A couple of weeks ago, the improvement team at UiT delivered training for process guides and facilitators. Through two three-day courses, we trained 21 leaders and employees in continuous improvement and facilitation competencies. Lean core values, principles, tools and techniques were discussed, practiced and reflected upon. We aim to design our training as interactive and practical as possible, as we believe learning is strengthened through doing and training.
A new feature in this particular course was a stronger emphasis on broader facilitation competencies and skills. This part of the course is built on the 6 core competencies as described by the International Association for Facilitators, and the facilitation model developed by Svein Are Tjeldnes (UiT) and Stephen Yorkstone (Edinburgh Napier University).
The courses were very well received, and the feedback and evaluation indicated successful and valuable days of learning. In addition to the participant’s evaluation directly after the courses, we (the improvement team) made notes of possible improvements throughout each session. In the end we had a total of over 30 small and large improvement suggestions noted on post-its (of course).
This is a rather large material, and we faced the risk of evaluation oblivion – not doing anything with any of the suggestions. In our busy days, we could easily have put all the notes aside thinking we’ll go through them all “later” or “a few days before” the next time we deliver the training. Instead, we took it upon us the very next day, using a tool we refer to in the training itself – a prioritization matrix.
We went through each suggestion, post-it by post-it, and measured them against the two dimensions; “high/low impact” and “high/low effort”. It took us about an hour to go through all of them. (We threw away some of them as either not an improvement suggestion or not relevant). In the end we had 17 improvements in the matrix, all ready prioritized. By the end of the day, most of them were implemented (slides, examples, manuscript, exercises changed). The result is, that the course material and game plan is revised and improved, ready to go when needed. The work is allready done, and we have used tools and techniques we teach others to use (at the same time creating a new example). Sometimes it is worth reminding ourselves of this – to live as we preach!
– Svein Are Tjeldnes, Frank Lindrupsen & Karin Eilertsen