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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.

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

Brandon Brown, associate, W3 Group LLC

Hank Czarnecki, ATAC lean group leader, Auburn Technical Assistance 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 Tennessee (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.
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