Acuity Institute https://acuityinstitute.com Global leader in Operational Excellence Tue, 25 May 2021 12:44:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://acuityinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/cropped-Acuity_logo_icon_favicon_pixel_align-32x32.png Acuity Institute https://acuityinstitute.com 32 32 Boost Retention and Slash Costs with Virtual or In-Person Blended Training https://acuityinstitute.com/boost-retention-and-slash-costs-with-virtual-or-in-person-blended-training/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boost-retention-and-slash-costs-with-virtual-or-in-person-blended-training Tue, 25 May 2021 09:03:36 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=32222 Reducing exposure and cutting costs while providing meaningful interactions with colleagues and instructors is a challenge for organizations as we enter this post-pandemic world. Fortunately, through the creative application of technology and expert instructors, training models are available to best fit your organization’s people, culture, and goals. Blended Learning with Virtual or In-Person Instructors On […]

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Reducing exposure and cutting costs while providing meaningful interactions with colleagues and instructors is a challenge for organizations as we enter this post-pandemic world. Fortunately, through the creative application of technology and expert instructors, training models are available to best fit your organization’s people, culture, and goals.

Blended Learning with Virtual or In-Person Instructors

On a practical front, blended training is convenient and cost-effective. The flexible online component minimizes the number of hours in a live or virtual classroom while ensuring students that an instructor will answer their questions in person or online. In addition, the blended models allow you to optimize the learning experience for your team while mitigating the costs and COVID transmission risks associated with traveling.
Acuity Institute offers two types of blended learning — Live, Virtual Blended Training, and In-Person Blended Training — let’s look at how blended learning works and what type would work best for your team.

How Blended Learning Works

With blended learning, students start with online pre-work, which familiarizes them with the tools and concepts at their own pace. Then, an expert instructor comes on-site—on screen or in-person—to bring the material to life with interactive workshops tailored to your goals, objectives, and organization.

An blended training course facilitator talks with his class via webcam and video conferencing

These collaborative workshops give colleagues the chance to interact — finally! — as they apply new tools and concepts to your business challenges. Our experienced virtual or in-person instructor is available to facilitate, answer questions, and provide coaching. This combination of online study and instructor-led workshops is proven to increase retention, business results, and ROI.

In-Person or Virtual?

Virtual training is the most flexible and cost-effective option but may be less attractive today with the screen/Zoom fatigue we’re all facing. When choosing a virtual blended provider, be certain that the virtual sessions are designed to be virtual training.

An instructor shares content at a whiteboard in front of a class during an in-person training session.

After a year of being cooped up, the idea of in-person, classroom training is certainly attractive. This option involves bringing together employees with an external vendor. For some organizations and teams, however, in-person training may be the best option for engaging people and producing results.

Considerations for In-Person Training

Employees are contending with unprecedented emotional stress and uncertainty from this pandemic. Employees may be at various levels of comfort when it comes to attending training. There are several things to consider when planning for in-person training:

  • Buy-in. Without employee buy-in, even the best-crafted plans are likely to run into trouble. Lead with empathy and demonstrate an understanding that while all of your employees have experienced this crisis, they haven’t all experienced it the same way. Some employees may have conditions that increase their risk of serious COVID-19 infection and may be reluctant to attend training. Others may be eager to attend. Sensitivity and flexibility to this reality is a must. Consider having an online option for participants such as 100% online or live-streaming.
  • Safety first. Consider the protocols for cleaning and sanitization. Also consider the layout of the training room, such as moving desks farther apart or reducing the number of people in the class at one time.
  • Establish the lines of communication. Providing employees with the chance to make their challenges and concerns known can help you identify potential problems with the training plans. By enabling real, two-way communication, leaders create an opportunity to strengthen the training experience, increase employee engagement, and address or avoid challenges.

Acuity Is Here to Help

All Acuity Institute courses are customizable and available as virtual blended, in-person blended, 100% online, and 100% classroom training. Contact us, tell us about your goals and objectives, and we’ll help you plan what’s right for you.

