Blended learning can be defined as a mix of e-learning, face-to-face classroom style instruction, coaching and live or recorded sessions designed to reach a large audience and a wide range of employees.
The approach to learning can be customized using more of each component and will depend on the objectives of the training session and the tools and skills that are needed for employees.
- Reduces Waste– allowing students to learn modules for Lean Six Sigma ahead of time and allows classroom time to be focused primarily on project application.
- Reduces Cost– using the Blended learning model reduces face-to-face instruction time as well as travel costs and material costs.
- Increases Capability of Students – because students are able to go through the online learning component, they are able to go at their own pace, using assessment methods to evaluate their understanding with an option to return to review and update information.
- Provides Coaching– this is done either in person or virtually and helps students to ensure that they are making progress and fulfilling the requirements at each tollgate.
- Promotes Just-in-time Learning– students are able to learn each tool at the time when they need to be applied, which avoids learning large volumes of material when they are not needed.
The approach to blended learning is innovative and varies depending on companies, students and objectives of the training session. The traditional methods of learning focus on one-way communication and in some cases do not always allow the type of participation that would encourage effective learning. Blended learning on the other hand delivers a large volume of ideas in a short time, encourages class participants to experiment under the supervision of the instructor and provides the participants with greater skill and a higher level of confidence with the class material when they return to the work environment.
E-learning compliments classroom training rather than replace it. The approach is innovative and varies depending on companies, students and objectives of the training session.
Lean Six Sigma covers a wider area of content and requires individuals to be ready to implement or apply concepts to company projects in a short time. The approach to learning allows instructors to focus more on coaching or mentoring rather than lecturing on the basics.
As companies move to implement Lean Six Sigma, it is important that attention is given not only to Lean Six Sigma training to ensure that there is a common language that is clearly understood but also the process of implementation.
In today’s environment it is evident that the survival of organizations rests with their ability to innovate- to do things differently in order to grow. In general we can consider two forms of innovation – radical innovation and incremental innovation. Radical innovation can be considered as the ability to produce new products or services to the world that never appeared before – such as digital photography, Internet, Amazon, iPods, etc. Incremental innovation on the other hand can be thought of as new approaches, building on current products or processes to enhance performance. In the end innovation of products, processes and services must add value to the customer.
Lean Six Sigma can be considered as an incremental innovative model that enables an organization to move beyond its traditional performance to new heights.
The figure below shows the definition of both concepts.
We Love Lean Six Sigma because it provides:
- Focus on the customer – helping each area of the organization to understand the value of their service. This concept is fundamental as without an understanding of needs and requirements of internal and external customers, the work provided is non-value added.
- Focus on process improvement – this concept is fundamental to Lean Six Sigma, without being able to identify and define processes, conditions cannot improve.
- Opportunities for collaboration – applying the concepts opens opportunities for collaboration as individuals now use tools to communicate across departments and encourage problem solving.
- Constant and continuous drive for perfection – it creates the mindset of dissatisfaction with the status quo and the need to be dedicated to a culture of continuous improvement.
- Standard Training – it provides common tools and language and a structured methodology for problem solving. There are different levels of training provided to different individuals depending on their role in the organization: Champion, Green Belt, Black Belt.
- Structure for change- it provides a project based approach that allows an organization to identify and instill a discipline for project management with project reviews conducted with process owners, champions and senior management.
- A means to provide total employee involvement – all individuals are involved as they provide input and support problem solving activities.
- Demonstrates bottom-line Business Results – the bottom-line impact of every project must be measured, reported and documented.
Overall, we love it because it lays a path from strategy to execution. Many companies have a vision but are weak on execution. Through the structure, training, organization of tools Lean Six Sigma provides a path for achieving required results. In addition, it can be customized to any industry and any organization.