A few training sessions alone will not bring the kind of far-reaching changes needed to create a sustainable Lean improvement culture. As they transition to their new role and build fresh skills, real-time coaching is the glue that strengthens and bonds the senior team, the frontline managers and staff, creating new expectations of behavior.
Senior managers benefit from coaching to help them role model the new behaviors, and create an environment, where problems are seen as improvement opportunities rather than a cause for blame or criticism.
Frontline managers in a Lean environment are transformed from firefighters to enablers, by leading daily improvement huddles, managing the performance board and helping guide staff to develop new ideas. They view success in terms of their people’s self-sufficiency, coaching people to lead improvements. Not every manager is likely to make this transition, so in some cases personnel changes are necessary to avoid holding up progress.
At the frontline, staff gain immense benefit from receiving coaching on process redesign, standard work and change management, gaining the practical skills to apply Lean in the workplace. Training is most effective when participants have the chance to put their new skills into action immediately, receive guidance when required and see the results of their work in real time.
KPMG’s ‘Lean/LEAD’ coaching and training involves an extensive 20-week period of one-on-one sessions, with regular follow-up reviews every 6-12 months to appraise progress and maintain momentum. We have a strong cadre of professionals who are both Lean accredited and have extensive healthcare experience, with an understanding of its unique challenges.
Frontline managers are responsible for the majority of financial, quality, safety, and service decisions and are therefore the main recipients of the coaching, helping them eliminate waste and deliver sustainable operational changes. Changes are made by the staff and not imposed upon them, with managers presenting their work to their peers and the executive, which strengthens relationships.
After some notable early successes, these two hospitals found that the benefits derived from Lean improvement projects had started to fade.