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Learn, Earn & Share with Digital Badges https://acuityinstitute.com/learn-earn-share-with-digital-badges/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=learn-earn-share-with-digital-badges Mon, 22 Mar 2021 14:14:21 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=32181 “Three little letters after my name.” That’s how a friend described the master’s of public administration she earned after years of juggling family, career, and education. I immediately wished that her MPA came with a digital badge. I wanted to give her the power to easily share her verified new credentials to impress friends, family, […]

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“Three little letters after my name.” That’s how a friend described the master’s of public administration she earned after years of juggling family, career, and education. I immediately wished that her MPA came with a digital badge. I wanted to give her the power to easily share her verified new credentials to impress friends, family, colleagues, and employers alike.

Fortunately, Acuity Institute learners have this power. Our certificates now include digital badges thanks to a new partnership with Credly and its Acclaim platform. You learn the material and earn the certificate, and we make it easy for you to share your accomplishment and skills through the digital badge. It’s all part of our dedication to providing the tools you need to achieve your professional goals.

Read on to see how digital badges offer instant credibility and improve employability through highly visual, verifiable credentials.

Badges Are Overtaking Bullet Points

Obviously, you still need to list continuing education credentials on your resume and LinkedIn profile. But unlike a bullet point that anyone can type, the badge offers context and verification.

  • A digital badge takes a completion certificate to the next level with an image that immediately communicates and verifies your credentials.
  • In addition to the image, the digital badge provides a link for use in text.
  • Click the badge image or link to immediately see details about the certificate, including who earned the certificate and when, how the credentials translate to job skills, what institution provided the training, and more.

The badge is free and takes under a minute to claim while sharing it offers endless possibilities in terms of professional recognition and career advancement. Employers, especially, appreciate badges for the recognizable credentials and one-click verification.

Claim Your Badge in Seconds

Once you earn a certification, you claim your badge from Credly’s digital badging platform, Acclaim. To claim your badge:

  1. Watch for an email from Acclaim notifying you that your badge is available. Add admin@youracclaim.com to your approved contacts or check your spam folder to make sure you receive the email.
  2. Click the link in the email to visit Acclaim and set up an account. Once you have an account, claiming future badges is even easier. If you need help, watch this video or email support@acuityinstitute.com.
  3. Accept your digital badge. You can download a web-enabled image and copy a link to share.

Bonus: Your Acclaim account includes access to powerful tools for advancing your career. You can easily see what jobs you are qualified for, what they pay, and who is hiring—and then apply for openings with a few clicks.

Share Your Badge…Everywhere!

Share your badge the same way you display that framed diploma—where everyone can see it. You learned and earned the credential, so you might as well show it off! The badge link and image give you the flexibility to share across the digital universe, including social media channels and professional networks.

  • LinkedIn: Add the badge image and link to your LinkedIn profile under Licenses & Certifications.
  • Resume: Include a badge link in a Word or PDF resume.
  • Web: Showcase the badge on your website or blog.
  • Email: Add the badge link to your email signature line.
  • Instagram: Share the badge image on Instagram.
  • Twitter: Tweet about your achievement with a link to details.
  • Facebook: Add the badge to your About page and post about achieving it.

Remember, unlike a lot of what you see in cyberspace, what you’re posting is verifiable. Your followers need only click the image or link to see the work you put into earning the credential.

As badges rapidly become the standard in online learning, be sure to claim yours—and then share them with all your followers. For more information visit our website and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Infographic on how Acuity badges work.

Download this infographic for more information.

 

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Exciting Things on the Horizon https://acuityinstitute.com/acuity-institute-acquisition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=acuity-institute-acquisition Wed, 24 Feb 2021 08:00:13 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=31963 2021 is full swing and with it, expectations for what lies ahead. There are exciting things on the horizon for Acuity Institute. I recently interviewed Chris Edwards, SVP at MindEdge, about their acquisition of Acuity Institute and the opportunities it will provide for Acuity Institute learners and partners. What was attractive about Acuity for MindEdge? […]

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2021 is full swing and with it, expectations for what lies ahead. There are exciting things on the horizon for Acuity Institute. I recently interviewed Chris Edwards, SVP at MindEdge, about their acquisition of Acuity Institute and the opportunities it will provide for Acuity Institute learners and partners.

What was attractive about Acuity for MindEdge?

