Agile Approach to 6-Sigma Training
In the February issue of QP there is an article about 6-Sigma training that advocates for an approach where the team receives training that is focused on the specific project that they will be working on instead of the more generalized training that is usually delivered in 6-Sigma programs. Also, the training is not delivered until the problem to solve has been identified. Within my experience I have found that this kind of approach can be very effective since training that can be used immediately is much easier to remember and apply, if you don't use your training soon after it is delivered it often does not sink in and you wind up having to go back and review to be able to recall the information. I am currently developing a training plan for one of my co-workers, and am working to structure it specifically to the project he will work on and deliver the information just before he performs the task where it is needed. Any comments about how to approach training? Is it better to use a "just in time" approach, or should the recipient get the "big picture" before they begin a project?
2 Replies
Hello Timothy (Tim?),
I like your approach and have found that a mix of big picture and focused works best for me. By this I mean that first, take your co-workers through the entire process from start to finish, giving a high level description of each area/step and what it does for the final product. Then, since you've already identified the problem, have them focus on the function(s)/step(s) in detail. If possible, allow them hands on performance of the step themselves. Have them speak with the employee who normally does the step day-to-day as they know the process best and often have suggestions for improvement but may have been hesitant to speak up. From there, your co-worker should have a pretty decent idea of "who does what to who" and why things are done the way they are. Then, working with the functional employees he can help them develop a better process flow. If you get a teaming environment established, your employees who do touch labor will more readily take ownership of their processes and will be open to further improvements (change management) down the road.

Hope this helps,
I agree that involvement by the people who actually do the work is absolutely critical to the success of any improvement process, not only do you get better acceptance of any proposed changes but you also get to tap into the expertise of the people who know the process best.