By Al Landers
What makes SBTI training different from the rest?
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 about teaching a skill, but developing a competency. It’s geared towards producing results. We can do this by providing industry-experienced instructors and an integrated collection of tools and methods we call SBTI Performance Improvement Methodologies™. SBTI-trained Belts are driving results. When you partner with SBTI, you are enlisting experts with years of industry experience. We’ve helped hundreds of clients. SBTI understands not only the rewards but the risks and pitfalls as well.
SBTI trains to build the right competency! We’ve developed the industry’s most comprehensive and integrated set of courses. Our material sets have proven to supply solutions to the specific needs of our client organizations, such as Lean, Lean Sigma, Project Management and Leadership Development. 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 is the single most important factor that contributes to success. To successfully perform the necessary tasks within a project you have to have the right people with the right skills and the correct level of competency. Training is often made the first priority but the programs are often misaligned. Identifying the capability most important to a company’s business performance is first. Developing the plan on who to train and on what, before training options, sets your organization up for success. SBTI has successfully implemented programs. We use our Listen-Design-Execute approach to develop the program best for you.
Our program experience has shown some common approached that are linked to success. We’ve identified four key areas of focus: The adult learning environment, the adult classroom, coaching and mentoring before and after the classroom and project coordination and quality.
The Adult Learning Environment
If the true purpose for training is to enhance competence, the learning environment is more than a classroom. The critical competences for success are: a core body of knowledge; critical thinking approaches; practical application in the real world and the creation of business value. This is particularly important as Green Belts progress to Black Belt. 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 obtained by:
- 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
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 make change happen. In addition to classroom knowledge transferring, SBTI coaches the students through class-related projects. Often, they’ve helped a past student move a project ahead that is burdened for whatever reason. Classroom training 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. Students are encouraged to bring projects to class. The projects then become part of the classroom, allowing students to apply the teachings to real life problems.
In the classroom we also use 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
- 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
- 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 roadmap 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 in organizations is mainly due to leadership’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 roadmaps”. 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.