MindEdge has always been about improving the way the world learns. We started in 1998, which was at the forefront of online learning, growth, and development. We’ve got a long history of working in a wide range of segments, starting with our work in higher education with some of the biggest names in online learning, to the present time with our professional development catalog encompassing 37 categories and 300+ courses that span the depth of what adult learners need.

The institutions we work with on the higher education side serve the non-traditional learner, the adult learner. The way we think about our courses, the way we think about collecting and coordinating the material that’s taught in those courses was developed with the adult learner in mind.

Fast forward to 2020–our eyes are always wide open for potential possibilities and partnerships. We want to join with folks who are similarly committed to improvement, high-quality outcomes, and growth in the online learning space, and we want to explore new formats. That’s where Acuity comes in.

For us, quality, mission, and expertise in your subject area are super important when you think about what can happen in terms of training engagements, hybrid learning, and blended learning. When we initially looked at Acuity, we saw not only a great opportunity but great existing expertise.

I’m hearing many common values that we share with MindEdge here at Acuity. We want to ensure that we are making the training that adult learners are looking for today in methods that fit their needs and their lifestyles. That is why, years ago, we developed blended virtual learning, realizing that we have to develop new ways to bring the learning TO the learner.

Let’s talk about what our customers can expect. First and foremost, they are going to continue to receive the same exceptional service they have come to expect.

Absolutely! We want Acuity to do as it’s always done and what we want to do is make new things available that customers can take advantage of; we want to provide upgrades and investments.

MindEdge has grown steadily for over 10 years. We continue to expand the catalog every year. We served 500,000 learners last year, which was an increase over the year before, so in the last two years, we’ve served a million learners.

And now Acuity has this great additional team of resources to back them up – full creative teams and in-house video production. We have so many new and exciting things to do under the Acuity banner so we can reach many more learners as well as provide new opportunities for existing customers.

Our catalog is aligned with the needs of adult learners. A few examples would be PDUs, SHRM credits, re-certification with HRCI. For learners who have advanced through Acuity’s levels, there will be new courses for continuing education. They’ll find a catalog that is built with credits and opportunities across a wide range of disciplines that will be of great value to them.

I think there’s an opportunity as well for corporate partners that are interested in expanding. Your corporate partners have built a relationship with a great organization that provides great service, and one of the things they will now be able to do is leverage the new catalog, such as creating custom bundles. We have over 38 certificates that already incorporate things like leadership and development, management, etc. that will be beneficial for them.

Department leaders can think more holistically about various aspects of lifelong learning for their departments through some of the specific topical aspects of the MindEdge catalog.

From an HR perspective, our partnership with HRCI, our ethics series, and the hot topics bundles are all the right things that HR professionals need to stay on top. Those topics are also very applicable to challenges that might be happening across an organization. The Women in Business Certificate is one that I specifically love that really details the environment for women in the business world and is suitable not only for women in business but everyone in business that is striving for diversity and inclusion. There are a lot of really interesting opportunities in the catalog that can be deployed.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your insights. I am excited about the opportunities ahead!

Check out the catalog today.

 

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Giving Thanks https://acuityinstitute.com/giving-thanks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=giving-thanks Wed, 18 Nov 2020 23:00:01 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30976 The post Giving Thanks appeared first on Acuity Institute.

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In the crazy year of 2020, many organizational leaders have tremendous gratitude for their teams. They have seen their team members rapidly pivot their processes and plans. And as we near the end of the year, we want to show our appreciation and further incentivize them to help us reach our goals and objectives. When it comes to how to show gratitude for employees, many of our common “go-tos” such as gift cards, holiday food baskets, and company parties may not be possible and would likely have less of an impact than they usually do.

Professional Development Opportunities

Incentives that accelerate professional development are more beneficial for your teams in the long-term. After all, a gift card is a one-time prize that they’ll soon forget about, but an investment in professional growth is a win-win for both the company and the employees.

Employees agree. A Dale Carnegie survey found that 87% of millennials say that professional development and career growth are significantly important to them. A long-term research project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that from a 4,300-worker sample, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.

