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Get in the Back to School Spirit with Lean Training

Posted by Jeff Roussel

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Aug 25, 2014 11:01:00 AM

shutterstock_130786508I need a new outdoor rug for my patio, so I wandered to the far back corner of Target that just a couple of weeks ago was full of grills, pool toys, beach towels, and indoor/outdoor rugs. All of those items were gone, replaced by 3-ring binders, backpacks, lunch boxes, magic markers, and pens of every color. The seasonal space has been taken over by Back to School. 

It is August, after all, and time to restart the education engine. But why let the kiddos have all the fun?  This is a great time of year to think about educating and developing your teams as well. If you’ve implemented the Lean approach to continuous improvement or are in the process of doing so, this is a great time to invest in Lean training to make sure your origination is at the head of the class.

There are a few ways that Lean training can be delivered to your organization, depending on your specific needs and budget.

Dedicated On-Site Training

Several firms focus on delivering on-site Lean training. There are several advantages of this approach:

  • Content can be customized for your company and industry
  • In-person training can result in superior engagement
  • Participants work together and collaborate on assignments, preparing them for the collaboration necessary to achieve continuous improvement

Many firms charge by the day, rather than the participant, so this can actually be a cost effective approach for larger organizations. Be prepared to pay for travel costs as well.

Online/Video Training

There are also many options for web-based, video-oriented training. In fact, KaiNexus partner Gemba Academy, provides exactly this service. On-demand training is great because:

  • Participation can be scheduled when it is convenient
  • Sessions can be repeated if information isn’t clearly understood the first time
  • Additional benefits, such as community forums, reference information and other resources are often included
  • Travel costs are eliminated

Certification-Based Training

There are a wide variety of Lean certifications available for employees who are able to demonstrate their mastery of Lean principles and practice. This approach to Lean training is beneficial for several reasons:

  • Employees gain a professional certification to advance career development
  • Leadership has confidence that the team has gained desired skills
  • Responsibility can be assigned to individuals with the right level and type of certification
  • Most certification involves a simulated Lean project

Public Sessions

The Lean method is popular enough that public sessions are offered by various training organizations across the country. Although the content isn’t customized to your company, there are still some benefits to this method:

  • Your team is exposed to fresh ideas from other participants
  • There is an opportunity to build networking relationships with other Lean practitioners
  • Public sessions are ideal for individuals who do best with a classroom style learning experience

Hybrid

Of course, it doesn’t have to be all one approach or another. Your team might begin with online training for background, then arrange for on-site sessions to dig in more deeply to your own challenges and goals.  ublic sessions make great occasional refreshers or may be a convenient way to bring new employees up to speed after the rest of the team has already been trained. 

No matter which approach you choose, investing in Lean training shows the organization that you are serious about reaping the benefits of continuous improvement. It also shows a willingness to invest in your employees as they seek to expand their skill sets and broaden their career horizons. The good news is you don’t need to worry about needing pens and paper to stock your training room. Just head to the back corner of any Target, but hurry before the school supplies all turn into pumpkins.

Why not start your learning off with a free eBook?

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Topics: Lean

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