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Benchmark Six Sigma - War Room

To have a look at my response to the question in the last week’s blog post, please click here –https://benchmarksixsigma.com/blog/how-to-find-if-a-data-set-is-genuine-part-2/

This week’s debate is about selecting a suitable approach for business improvement training in a corporate set up. In the Business Improvement domain, broadly, there are two approaches and each of these has its pluses and minuses. I have used both kinds and have had my share of experiences.

The standardized corporate approach to Lean Six Sigma training

A large number of companies have decided in favour of this approach. In this approach, a standard training program is delivered in a corporate setting while utilizing industry specific examples. There are several training providers who offer this kind of standard programs; there are bodies of knowledge provided by entities like Exemplar Global or ASQ. The thought behind these programs considers the following –

1. It is good to expose participants to all relevant available concepts and approaches as presented by the globally accepted norms. Participants shall be mentored on selection and appropriate use of methods for their chosen project.

2. Participants shall be able to pick and choose, conceptualize and select, customise and optimize the methodology as well as tools that suit best for a given problem. Such an effort sharpens their acumen and enhances their capabilities.

3. It is good to provide larger scope for creative use of methods, some of which may not have been imagined by other companies or experts in the past.

4. It is good to build competence as people shall carry out different kinds of projects in times to come. It is fine to reward people with a globally recognized certification if they do well.

The highly customized corporate approach to Lean Six Sigma training

There are several levels of customization. These range from just small tweaks in nomenclature and time spent on topics to the other extreme of the spectrum that uses a highly customized approach. I shall discuss the extreme customization approach here. In this approach, a specific group of problems or a set of related processes is identified. Case studies, exercises, games or activities are devised using real data and situations from the workplace. A DMAIC type roadmap is chosen and the workshops utilize a custom mix of methods selected carefully according to the participant background, the time frame of projects, and the complexity of problems being tackled. This approach considers the following thought patterns.

1. It does not make sense to expose participants to concepts and techniques that they cannot use immediately. We should study the management system well and remove topics which do not seem to have any relevance to problems at hand.

2. It is prudent to exclusively focus our energies on methods that are relevant to our identified focus areas. It also makes sense to add topics from other domains like project management, theory of constraints as required.

3. It is great to have games and simulations mimicking real challenges that allow teams to enjoy learning while focusing on real workplace issues.

4. It is good to expose people to limited useful methods in detail as compared to too many techniques that cause distraction. It is okay to reward people with a company’s own certification mechanism which is highly customized and focused.

Based on the above, we have the question of this week. This time, there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions.

The question is – If you were given a chance to select one of the above approaches in your corporate setting, which one you will prefer?

Standardized

or

Highly Customized

If you have a few more minutes, do provide your specific reason for the answer you have chosen and we may be able to have a discussion around it. To provide a comment, please click here.

Here’s hoping that you win many battles on the Lean Six Sigma battlefields.

Vishwadeep Khatri
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