Professional development can:

  • Inspire innovation and new ideas.
  • Advance the careers of your team members.
  • Expand the team’s skillset in response to ongoing skill shortages.
  • Equip the team to adapt to changing business structures.
  • Increase worker productivity.
  • Reduce turnover.
  • Align employee development with the organization’s needs.

employee stats

Offering on-demand, online professional development opportunities allows your team members to have more control over their time. Since they’re in charge of when and where they take advantage of this, it prevents this opportunity for career growth from disrupting other priorities they might have in their off time, such as family obligations.

Companies also benefit from Professional Development.  According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that offer comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training. It would seem that continuing to invest in training and development, even amidst an economic downturn, is the smart play.

If you’re not sure how to show gratitude for employees this holiday season, Acuity Institute can help. We are pleased to offer special group rates now through December 30th and several of our online professional development courses will cost less than $100 per person. Contact our team to learn more.

 

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Establishing a Foundation of Change https://acuityinstitute.com/establishing-a-foundation-of-change/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=establishing-a-foundation-of-change Mon, 09 Nov 2020 17:08:08 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30964 Successful workplace changes require a foundation that provides direction, sets expectations and establishes accountability for results. To achieve adoption, the focus has to be about the people—not the dollars. It’s the employees and impacted departments or business units of the organization who will be asked to change and adjust to a new process. Their perception […]

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Successful workplace changes require a foundation that provides direction, sets expectations and establishes accountability for results.

To achieve adoption, the focus has to be about the people—not the dollars. It’s the employees and impacted departments or business units of the organization who will be asked to change and adjust to a new process. Their perception is often that these changes will increase their costs, impact their productivity and take them out of their comfort zones. Managing employees and business units through change is critical to the success of any initiative.

Over the last decade, more and more organizations are implementing change agents. A change agent is a Change Management Professional whose role is to lead the organization’s change strategies and system-wide change initiatives. The change strategy defines:

  • A roadmap to realize the stated goals and objectives
  • The roles and responsibilities of the change team
  • A clear, consistent message that helps the organization to see and embrace how the change will affect them personally, and how it can positively impact their teams.

“Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”

Change agents are not lone rangers. Successful implementation is virtually impossible without committed cross-functional representation, including a strong executive sponsor as well as formal and informal leaders at all levels of the organization.

It’s especially critical to engage the direct managers. Employees in all age groups agree that they want to hear about change from their own manager. These leaders know the dynamics of their team and understand the unique culture and readiness of each group.

Establishing a Foundation

The more our leaders and team members understand the process of change management as well as the role and responsibilities of the change team, the better they will be at identifying when change is coming and preparing to move themselves and others through the change process towards adoption.

It is important to educate the organization on the foundation from which our change agents, leaders and other change team members operate. This foundation includes:

  • The process or roadmap that your change project will follow
  • The important skillsets for managing change
  • The tools and templates that will be used in the change toolkit.

The Change Management Toolkit

As change agents work with leaders and other change team members, they develop the change toolkit. These templates will be shared with the team so that they can contribute to them and use them to drive change within their teams. The toolkit assists leaders in a few ways:

  • Enables understanding of where the organization currently is on the change journey
  • Helps them understand their role at this point in the effort
  • Guides them in determining their next steps in leading their team toward adoption.

If you are looking to educate your leaders and team members in the foundations of change management, Acuity Institute’s new course is for you! Change Management Foundations teaches the foundations of change management including the change roadmap, the roles and responsibilities of the change team and many of the common tools used in the change management toolkit. This course is 100% online, making it accessible for your leaders and team members to complete at their own pace. Contact us to learn more or to find out about group discounts.

Maybe your organization is looking for help in establishing a change strategy. Acuity offers our Change Management Professional Certification. This program is designed to provide change leaders with the tools and skills to initiate change in a project environment. Our program delivers best practices for both tactical and behavioral elements of change from leading experts in a practical and simple way. It demystifies change by providing a superior interactive change management toolkit, which leads practitioners through all phases of the change management process.

Black Friday offer

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Acuity Institute has released a new course – Change Management Foundations https://acuityinstitute.com/acuity-institute-has-released-a-new-course-change-management-foundations/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=acuity-institute-has-released-a-new-course-change-management-foundations Wed, 04 Nov 2020 00:03:44 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30962 Change has become a constant in the work environment and many Change Management initiatives fail because people do not know where to start or how to sustain change. In this program students learn the foundations of Change Management and are introduced to Acuity Institute’s Change Management roadmap. Acuity’s Change Management approach encompasses the general industry […]

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Change has become a constant in the work environment and many Change Management initiatives fail because people do not know where to start or how to sustain change.

