Training and Workshops

 

Our strategy is to build a continuous improvement culture by (a) providing motivational training and workshops, (b) keeping it simple, and (c) providing opportunities to build productive habits.

In our experience, individuals and teams find their own motivation and enthusiasm when they experience what process improvement can do for them. When they experience first-hand how process improvement can make their work lives better, they become excited about using the continuous improvement tools.

Keeping it simple means asking the question: what handful of tools will get 80% of the results? That’s why we begin with the Simplify Work training. Simplify Work has teams practicing continuous improvement and getting results within one day.

When training is over-complicated, it gets in the way of motivating change. When we design training, we ask the question, “what few ideas will yield the most benefit?” By asking this question, we have found that most process improvements can be gained by using just a small handful of tools and concepts. There is no need to bury people with tools and jargon; that stuff just gets in the way of getting things done. Our training focuses on building practical knowledge that can be used right away. In this way teams get results immediately.


Simplify Work (formerly called ROK)

Your work is harder than it needs to be.

Simplify Work is a practical one-day training where teams learn and practice a simple way to improve processes immediately, be self-reliant, and work better together.

The just-in-time design of Simplify Work provides the opportunity for participants to yield tangible, measurable results right out of the gate. We have observed that culture change accelerates when organizations diligently practice the lessons learned in the training.

In addition, a workforce that has participated in the Simplify Work training is a workforce better equipped to take advantage of the challenges and benefits of the traditional multi-day process-improvement workshop.

Simplify Work is about getting results right now. Clients have reported impressive results. For example, they have:

  • Cut an invoice approval process by 53%
  • Reduced a project reporting process from 45 minutes to 20 minutes—a 44% improvement
  • Reduced process lead time by 12% by eliminating unnecessary logging
  • Cut data entry errors by 63%
  • Reduced the badge-ordering process from 2 days, 15 minutes down to 11 minutes
  • IT reduced the number of pending tickets by over 50% in 2 weeks.

This interactive, hands-on training includes practical problem-solving where participants apply simple tools to improve work processes that matter to them and your organization.

Simplify Work is not an “overview.” It is designed to give work teams the tools to make meaningful process improvements and culture change immediately.


Simplify Work Facilitator Training

The one-day Simplify Work Facilitator Training provides the tools to deliver the half-day Simplify Work training. Topics include the following:

  • How to deliver a successful Simplify Work Training
  • How to coach teams using Simplify Work
  • How to manage resistance
  • Build empathy for change
  • How Simplify Work fits into Lean
  • Simplify Work training logistics
  • Live practice and role-play
  • Goal setting

Attending a Simplify Work training is a prerequisite to entering Simplify Work Facilitator Training.


Lean Launch is a 7-module, comprehensive process improvement launch sequence. The modules are delivered at approximately 15- to 30-day intervals. Here is a summary of each module.

7 MODULE LAUNCH SEQUENCE


Kaizen Workshop

A Kaizen workshop is a focused, process-improvement workshop that involves the people who will be affected by the improvements. The improvements are typically implemented immediately upon completion of the workshop, although some improvements may be scheduled for implementation at a later date.

Here are the three phases of the Kaizen workshop:

Phase 1:  Preparing for the Kaizen 

A successful kaizen depends on successful preparation. The preparation phase is the most important phase of the office kaizen. It includes all the tasks that create inputs required for a successful office kaizen. For a large, complex organization that is preparing for a five-day office kaizen, OfficeRocket recommends four to six weeks for preparation.

Phase 2:  Conducting the Kaizen

Workshops traditionally are 3 to 5 days long, but this is not a rule. The workshop length will depend on the following factors:

  • Complexity of the target process
  • Organization goals
  • Size of the team
  • Process boundaries (what’s in, what’s out)

Teams are encouraged to develop low- or no-cost solutions that can be implemented during the workshop or in the week following the workshop.

Phase 3:  Sustaining the Gains  

The post-kaizen stage ultimately determines whether the preparation and the kaizen event were successful. People tend to like the feeling of accomplishment that they experience in the office kaizen event. The more mundane day-to-day work is less satisfying and exciting, but this is where the real pay-off is achieved.

We view kaizen workshops as an extended project rather than as a three- or five-day event. When we define kaizen as a several-day event, we tend to diminish the importance of preparation and follow-up/sustaining activities. The workshop itself becomes a waste unless it is preceded by thorough preparation and followed by adequate effort to sustain the improvements.

We provide support through 30-, 60-, and 90-day report-outs and leadership coaching. The report-outs give the team a venue to report to managers their progress with implementing and sustaining the improvements. We provide coaching to managers so they get the most out of their investment in Lean.


Value-Stream Workshop

A value-stream is the set of activities—both value-adding and non-value-adding—that makes up a business process. For example:

  • In manufacturing, it consists of the activities involved in transforming raw material into product and bringing it to the customer.
  • In the office, the value stream includes all processes and roles that create value, or are essential to creating value.

A value-stream map is a visual representation of the flow of materials and information through the value stream. It is a simple, concrete, “paper-and-pencil” tool that traces the current flow of value from end to end. This map then provides inputs for visualizing the future “ideal” and implementing Lean to attain this state.

In-person or Online

This workshop is conducted in-person. There is an online meeting option when team members are distributed and unable to travel to a single location. The outputs are less detailed but still extremely valuable.

There are three tangible end-products of a value-stream map exercise, described in the following sections.

1. A Current-state Map

A current-state map is a picture of what is. It’s different from a typical process flow in that it is a picture of what is actually happening in the process, not what “should” be happening. A process flow looks at what the steps of the process are, whereas the value-stream map goes much further than that. With the data on the map, you can determine all of the following:

  • the health of your process
  • where the bottlenecks are
  • how much work is in the system
  • what people are doing
  • how many are doing it right
  • how the process actually works, which can be different from the way it was originally intended

It is also important to recall that the purpose of the current-state map is to give you a basis on which to create a future-state map and a Lean office implementation plan (described in the next two sections). The implications of this are simple: the value-stream map does not need to be perfect. It only has to be good enough to identify areas for improvement.

2. A Future-state Map

A future-state map envisions what your process will look like once you have effected improvements in all the areas identified. It should be aligned with the broader strategic objectives and vision. The future state is not necessarily etched in stone—once the Lean Implementation Plan is put into action, you may notice that changes that were impossible at the time of current-state mapping have now become attainable. Measuring the impact of Lean on a continuous basis and modifying the future state accordingly are essential for maximizing the success of Lean.

3. The Lean Implementation Plan

The Lean implementation plan is the most important document in the value-stream map process. This plan outlines what you will work on in order to create the vision you captured in the future-state map.

We recommend conducting a value stream mapping workshop before doing an office kaizen. Embarking on a series of Lean office kaizens without value-stream mapping your system involves many risks, such as the following:

  • Improvement efforts that are not aligned with business strategy,
  • Random improvements in the process that do not connect into a cohesive result, and
  • Lack of communication and coordination with other elements of the organization.

Implementing Lean requires high levels of investment and organizational commitment. Expending these resources and energy in a haphazard manner without a clear sense of direction is wasteful and counterproductive. Value-stream mapping provides a unifying plan that helps focus your Lean efforts on the process issues that most impact your organization’s strategic intentions.

Another risk of doing a Lean event without value-stream mapping is generating a series of improvements that do not yield a systemic result. You may indeed have successful process improvement efforts, but your actual total throughput or velocity along the whole process will be either unaffected or the improvements will be below their potential.

Value-stream mapping also provides an opportunity for communication, coordination, and buy-in along the whole value stream. These are prerequisites for a successful Lean intervention.