Lean for Leaders

Recently, Lean Partner was given an opportunity to deliver a fruitful 1-day training program called ‘Lean for Leaders’ for Standard Chartered Global Business Services management team. As the name suggests, this training is catered for management level individuals covering the concepts of Lean methodology in a leadership capacity. The program was carefully designed and customized to ensure each participant walked out of the training having a good grasp of the Lean methodology and concepts. Standard Chartered Global Business Services arranged for 5 consecutive days of this workshop with different management teams attending the session each day. image The total recorded number of participants was a whopping 83 leaders!

The training started with a pleasant ice-breaking session to help make the participants feel at ease and to get to know each of the leaders a lot better. As the day progressed, the participants were introduced to topics such as the Lean history, critical tools such as Voice of Customer (VOC) and SIPOC with interactive group exercises.

The participants clearly looked engaged with the early morning activities and the principal trainer – Mr. Manica was able to strike a good rapport with the participants to get them excited and participative in the session.

image As we move towards the afternoon, the participants had already covered interesting topics such as Value Stream Mapping and Process Step Analysis. Participants were tasked to analyze a process map specifically designed by the Lean Partner team based on an actual real life process. Like all activities designed by Lean Partner, this particular activity managed to get all the participants to tap into their analytical skills of interpreting the complex process maps

Right before the lunch, participants were introduced to a very crucial topic which covered Value Added & Non-Value Added activities. This topic manage to raise some eyebrows among the leaders in identifying which process adds value and the ones that does not add value whatsoever in a process. Healthy sharing and discussions took place among the leaders to identify a common ground between inter-related departments to identify possible process that could be analyzed further to be streamlined in their workplace.

image The program starts of in a high spirit in the second half of the day to cover the 8 types of Waste. Mr. Manica managed to bring in real life examples on the types of wastes that could be identified in the workplace. Participants were made to realize that some of their daily activities appeared to be a possible type of waste! This got them excited to see if the wastes identified could be removed. However, to the surprise of some participants, as leaders of the processes some were unable to identify as many wastes as compared to others. Mr. Manica as insightful as he was throughout the training delicately flowed the attention of the entire class to see why it was important to practice Gemba Walk especially when it comes to improving processes. With the help of Gemba Walk, a term used to describe personal observation of work, participants were quick to realize that Gemba Walk was key to identifying wastes. After all, seeing was believing!

Participants were later introduced to the Spaghetti Diagram tool to enhance the method of identifying waste. With the introduction of every tool, Mr. Manica engaged each and every participant to ensure there were no individuals lagging or left behind, this was especially crucial in maintaining the learning momentum for the day.

image When it was time for an exercise to demonstrate the concept of visual management, it was truly a work of art to see participants’ put up graphical information. To truly capture and effectively convey essential information that required frequent update, the use of visual management concept comes in handy as observed by the participants. The effectiveness of communicating information by way of visual management was further tested and proved by the end of the activity. The learning for the day was followed by the Takt Time concept which was used to explain the maximum amount of time in which a service needs to be delivered in order to satisfy customer demand.

As the day transcended into the remaining quarter, participants were introduced to several other concepts such as Quality at the Source, Batch Reduction, Cellular Concept and Future State Map. It was nothing less than obvious that the participants were thrilled with the 3 rounds of batch reduction activity, that was made to demonstrate how processing documents/information in smaller batches or passed on at shorter intervals had such positive impact on time reduction.

image At the very final stage of the training, participants were presented with ways and impacts of a strong dashboard reporting style and was later given an opportunity to create their own. It was interesting to see participants let loose their creativity in presenting the key metrics in a vibrant exciting style. With the transmission of knowledge on Lean Metrics and Closure of Project, the trainer wrapped up for the day and participants went back with the satisfaction in participating in a compact but precise sharing of Lean knowledge.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”, as quoted by Albert Einstein, was seen to be exceptionally true where Mr Manica was seen to be able to bring the sense of authority naturally present in each participant as leaders, transformed into a learning mode. The room within minutes of having started, was filled with voices with a thirst for knowledge as they started to understand the practicability and value of learning these Lean methodologies & tools. It could be deduced from the excitement of the trainer in sharing his knowledge with each individual in the class and the spontaneous positive feedbacks from the participants, the transmission of knowledge on Lean Methodology and Concept to the leaders, was a success!