In this program students learn the foundations of Change Management and are introduced to Acuity Institute’s Change Management roadmap. Acuity’s Change Management approach encompasses the general industry standard of evaluating the organization issue/problem, initiating action to make change, planning the change while encouraging stakeholder buy-in, executing the plans while being flexible to the changing landscape, and how to sustain the change and make it “stick” so that the organization truly gains benefits of the change.

Acuity’s Change Management Foundations course is designed for Project Leaders, Department Leaders, Business Leaders, Business Improvement Team Leaders, Emerging Leaders, Business Improvement Teams, and other team members that are looking to understand the fundamentals of Change Management.

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System Factors for Managing Resistance to Change https://acuityinstitute.com/system-factors-for-managing-resistance-to-change/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=system-factors-for-managing-resistance-to-change Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:06:37 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30899 There’s nothing worse: You’ve implemented an improvement and it is running into resistance. This unwillingness to adopt the new way (resistance to change) is like a tug of war – who will win out? As the project leader, you may feel that resistance represents the team’s unwillingness to accept change, but oftentimes, this is not […]

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There’s nothing worse: You’ve implemented an improvement and it is running into resistance. This unwillingness to adopt the new way (resistance to change) is like a tug of war – who will win out?

As the project leader, you may feel that resistance represents the team’s unwillingness to accept change, but oftentimes, this is not the whole picture. Your leadership skills here can make or break the end result of the project.

THE THREE TYPES OF RESISTANCE

In many cases, an employee’s unwillingness makes up only a small percentage of the resistance that our improvements are encountering. There are three different types of employees who may be balking:

  • The Unwilling – Not willing to commit to the new way.
  • The Unable – Not equipped with the skills to perform the new way.
  • The Unaware – Not understanding why the change is necessary.

Resitance

LEVERAGING THE SIX SYSTEM FACTORS TO MANAGE RESISTANCE

In a recent Lean Professional virtual training session, we were discussing how the six system factors can help project leaders manage resistance and lock in the new process. By considering all six of the system factors, we can holistically assess our team’s efforts in adequately managing the change and eliminating all three types of resistance. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.

Vision – Communicating the reasons for the change as well as what the change will be. It is important that the vision provides a clear understanding of the process all the way through to the end. Communicating the vision should begin as early as possible to help mitigate resistance driven by unawareness.

Accountability – Establishing the obligation of the process owners and key stakeholders to accept responsibility and account for adopting and sustaining the new process.

Right People – Ensuring that the process owners and stakeholders are capable and committed to adopting and sustaining the change.

Skills Development – Identifying the new skills that will be needed to perform and manage the new process, developing the materials and job aids, and executing the training. This factor is focused on making sure that the team is able and confident in doing their work the new way.

Rewards and Recognition – Identifying ways to recognize and reward process owners and key stakeholders for adopting and sustaining the new way. It is important to identify both informal and formal ways of rewarding and recognizing them.

Measures, Processes, and Policies – Standardizing the new process by establishing standard operating procedures, scorecards, job descriptions, and other documentation to ensure the new way is locked in.

It is important to remember that change management cannot begin at the point of implementing the improvements. We need to start early and often with leveraging the system factors in order to proactively avoid resistance.

discount

Are you ready to improve your leadership skills, learn more about the six system factors, and become effective at managing resistance to change? Acuity Institute has a new course available – Change Management Foundations.  In this program, you will learn the foundations of change management and the six system factors and will be introduced to Acuity Institute’s Change Management Roadmap. If you are looking for more extensive change management training, Acuity offers our Change Management Professional Certification. This program is designed to provide change leaders with the tools and skills to initiate change in a project environment. Our program delivers best practices for both tactical and behavioral elements of change from leading experts in a practical and simple way. It demystifies change by providing a superior interactive Change Management Toolkit, which leads practitioners through all phases of the change management process. You can save 15% if you enroll in either of these courses before the end of November. Enter coupon code “factors” to receive this special offer.

