11 Photos - May 5, 2014

The LeanOhio Training Academy provides a full range of learning opportunities. Included are overview sessions, Belt Certification (White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt), focused intensives (e.g., process mapping, 5S+, poka-yoke), and more. Training sessions are led by LeanOhio staff, LeanOhio Network members, and external experts.Photo: ENERGIZING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE:

LeanOhio's Meghan Altier is a veteran trainer and course developer. She brings tremendous knowledge to every session, along with great energy and an ability to engage the group. That's especially important when covering "exciting" topics such as data integrity audits!Photo: LEARNING IN ACTION:

LeanOhio training is filled with hands-on activities and exercises that bring the content to life. Here, a team of two is tallying up key data points as they conduct an attribute agreement analysis.Photo: SHARPENING OUR QUANTITATIVE SKILLS:

Lean-powered improvement is highly data-driven, so number skills are essential. Here, LeanOhio's Al Rakas is showing a training class how a spreadsheet can automate many of the key computations. In all LeanOhio training sessions, explanations are followed by examples and exercises.Photo: TEAMING UP TO LEARN:

Plenty of variety is built into LeanOhio trainings, with some exercises done individually, some in pairs, and some in small groups. In every class, participants end up learning from each other because they all bring significant experience to the table.Photo: PROMPTING NEW THINKING:

LeanOhio's Rich Martinski is a long-time state employee, a skilled trainer, and an adjunct university instructor – and all this experience benefits class participants in a big way. He brings the content down to earth with real-life examples, and he gets people thinking in new ways.Photo: ADDING TO OUR TOOL SET:

There are all sorts of tools in the Lean tool kit: process maps, cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, scatter diagrams, and much more. Many of these are built into LeanOhio training sessions, giving participants an opportunity to learn about a tool, put it to work in a group, talk about it, and thus add it to their own capabilities. This ensures that when they're back in their workplace and a situation calls for a specific tool, they're ready to put it to work.

In the photo, a subgroup from Green Belt training is developing a SIPOC – which stands for suppliers, inputs, process, output, and customers. It's a proven approach for getting a high-level view of all that's going on in a given work process. When people know how to create a SIPOC, they can get a big-picture view of just about any process – an important skill indeed when you consider how complex and confusing many processes can be.Photo: CREATING A PROCESS MAP:

Here, a group is building a process map – as are several other groups in the same room. When they're finished with this activity, everyone will compare notes and talk through any remaining questions.

Many LeanOhio training sessions include a simulation that develops as the course unfolds. If you look closely at the flipchart on the right, you'll see that this group has already developed its SIPOC – and now they're using the SIPOC's macro flow chart of the process to create a fuller process map.

In this way,  people learn and use the tools in the context of a larger project, just as they would use the tools in a Kaizen event or another Lean project.Photo: LEADING THE WAY TO IMPROVEMENT:

When you're learning new skills and you want to use them, it's important to know that leadership actively supports you. Bob Blair is among state government's strongest advocates for Lean, Kaizen, and Six Sigma. As the Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, he has ensured that LeanOhio carries out its mission of making state government simpler, faster, better, and less costly.

Here, Director Blair is visiting with a training group – acknowledging everyone for their commitment to learning, sharing his strong support for Lean, and encouraging participants to put their new knowledge to work right away.Photo: MARKING AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE:

On the last day of Green Belt training, Jeannette Bostelman (second from right) receives a certificate to acknowledge her new capabilities – and her status as a Lean champion who's ready to bring serious improvement to her agency. She works at Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, which is led by OOD Director Kevin Miller (second from left). 

With them in the photo is DAS Director Bob Blair and Green Belt leader Meghan Altier from LeanOhio.Photo: GETTING READY TO USE THOSE NEW SKILLS:

It's a LeanOhio tradition: Taking a group photo at the end of a training event.

All sessions bring together people from different agencies – people who in many cases have never met. But by the end of their learning experience, they've made new contacts, new friendships, and new commitments to stay in touch and support each other as they continue their Lean journey.