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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Training Simulation for the Importance of Having SOP's

This simulation was created by Blackbelt, Mike Nunn to teach the value of patience when introducing a new process, and also helps teach the importance of a standard operating procedure (SOP).
How did this simulation work for you? Join the discussion on the Greenbelt Group on Lean Sensei's Linkedin page.

You can do this on your own or with a group, it will be effective in both scenarios.
  • pen
  • blank piece of paper (8.5x11" - letter size is ideal but doesn't really matter)
1. On a blank piece of paper, laid out landscape, divide the sheet into three columns. If doing this in a group, give everyone their own sheet.

2. In the first column, give everyone 30 seconds to write their first and last name as many times as they can down the column. They can't start until you say go.

- How many did they get?

- Ask the group what they thought. Was it easy? Why?

- Most likely they will say it's easy because they've been writing their name for years and that it's a familiar process. Good.

3. In the second column, again 30 seconds, get them to write their name as many times as they can. However, right before you say go, tell them they have to remove every second letter from their name.

- How many this time? Almost always it's less, unless someone has a short name.

- Ask the group... Why did you get less, if I took away half the steps to write your name? You should have got twice as many!?!

- Reasons you'll get back: It's a new process/standard, the previous process I knew very well, the new one was harder, needed to think about it, etc...

The underlying lesson:
  • As a leader, you can't expect people to get a new process right away; it takes time and training for people to understand new processes.
  • Did I mention training, lots and lots of training.
  • And remember, people are trained when they're trained, don't put a time limit on training. If people aren't getting a new process after they've been trained, it's not the people it's the training method that needs to be looked at.
4. In the last column, again 30 seconds, but this time write your name with every second letter missing at the top of the column. They now have an SOP and have had training/practice in the previous round.

- Most of the time people get more than the first column.

- This is when you explain the value of an SOP and training/practice.

- Also a good time to discuss the no-blame environment... In a blame environment, people would be scolded for not getting better results with the new process. In a no-blame environment, people are asked what the reason is for their performance, if more training is needed, and what can be done (like a visual SOP) to improve results.

How did this simulation work for you?
Join the conversation and post your comments, improvements, ideas or simulations that you have come up with in the Greenbelt Group on Lean Sensei's Linkedin

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