#2 – The Lean Learning Cycle

The Deming Cycle & Learning

The #2 Lean Leadership Blog post of 2011 was The Lean Learning Cycle:

Lean Manufacturing is much more than a set of tools.  Lean is a way of thinking that can and should result in a culture change.  Part of the culture change is becoming a learning organization.  Since Lean Practitioners embrace Deming’s Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle (PDCA), it makes sense to utilize PDCA as part of the learning process.

As a leader, you need to create opportunities for your team to learn and to reflect on their new knowledge.  Translating “Plan – Do – Check – Act” into “Learn – Do – Think – Apply” will enhance the learning process:

  1. Learn – You and your team need to be learning daily.  There is the formal training but your learning opportunities are not limited to the classroom.  Some of the best learning opportunities are when mistakes are made and when equipment breaks down.  Dig for the root causes and learn from the mistakes.
  2. Do – Give your team the opportunity to try out what they just learned as soon as possible.  Doing will re-enforce the learning and will help to clear up any misunderstandings.
  3. Think – Make opportunities for your team to reflect on the learning and doing steps.  Regroup after the team tries out what they just learned.  Give them the opportunity to learn from each other as they discuss how step 2 shaped what they learned.  I also recommend that you have discussions about what was learned at the end of classroom training.
  4. Apply – Get your team using their new knowledge as soon as possible.  Training is a classic case of use it or lose it.  They’ll forget quickly.

What learning opportunities do you anticipate over the next few days?  How can you apply Learn – Do – Think – Apply to these opportunities?  Will you go the extra mile to make your training great?


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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
This entry was posted in Top 10 2011 Blogs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to #2 – The Lean Learning Cycle

  1. Excellent blog Christian. Good concepts to apply. LDTA it is 😉

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