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Setting Up Your Project Team For Success https://acuityinstitute.com/setting-up-your-project-team-for-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=setting-up-your-project-team-for-success Tue, 08 Sep 2020 21:07:05 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30888 Teamwork plays a vital role in the success of any organization. Specifically, being able to work as a team contributes to the success of Lean Six Sigma projects and continuous improvement efforts. Team performance is about reaching the potential of each individual as well as the team as a whole. Keys to Operating a Successful […]

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Teamwork plays a vital role in the success of any organization. Specifically, being able to work as a team contributes to the success of Lean Six Sigma projects and continuous improvement efforts. Team performance is about reaching the potential of each individual as well as the team as a whole.

Keys to Operating a Successful Lean Six Sigma Project Team

When creating the team for your next project, it is important to provide the team as much clarity as possible about both the project they will be working on and the roles that everyone on the team will be playing. This is especially important in today’s environment where many project teams are operating virtually.

Things to Consider When Defining the Project

The project charter is a great tool for introducing the project to the team. Work with them to clarify any uncertainties about the project and make updates to the charter as needed. Be sure to review the goals and objectives as a team and apply the SMART criteria – making them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound so that everyone knows the target and how you will measure the success of the project.

Things to Consider When Defining the Team

Team members work more effectively when they know what is expected of them and they understand the strengths of their fellow team members. Once this is established, the team can avoid the “too many chiefs” syndrome and institute a culture of accountability.

Roles and responsibilities should be well-defined and shared with the entire team so that everyone knows who does what. In addition to defining the roles and responsibilities with your team members, it is helpful to establish ground rules about how the team will function:

  • Agree on how to work together and make decisions
  • Agree to leverage the team’s differences and interpersonal styles
  • Agree that communication will be clear and honest among the team
  • Commit to a conflict resolution process

Defining Your Team’s Profile

Many factors influence team dynamics, such as the skill sets, personalities and the behaviors of team members. It is beneficial to assess challenges, strengths, and opportunities for improvement among the members as well as the team as a whole. The ultimate goal of team building is to enable the members to utilize their different cognitive and behavioral tendencies and strengths.

There are several things to consider when developing your team’s profile:

  • How individuals translate information
  • How individuals accomplish key tasks
  • How individuals interact with others
  • How individuals influence others
  • How individuals react to change

Eight Common Individual Behaviors to Consider When Assessing Your Team:

team profile types

This work in assessing the members may feel like an extra step in the team building process, but in actuality, it is a critical part of establishing a solid foundation for your project. It can help the team to avoid overlaps and gaps, resulting in unintentional work duplication or catchup efforts, which in turn can cause decreased moral and increased conflict amongst the team. Acuity Institute is happy to provide you with a template for creating a profile for your Lean Six Sigma project team.

Team Profile

Download your template today to see how this process can help your business meet your goals. If you have any questions about the template, the team building process or Lean Six Sigma training, please contact us to set up a call.

 

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Getting the Miles out of Design of Experiments https://acuityinstitute.com/getting-the-miles-out-of-design-of-experiments/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=getting-the-miles-out-of-design-of-experiments Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:25:32 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30551 One of our Master Black Belt candidates recently submitted her Design of Experiments for her Applied Statistics assignment. It was such a great story that I wanted to share it with you. What is Design of Experiments (DOE)? Design of Experiments is a useful tool in Lean Six Sigma.  It is a statistical hypothesis testing […]

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One of our Master Black Belt candidates recently submitted her Design of Experiments for her Applied Statistics assignment. It was such a great story that I wanted to share it with you.

What is Design of Experiments (DOE)?

Design of Experiments is a useful tool in Lean Six Sigma.  It is a statistical hypothesis testing tool that systematically determines the relationship between factors affecting a process and the output of that process. In other words, it is used to find cause-and-effect relationships. A well-designed experiment allows us to isolate the impact of each X and to find the combination of X’s that yields the best outcome.

Design of Experiments

Let’s Take a Look at Marit’s Example

While staying in with her parents to minimize potential spread and/or exposure to COVID-19, she was working on completing her Applied Statistics course requirements and also on keeping her parents active and occupied while in the house. She decided why not combine the two together.

Beginning the Experiment

The objective of her experiment would be:

  1. To keep her Mom, who has Alzheimer’s, mentally engaged and physically active during the stay at home order
  2. Determine the most effective walking method for her mom.

