SBTI gets many calls about training Lean Sigma. The usual question that comes up is “what makes your training different from all the others”. Our training program is not simply a matter of teaching a skill, but rather in developing a competency on multiple levels that is geared towards producing specific results. We can do this by providing industry-experienced instructors who utilize a comprehensive and integrated collection of tools and methods we call SBTI Performance Improvement Methodologies™. Our standards in this effort are unmatched, despite the emulators. SBTI-trained Belts are driving results significantly higher than any other provider. When you partner with SBTI, you are enlisting experts with years of industry experience who provide guidance and advice as to how it all should work. Having helped hundreds of clients through this very situation, SBTI understands not only the rewards but the risks and pitfalls as well. We also understand that there is a way that you need to do it that will set you apart from any other company or industry.
SBTI trains to build the right competency!! The breadth and depth of training offerings available from SBTI is derived to confront a range of issues: from Lean methodologies as a way to address process velocity and build capacity to Lean Sigma methodology which addresses both process efficiency and effectiveness simultaneously. Over the years, SBTI has developed the industry’s most comprehensive and integrated set of courses. Across all disciplines and industries, our material sets have proven to supply solutions to the specific needs of our client organizations. We have continued to update our material as our engagements with clients have increased the scope and depth of the material needed to solve complex problems.
Building capabilities through developing the right competencies is the single most important factor that contributes to success. Identifying and building an organization’s capabilities to perform is a top priority for most companies. To be able to successfully perform the necessary tasks within a project you have to
make sure you have the right people with the right skills. The key to success in a change management deployment is based around the understanding that capabilities in your staff are the direct result of applying the correct level of competency to the project. Training is often made the first priority but is not an effective and efficient way to build the necessary competencies. Training programs are often misaligned with what is thought to be the capability most important to a company’s business performance without having first making that determination. Look at it this way; you could train everybody in all of the skills needed. Alternatively, you could effectively and efficiently train the right people with the right skills. Developing the plan on who to train what, before exercising your training options, sets your organization up for greater success. SBTI has successfully implemented programs and is keen to point out any gaps and/or deficiencies within the plans. With counsel and actionable advice, SBTI will advise and outline a program that will advance our clients goals.
The Adult Learning Environment
In realizing that the true purpose for training is to enhance competence, the learning environment for any individual is significantly broader than just a training arena or classroom. The critical competences for success in such a role relate to: a core body of knowledge (change tools perhaps); critical thinking approaches (road maps and tool linkage); practical application in the real world and the subsequent understanding and creation of business value through all of the above. This is particularly important as Green Belts progress to Black Belt. Although advanced statistical and lean tools are taught, the importance of leadership for the Black Belts as they become coaches and mentors, projects leaders and change agents becomes more critical to the success of the program.
Gaining this enhanced competence is certainly not limited to a training experience, but also relates to:
- Guidance and mentoring by an experienced hand through tool selection, linkage and application
- Working on a meaningful project to gain application experience
- Reference material available to support learning
- Interaction with the team to gain facilitation, logical argument and speaking abilities to support credibility in interactions with other key stakeholders
- Management and Leadership support, guidance and mentoring in organizational dynamics, change leadership and local culture implications
To support this thinking, SBTI resources focus on all of the above elements through:
- Integrated tool approaches and road maps
- Aligned reference tools
- Carefully selected and scoped projects
- Deeply experienced project guides
- Associated competence development, tools, skills and road maps for managers and leaders
- Facilitated team activities when necessary
The Adult Classroom
SBTI pioneered methodologies and techniques in delivering change within companies. Thousands of students have moved their companies ahead with a firm knowledge and understanding of how to really drill down and make change happen. In addition to classroom knowledge transferring, SBTI resources coach and mentor the students through class-related projects. Often they are called upon, and willing, to help a past student move a project ahead that is burdened for whatever reason. Classroom training, coupled with highly detailed content, is designed to be very interactive. Applying the knowledge is essential to gain the full understanding of just how powerful the tools and methods can be, if applied correctly. In fact, students are encouraged to bring chartered projects to class. Those projects then become part of the classroom, allowing students to apply the teachings to real life problems. The students learn from both example and personal efforts at delivering the tools and methods. Then, and only then, they are progressing and ready to apply their new skills in the field.
In the classroom we also use some of and often all of the following in support of this:
- Project review: Learners share their project and are guided in front of the full group. This gains a deeper application understanding for all concerned, be it their project or their peers
- Project connection: using the learner’s actual project as an example
- Review: revisiting key concepts to strengthen learning
- Case examples: demonstrate application(s) and show the bigger picture
- Simulations: experience and apply tool application on real everyday problems
- Exercises and debriefing: short focused tool application and discussion of results
- Demonstration: training facilitator walks through tool approach to show logical sequence and correct application
- Hand-over-hand: training facilitator guides the whole class as they walk step by step through the application of a tool
- Hand-under-hand: facilitator is guided by the learners through the correct application of the tool
- Printed manual and note taking: manuals show presentation slides, but not all the associated notes. Learners stay actively engaged through taking their own notes and mind maps.
- Challenge “capstones”: Major courses include ongoing larger exercises and challenges in application throughout the whole training period. Learners have to apply critical thinking and the appropriate application to resolve the challenge problem.
Coaching and Mentoring During and After Classroom
Mentors are critical to success. SBTI recommends coaching and mentoring project leaders at various intervals in their learning curve:
- Prior to training (ensure the project’s objective and that their role is understood)
- During training sessions (group review as part of training in application and associated mentoring on tools and approach)
- Between training weeks (focused on road map and tools application)
- After training and throughout the duration of at least two projects
- Occasionally on an on-going basis depending on the challenges the project faces
Project Coordination and Quality
An essential component of a successful and sustainable program is leadership engagement. The reason many programs have weakened or become less important in organizations is mainly due to the inconsistent leadership and management’s commitment to the program. SBTI stresses the importance of steering committees that oversee the Lean Six Sigma efforts and drive improvements in the core processes. An overarching committee helps to keep leadership engaged and provides the critical components of success the “right people, the right projects and the right road maps”.
Prior to the classroom, we would highly suggest reviewing the current process for project and people selection and provide advice where needed.
SBTI has a great deal of experience with tracking and managing programs and can provide a complete process or suggest simple tweaks to an effective process currently in place.
Our experience and core competency in Lean Six Sigma Deployment and training has given us a unique opportunity to observe many belts and projects enabling us to critique the quality of training programs and progress of those belts. When we compare our trained belts to others we see that we created a cadre of difference makers. This is the real difference between training and building competence.