Yeats once said: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire"
I observe a lot of organisations that create 'conveyor belts' of Lean and Six Sigma training; pumping out Lean and Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts and proverbially 'filling a pail'. This provides a nice story for the organisation, a clear KPI can be set and measured, say: 25% of all employees must be Green Belt Trained.
However, what we really need is to 'light the fire', whereby it is Quality rather than Quantity that matters and our training plan should provide all employees with foundational problem solving skills, whilst higher level certification is driven by the Hoshin Kanri of the business, identifying the key problem and breakthrough areas and identifying the most appropriate team members for certification. The KPIs should then be set based upon creating this 'critical mass' of certified Lean Experts/Masters and Six Sigma Green Belts/Black Belts. A KPI for the training is then the 'conversion rate', which is the % of people certified versus trained.
Lighting the fire of our organisation's Lean and Six Sigma education is critical to our success in embedding Lean Thinking and so it is essential that we get this right.
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."