From Lean Six Sigma practitioner to Performance Coach

BusinessManagement

  • Author Francisco Gutierrez
  • Published January 19, 2023
  • Word count 1,384

Lean Six Sigma

A Lean Six Sigma practitioner can use the structure of different methodologies, such as DMAIC, in coaching an individual for operational excellence, even if the organization's focus is shifting from process improvement to culture improvement. Any Lean Six Sigma methodology can still be used to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to support individuals in achieving operational excellence. However, the focus of the coaching may shift to an emphasis on developing soft skills, such as effective communication and problem-solving, that are necessary for achieving operational excellence in a culture improvement context. The coach may also need to adapt their approach to better support individuals in developing these skills by using various tools and techniques, providing active listening and support, and encouraging introspective reflection and growth.

DMAIC

DMAIC is a problem-solving methodology commonly used in Six Sigma and other continuous improvement initiatives. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This approach can also be applied to performance-based coaching, with each of the five phases corresponding to a different step in the coaching process (Harry, 2010). Defining is the first step. In this step, the coach and the person being coached work together to determine the performance goal and identify specific areas that need improvement. This could involve conducting a thorough assessment of the person's current skills and abilities and discussing their long-term goals and objectives.

Once the performance goal has been defined, the next step is to measure the person's current level of performance. This could involve collecting data through various means, such as observing their performance in a real-world setting, conducting assessments, or asking for feedback from others. The following phase involves the coach and the individual being taught looking for patterns or trends in the data gathered in the step before. This could involve looking for areas where the person is performing exceptionally well or poorly and considering why this might be the case.

The next step is to improve. Following identifying the areas that require development, the coach and the individual receiving coaching collaborate to create a strategy to enhance performance. This could involve setting specific goals and objectives and identifying any resources or support needed to help the person achieve their goals. To guarantee that the person is moving toward their performance objectives, the coach and the person being coached jointly monitor and assess the person's progress in the last phase, control. This could involve conducting regular check-ins and assessments to track their progress and making necessary adjustments to the improvement plan.

PDCA

PDCA is another problem-solving methodology that is commonly used in continuous improvement initiatives. It stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Like DMAIC, this approach can also be applied to performance-based coaching, with each of the four phases corresponding to a different step in the coaching process. The plan is the first step. In this step, the coach and the person being coached work together to define the performance goal and develop a plan for achieving it. This could involve conducting a thorough assessment of the person's current skills and abilities and discussing their long-term goals and objectives. The plan should be specific and measurable and include any resources or support needed to help the person achieve their goals.

Once the plan has been developed, the next step is to implement it. This could involve implementing the various elements of the project, such as setting specific goals and objectives, providing training and support, and monitoring the person's progress.

In the check step, the coach and the individual receiving coaching track and assess the person's advancement toward their performance objectives. This could involve conducting regular check-ins and assessments to track their progress and making necessary adjustments to the plan. The coach and the individual receiving coaching utilize the data acquired during the checking phase to make any required modifications to the plan in the last stage. This could involve adjusting the person's goals and objectives, providing additional support or resources, or making other changes to help the person continue progressing towards their performance goals.

A3

An A3 methodology is a problem-solving approach that originated in the Toyota Production System and is now commonly used in various industries. It involves using a specific template, known as an A3 report, to document and communicate the problem-solving process. Like DMAIC and PDCA, this approach can also be applied to performance-based coaching, with each step in the A3 process corresponding to a different phase in the coaching process (George, 2010). The first step is to define the problem. In this step, the coach and the person being coached work together to determine the performance goal and identify specific areas that need improvement. This could involve conducting a thorough assessment of the person's current skills and abilities and discussing their long-term goals and objectives.

The second phase entails looking at the underlying reasons. After the performance objective has been established, the following stage is to look at the underlying reasons for any issues or difficulties the person is experiencing. This could involve collecting data through various means, such as observing their performance in a real-world setting, conducting assessments, or asking for feedback from others. Developing countermeasures is the next step. In this step, the coach and the person being coached develop a plan to improve their performance. This could involve setting specific goals and objectives and identifying any resources or support needed to help the person achieve their goals.

Implementing and verifying the countermeasures is the next step. Once the improvement plan has been developed, it is implemented. This could involve implementing the various elements of the plan, such as providing training and support and monitoring the person's progress. The third stage, follow-up, involves the coach and the individual being coached monitoring and assessing the person's development to make sure they are moving toward their performance goals. This could involve conducting regular check-ins and assessments to track their progress and making any necessary adjustments to the plan]

Kata

A kata methodology is a structured approach to improvement, and problem-solving originated in the Toyota Production System. It involves regularly practicing specific, pre-defined steps or "katas" to develop a habit of continuous learning and improvement. This approach can also be applied to performance-based coaching, with each step in the kata process corresponding to a different phase in the coaching process.

Finding a goal is the first step. The coach and the individual receiving coaching define the performance objective and particular areas that require improvement in this stage. This could involve conducting a thorough assessment of the person's current skills and abilities and discussing their long-term goals and objectives. The next step is to gather data. Once the performance goal has been defined, the next step is to gather data that can help to inform the coaching process. This could involve collecting information through various means, such as observing the person's performance in a real-world setting, conducting assessments, or asking for feedback from others.

The following stage is to find patterns and trends. To find any patterns or trends in the data gathered in the previous stage, the coach and the individual receiving coaching evaluate it in this step. This could involve looking for areas where the person is performing exceptionally well or poorly and considering why this might be the case.

Developing and implementing a plan is the next step. Having determined the areas for improvement, the coach and the individual receiving coaching collaborate to create a plan. Setting clear objectives and targets and determining any necessary resources or assistance might be part of this process. The last stage is to review and modify the plan. To ensure the person is moving toward their performance objectives, the coach and the person being coached monitor and assess their progress in the last phase. This can entail monitoring their progress with frequent check-ins and assessments and modifying the improvement plan as needed.

In conclusion, all the above methodologies - DMAIC, PDCA, A3, and kata - can effectively apply to performance-based coaching. Each approach provides a structured and well-defined framework for identifying performance goals, gathering data, analyzing problems, developing improvement plans, and monitoring and evaluating progress. By aligning these methodologies to the steps in the coaching process, coaches and the people they are coaching can work together to achieve their performance goals proactively and effectively.

Over two decades work experience in a Government Agency. Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, trained Master Black Belt. Lean Six Sigma Trainer and Project Coach. Over a decade experience in Process Improvement. Experience in leading the organization department responsible for Policy and Procedures; Finance Manager; Lead Maintenance Manager for 1 million square foot processing facility. Operational Excellence facilitator and Executive Coach.

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