Lean Computer Based Training

Once a company gets started with lean, it’s usually a problem to figure out how to get the entire workforce trained in the lean concepts and lean tools. Often the lean training itself is focused on a small core group of managers, staff, and a few operators. Once kaizen events get going, the kaizen teams get training specific to that particular event, but may never get the broad-based lean training needed to sustain the overall initiative.

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The reasons for this so-called “narrow and deep” lean training are: costs, available time, length of the training events themselves, available programs, and a general feeling, given these obstacles, that maybe everyone shouldn’t be trained anyway Email Extractor Software.

Why does lean training cost so much? Most of these training designs are full-day or multiple day workshops. As an example, a typical 5S workshop could be 2 – 5 days in length. And the facilitators for these workshops are normally outside consultants charging anywhere from $1500-$3000 per day for their services. Even if the facilitators are from inside the company (many have their own resources), the true company cost for this is in the neighborhood of $800 – $1200 per day, by the time all of the direct labor, materials, and facility costs are added in. Lean CBT is much less expensive, somewhere around $25 (or even less) per person would be normal.

Why does lean training take so long? The standard training design is the full-day workshop. This would have a stand-up facilitator, a participant workbook, a power-point presentation, probably some photos, and some application exercises. Lean CBT can be done in about 1 hour per topic and doesn’t need a facilitator or a power-point presentation.

What about the available time? It’s difficult for a company to free up people for chunks of 8 hours of training. Because many companies have cut back their workforces, both direct and indirect, the people remaining are working harder than ever on just keeping the operations running. Even if someone is out sick for a day, it’s hard to replace them. Schedules have to be adjusted and overtime paid in order to fill in. It’s just difficult to send people to training when you’re trying the best you can to get the product out the door. Lean CBT enables anyone (operations or staff people) to take the training when they have available time….even as little as 1 hour during a day.

And what about the availability of Lean CBT programs? There are a few training companies now creating lean CBT programs, but it’s difficult to find ones you want to use in your company, and it doesn’t seem anyone has a robust portfolio of these programs available. For example, in a recent web search for 5S Computer-Based Training, not one resource came up listed that way. There are many universities who have computer-based training for some of the coursework in their curriculum… something they call “distance-learning”, but not much for lean specifically. We have several Lean CBT programs already designed and available plus we’re continuing to work on design and release of a whole suite of these programs.

Finally, what is the reason many are giving up on lean training for the whole workforce? Most managers agree that people should receive this training, but are not pursuing it because of cost, time, and availability as described above. Its simply easier to just focus lean training on the core groups of people and not worry about the rest.

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