She chose to focus on the relationship between her Mom’s step count and walking time and 3 input factors (footwear, direction walked, and carrying weights).

For the experiment, she established a designated walking route down the hall of the house which included a designated standard start/finish line spot that was taped to the floor in the kitchen and the edge of carpeted bedroom at end of hall as the designated start/finish line.

Her mom did the walking on each trial. Marit recorded the step count and times for each walk using the stopwatch function on her iPhone. They conducted several practice runs to ensure she could execute the trials with minimal reinstruction between trials and she could consistently use the iPhone stopwatch function.  With the experiment designed, they conducted the experiment and gather the data.

DOE

What Were the Results?

Footwear and Walking Direction were the only two significant factors. Her walking was optimized when she was wearing shoes and walking towards the kitchen.  And even though Marit chose this experiment with the ulterior motive of keeping her mom active (she ended up walking over a mile for the experiment), she also found that this type of experiment and data could be useful in the real world.

  • For caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s
    • The effectiveness of having very visual “standards” available to minimize confusion and minimize the need to repeat instructions for repetitive tasks
    • The impact of visual distractions on a person with Alzheimer’s ability to perform a task.
      • Walking from the kitchen to the bedroom, her mom would one only see the hall walls and an opening into bedroom
      • Walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, her mom would see a shelf and an island with many items on them

What a wonderful example of optimizing your circumstances highlighting the use of Design of Experiments (DOE)! Great job Marit!

 

 

 

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Lean vs Agile https://acuityinstitute.com/lean-vs-agile/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lean-vs-agile Mon, 24 Feb 2020 21:21:29 +0000 https://acuityinstitute.com/?p=30513 Lean vs Agile When teaching our Lean Professional class, I am often asked, “How is Lean different from Agile?” Lean and Agile are both operational excellence methodologies, and they both have the common goal of efficiently delivering the client’s most important requirements, when it is needed, with no additional cost or time. Both methodologies focus […]

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Lean vs Agile

When teaching our Lean Professional class, I am often asked, “How is Lean different from Agile?” Lean and Agile are both operational excellence methodologies, and they both have the common goal of efficiently delivering the client’s most important requirements, when it is needed, with no additional cost or time. Both methodologies focus on eliminating and minimizing non-value-add activities and optimizing value-add activities.

lean vs agile

These operational excellence methodologies use many of the same tools. For example, process mapping tools to define the as-is process and to design the to-be process. Where these two methodologies differ is in their approach in achieving the desired improvements and how they manage change. A good question to start with when deciding Lean vs Agile for your project is, “Are we starting with a problem with a known solution?”

The Solution is Not Known – Applying Lean

If the solution is not known and the source(s) of the problem is not clear, Lean can help us diagnose the problem and lead us to the best solution(s). Lean is also well-suited for situations where change is uncommon and process improvement will be large in scale, requiring clearly defined requirements upfront.

Lean is a linear approach to process improvement that does not begin with a solution in mind, it follows a distinct phased approach that focuses on understanding the as-is process first and diagnosing the problems before selecting optimal improvements. Each phase generally finishes before the next one can begin. There is also typically a milestone or a tollgate between each phase to ensure alignment and support from the leadership related to the project (project sponsors). Lean allows for quick wins throughout the project’s phases and leads up to a Kaizen Event in which the larger-scale solutions are selected and implemented by the team.

Lean project

Lean training

The Solution is Known – Applying Agile

If the solution is known, Agile can work well. Agile was originally used in software development. The software solution was identified and then rolled out using Agile/SCRUM to incrementally deliver the software solution. It has since been expanded as a methodology for other process improvement/project management projects. Agile can be very useful when change is common and the solution can be rolled out incrementally.

Agile establishes the associated fixed costs (resources) and predictable timelines (iterations) for delivering the solution upfront. The solution is delivered in incremental sprints and includes a review or feedback loop with the customer at the end of each sprint. This enables the rollout to be flexible and can allow the solution to evolve into a significantly different product or service than was originally envisioned. In fact, Agile is built with the expectation that scope will evolve over time and will be adjusted to focus on the customer’s highest priorities.

lean vs agile

 

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