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Using KaiNexus To Manage Lean Six Sigma Classes


Many of our customers are at the point in their Lean Six Sigma journeys where it's time to train their staff, often using the Six Sigma belt system to create a special infrastructure of people in the organization who are trained to use Six Sigma quality management methods. Typically, Green Belts are employees who contribute to the organization's Six Sigma implementation in addition to their regular work duties, while Yellow Belts are employees trained in Six Sigma methodology who participate in projects led by Green Belts. Part of the required training for these Belt levels is participation in a Lean Six Sigma project.

Our customers find that KaiNexus is a big help in managing these classes, allowing facilitators to oversee all projects simultaneously and improving the communication and reporting necessary to complete and evaluate each project. Wellstar Health System does an excellent job of managing these Six Sigma classes in KaiNexus, and is seeing significant impacts from their training classes.


Summary of Procedure for Yellow Belt Class Projects:

Upon completion of the classroom training portion of the Yellow Belt class, students are required to conduct a Lean Waste Walk in which they identify each of Lean’s eight types of waste (defects, over-production, waiting, non-standard processing, transportation, intellect, motion, and excessive inventory). Students must then try to identify two to three examples of each type of waste, followed by brainstorming ways to reduce the wastes or non-value added activities.

Students must then create a Project Charter, to be approved by the course facilitators, that includes:

  1. Identification of stakeholder facility/campus
  2. Problem statement
  3. Strategic goals
  4. Expected deliverables
  5. Necessary resources to complete the project
  6. Identification of scope starting/ending points and inclusions/exclusions
  7. Names of participating staff and an estimated time commitment for each
  8. Students follow the DMAIC process in completing their projects.

All documents related each project are attached to the relevant project in KaiNexus, thereby storing all relevant information in a single location and eliminating the need for email and shared file drives. The class facilitators provide feedback on Project Charters in comments entered into the project in KaiNexus.

Results from a Yellow Belt class:



The 19 students in this class worked on 11 improvement projects, with 100% resulting in an improvement in finances, quality, safety, and/or satisfaction. Here's the breakdown of the impact their opportunities for improvement had:

  • $95,236 recurring cost savings
  • $23,048 one-time revenue generation
  • 2,444 hours saved per year resulting in $63,640 of labor soft savings
  • 2 improvements to quality
  • 1 improvements to patient safety
  • 3 improvements to patient and staff satisfaction


Benefits of Managing the Class in KaiNexus


  1. Remote monitoring 

    KaiNexus enables easy remote monitoring of multiple projects from employees dispersed across a large organization by providing a one system from which the class facilitators can access and monitor all student projects at any time. The KaiNexus active notifications keep facilitators in the loop as to when students submit their project proposals, updates, and results. KaiNexus also flags and creates automated emails when student projects have new attachments and comments, making it easy for class facilitators to know what the students are working on and provide coaching as needed. This level of transparency makes it possible to manage large classes without taking unnecessary time out of busy schedules to stay updated through meetings.

  2. Improved communication

    Nineteen students working on eleven projects would be a heavy load from class facilitators to manage via email. Using KaiNexus, facilitators and students are able to ask and answer questions promptly, logging all communication about each project in the KaiNexus system rather than exchanging a flurry of emails. Facilitators can see what students are working on by simply logging into KaiNexus, making it easy for them to jump in with questions and coaching as needed. 

  3. Reporting on the class ROI

    Because students logged the impact of their opportunities for improvement in the KaiNexus system upon completion of the projects, it's easy for Wellstar to see the ROI of their Green and Yellow Belt class. KaiNexus' easy-to-use reporting features capture the financial impact of the students' projects, as well as their impact on quality, safety, and satisfaction.


Sample Opportunity for Improvement:

Excessive Supply Purchases

Problem Description:

The purchasing of excessive supplies for a single OR has resulted in $40,000 in waste since Dec. 2013. This includes all non-catalog items (directly ordered from the company) and items that come from the Wellstar Distribution Center.

Strategic Goals:

-  Remove unnecessary products
-  Review order history
-  Get staff opinions on unneeded products
-  Modify doctor preference cards

Implemented Solution:

The student implementing this project interviewed staff to determine which products were used and which should not be ordered, and worked with doctors to decide which products to use uniformly. 54 items were removed from the par form


- One-Time Revenue Generation: $23,048 (the price of items removed and credited)
- Saved at least 5-10 minutes for each case pulled, because staff are no longer pulling unnecessary   supplies.
- Removed 54 items from the OR par form.