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Pre-conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops offer in-depth, skill-building tools and focus on the topics that you will require for career advancement and professional development. Enhance your learning experience and maximize your networking opportunities by attending one of our pre-conference workshops.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are available.
  • Advance registration accompanied by the additional registration fee is required to reserve a pre-conference workshop seat.

Monday, Sept. 29, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Teaching and Training Lean Beyond the Factory Floor – Approaches and Tools 

Hugh McManus, Senior Special Projects Engineer, Metis Design, and Associate Director, EdNet

This workshop will explain the key differences between many newer applications of lean and the traditional application of lean to manufacturing processes, and give educators and trainers some tools for effectively adapting lean teaching to these new applications.

The workshop begins with an overview of how lean applies to applications such as engineering, healthcare, customer services, and business processes.  The key differences between these applications and factory-based processes are highlighted, and the shortfalls of traditional training and educational approaches discussed.  Modifications of lean tactics, based on an unchanging but back-to-basics view of lean philosophy and strategies, are proposed, which leads to updated approaches to teaching and training.

The balance of the workshop will be hands-on introductions to a number of teaching and training tools, and an introduction to a wider range of resources.  Hands-on tool experiences will include: 

  1. 5S exercises for general and medical services.
  2. Variability exercises, both table-top and spreadsheet, demonstrating how both input and process variability can wreck simple lean strategies, but also demonstrating constructive and often simple approaches to dealing with variability.
  3. A demonstration of a product development and engineering process simulation.  This demonstration presents a simplified but realistic engineering process as a table-top simulation.  The simulation is used to diagnose the problems of beyond-factory-floor processes, form a basis for learning Value Stream Mapping for these applications, and provide a practice field for the use of a structured improvement method. 

The workshop will conclude with an overview of some teaching resources available through the Educational Network and MIT Open Course Ware, much of it open source.

Participants in this workshop will: 

  • Learn the key differences between factory and beyond-factory-floor processes, and the different lean approaches necessitated by these differences.
  • Experience a number of relevant hands-on teaching tools these new approaches.
  • Identify useful teaching resources and sources for more information and advanced tools.

Target audience:  Lean educators and trainers; lean practitioners wishing to broaden their tool set and/or area of application. 

Benefits: Insight into the key issues of beyond-factory-floor lean applications, experience through exercises and simulation, and tools for teaching and training. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Notebook of all presentations
  • Electronic copies of many of the exercises presented in the seminar, and other useful resources
  • References to further resources, many of which are open source. 

Note this seminar is an expansion of the LAI Lean Academy Workshop presented at previous Lean Educator Conferences, with a focus on non-factory-floor and engineering processes.

Monday, Sept. 29, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Accelerating Change Through Your Personality: Using Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to Lead Change and Optimize Teams 

Junell Scheeres, lean Six Sigma master black belt and president, LS2 Performance Solutions LLC

Deanne Snodgrass, lean Six Sigma master black belt and certified MBTI administrator, Department of the Army

This workshop uses hands-on exercises, role play and interactive discussions to demonstrate how to leverage a deeper understanding of your personal style preferences to lead organizational change. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a widely used and well documented framework to better understand ourselves and others. 

This eight-hour interactive workshop will include:

  1. Introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), including receiving an Introduction Workbook written by MBTI Trainers, Hile Rutledge and Otto Kroeger
  2. Completion of an individual MBTI self-assessment for each workshop participant by an certified MBTI Administrator
  3. Participation in hands-on exercises, role play and interactive discussions with workshop participants facilitated by experienced Master Black Belts to help individuals embrace and leverage their personal style preferences to successfully lead Lean Six Sigma project teams.
  4. Tools and techniques to use to enhance communication and team performance by recognizing style preference clues, stressors and unlocking their problem solving skills. 

Effective communication and problem solving skills are essential to Leaders of Change. Individuals equipped with a good understanding of their personal strengths are better equipped to mitigate stress and fully apply their problem solving skills. Leading teams through the ebb and flow of group dynamics is a challenge for the most seasoned leader. Teams have to learn to work together, bring their talent to group, and examine processes and work flows by staying focused and doing detailed analysis. Then, the team must leverage their skills to optimize processes and innovate into the future. Understanding yourself and others will provide an immediate benefit that can be used to align individual style preferences in a way that fosters a smoother transition from old way to new way. 

