Each is a piece of the quality management puzzle. While some quality assurance and quality control activities are related, the goals and tools of each are different. 

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Topics: Quality, Operational Excellence

How to Become a Better Leader by Improving Processes

Posted by 18PCS Durable Furniture Catch Door Catch Magnet Catch for Furnit

Apr 21, 2022 10:37:00 AM

Many books and articles about good leadership focus on interpersonal relationship skills like communication, humility, and empathy. Of course, all of these traits are important for good leadership. Still, they don't directly address the most critical responsibility of a leader, which is to create systems and infrastructure that support employee performance. After all, every system is perfectly designed to get the results that it brings.

While it is tempting to blame problems and performance misses on people, the reality is that even the most skilled and dedicated employees are only as effective as the processes they operate. Therefore, if you want to improve your leadership, it makes sense to recognize this and focus your energy on improving processes and empowering employees to engage in process optimization.

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Topics: Leadership, Improvement Process

Patient Safety, Just Culture, and the Nursing Profession after the RaDonda Vaught Conviction [Webinar Transcript]

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Apr 20, 2022 10:56:00 AM

We recently had Mark Graban, Senior Advisor at KaiNexus, Dr. Greg Jacobson, CEO of KaiNexus, Kelley Reep, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Rebecca Love, Chief Clinical Officer at IntelyCare, and Brian Weirich, Chief Nursing Officer at Banner Health, join us to discuss the recent conviction of a nurse who worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, RaDonda Vaught. In this webinar, the panel discusses a path forward that focuses on patients and what we can do to prevent systemic errors from harming other patients.

If you haven't had a chance to watch the webinar, you can access the webinar recording here. You can also read the webinar transcript below.

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Action Guide: How to Improve the Quality of a Process

Posted by Danielle Yoon

Apr 19, 2022 10:47:00 AM

When we talk with people who are interested in implementing a program for continuous quality improvement, one of the biggest challenges they share is the feeling of being overwhelmed. There are countless books and articles about how to improve the quality of processes. You are not alone if you are unsure where to begin. While it is true that you can spend a career learning about tools and techniques for achieving perfect quality, many of those who turn to us are looking for advice on what they can do today to start to achieve positive change.

Whether your goal is to produce quality products for customers or improve quality outputs for internal processes, the following steps can make a big difference.

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Topics: Quality, Improvement Process

How to Create and Implement a Process Improvement Plan

Posted by Morgan Wright

Apr 14, 2022 10:16:00 AM

We get the chance to chat with managers and leaders who are faced with a wide variety of business challenges. One of the most common is the struggle to make meaningful change that lasts rather than quick fixes that don’t stand the test of time. From the process operator’s point of view, things are changed frequently but rarely improved. This post is all about how to change that by adding structure, using supporting tools, and applying a few tips that have served our customers well. With care and intention, you can create and implement a process improvement plan that gets results.

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Topics: Improvement Process

The Importance of Refueling at the Gemba

Posted by Austin Linn

Apr 14, 2022 10:14:00 AM

Continuous improvement work cannot exist in a vacuum. In order for the fire of change to burn hot and bright, it needs a fuel source. The CI Leader who spends all day behind a desk reading reports, creating A3s, and sorting through employee-submitted improvement ideas will find themselves running on fumes in the blink of an eye. We don’t run our cars without gas in the tank, so why do we try to run our continuous improvement work that way? Without a refill, that work will start to slow and sputter until it loses that last bit of momentum that was keeping it going. Your CI projects will end up abandoned and forgotten on the side of the road. Luckily, no matter how much the price of gas might rise, refilling your CI tank will never cost more than a trip to the Gemba. 

Cake Board Round Silver 8" Cake Cupcakes Decoration Bakeware Par

Topics: Leadership, Gemba Walk

What Does the Concept of “Lean” Mean in Business?


Apr 5, 2022 10:16:00 AM

The modern business landscape is full of buzzwords and passing management fads, so it isn't surprising if you hear of a new "methodology" and just let it go in one ear and out the other. However, it's a good idea to make an exception for Lean business management. The Lean approach is one of the most widely used structures for continuous improvement worldwide for good reasons. It is practical, relatively easy to implement, and flexible enough to support businesses of all types.

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Transfer Case Adapter Dorman 926-891 GM trucks 1999-2007 w/ gask

What is a Kanban Board and How Does it Improve Quality?

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 31, 2022 2:30:14 PM

In the post-WW II era, Toyota realized that they could improve profitability and product quality by matching parts inventory with real-time demand to create a “just-in-time” production and provisioning process. To achieve this, they implemented a visual system to track the movement of parts from the supplier to storage locations and finally to the assembly line. This approach lowered costs, improved quality, and accelerated the rate of production.

They named the process “Kanban,” a Japanese word that translates to “signboard” or “visual signal” in English. The method was so effective that Kanban Cards were adopted by manufacturing companies worldwide to help structure and control the production and procurement of parts. Today, the principles of Kanban and Kanban boards are effectively used by organizations in many industries beyond just manufacturing.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Kanban

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