Participants in this workshop will: 

  • Learn about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and how it can be used to better understand your own personal style, thinking, and communication preferences
  • Identify strategies to lead organizational change by leveraging your style preferences
  • Learn how to rapidly recognize team member style preferences and develop ways to motivate teams to success
  • Learn to use and apply tools, techniques and exercises to help your team through Lean Six Sigma projects based on their style.

Target audience:  Lean Six Sigma Project Team Leaders, Mentors, Consultants and Anyone seeking to become a more effective change agent. 

Benefits: Immediate usable insight into how to bridge communication across groups 

Key takeaways: 

  • MBTI assessment
  • Hands-on learning and exercises to demonstrate style characteristics and how these impact the change process
  • Real life tools and strategies to put into practice immediately

Monday, Sept. 29, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Toyota Kata: "Improving and Coaching your way to Success"

Brandon Brown, associate, W3 Group LLC

Bill Kraus, project manager, Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions (NIST MEP Center)

This workshop adapts the "Buzz Electronics" manufacturing simulation, used extensively by NIST MEP practitioners, to effectively demonstrate the improvement and coaching katas. This workshop has been adopted by several large companies as the standard way to roll out Toyota Kata within their organization.

This eight-hour, hands-on workshop, will involve:

  1. Presentation of the Toyota Kata Methodology utilizing Mike Rother's "Toyota Kata Handbook" materials.
  2. Participation in the Buzz Electronics Improvement Kata simulation that brings Rother’s material "to life" as team members PDCA their way through the Kata process en route toward a challenge and target conditions.
  3. Experiencing a Coaching Kata session that makes clear how the learner, First Coach and Second Coach interact so effectively. 
  4. Explanation and examples linking vision, achievable challenges and short term target conditions, in addition to the planning necessary with an advance group overview. 

Toyota Kata addresses the question, "How can we lead our companies so they will survive and thrive in the long term?" Since the future lies beyond what we can see, the solutions that we employ today may not continue to be effective. So it is not the solutions themselves – whether Lean techniques, today’s profitable product, or any other – that provide sustained competitive advantage, but rather the ability to understand conditions and create fitting, smart solutions. Toyota Kata is the routine to develop this capability in the organization, and is both a key factor in Toyota’s long-running success and a core responsibility of its leadership.

Two specific behavior routines or Kata: the Improvement Kata – a repeating routine of establishing challenging target conditions, working step-by-step through obstacles, and always learning from the problems we encounter; and the Coaching Kata is a pattern of teaching the improvement kata to employees at every level to ensure that it motivates their ways of thinking and acting.

This workshop is for all who are searching for a better way to lead, manage and develop people, which produce continuous improvement, adaptation, survival, and superior results. Briefly put – Toyota Kata channels and utilizes the capabilities of all its members better than we do with our traditional management methods.

Specific Learning Objectives

As such, this one day workshop will provide participants an opportunity to begin to learn how to: 

  1. Apply the Toyota Kata methodologies, models and tools regarding:
    -The Improvement Kata: A scientific four-step iterative PDCA routine that addresses only those obstacles on the path of a trajectory leading to the achievement of short term target conditions that are in line with a long term vision/challenge.
    -The Coaching Kata: A daily routine utilizing five Coaching Kata questions to help teach the Improvement Kata thinking pattern and ensure it is imbedded within an organization via team accountability.
  2. Recognize the value of the Coaching Kata Methodology (i.e., how the value adders, learner and first and second coaches interact) via the five Toyota Kata questions.
  3. Participate in a four-round "Buzz Electronics" simulation that is progressively interwoven in with the methodologies to make it easy to understand how the Toyota Kata trajectory components come together (i.e., vision/challenge, current condition, target condition, obstacles, PCDAs and coaching).
  4. Gain a continuous improvement view of how the Toyota Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata can be used to sustain gains such as were accomplished at La-Z-Boy of TN (a 2012 Industry Week’s Best Plant Winner).
  5. Participate in Q&A and Best Practices roundtable discussions about how participants can utilize the Toyota Kata methodologies to further reignite their company’s Continuous Innovation Journeys.