How Do You Measure Lean Six Sigma Knowledge Transfer?

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Michael: Since the whole point of learning online/in-person blended is the learning — the knowledge transfer — how do you measure that in your system to make sure that you are maximizing that knowledge transfer?

John: Well, that is an excellent question, and we go back to the Kirkpatrick Model, which presents you a four-level assessment of training effectiveness. And the first two levels that you have — the reaction and the learning — are to understand the extent to which the participants had grasped the material and how it improves their skills. You can do that at the end of the learning event. You can do that as part of the training class. And we found that people going through the blended program, that is very good. There is a very rapid knowledge transfer. And we have seen the exams results and things like that improve pretty drastically over the classroom model. The other part of that — levels three and four — look at behavior and results to see to what extent the participants have actually changed their behavior and how they are impacting the workplace. That is a little trickier to measure and that is where your whole educational process needs to extend beyond the end of the learning event. I will give you an example. I worked with a company that put in a new project tracking system. And everybody in the organization went off and go their training like they were supposed to, and sat in class a couple of days and absorbed it all. And then, after about a month or so, the director noticed that only about one out of ten people were actually using the system; and the few that were using it, were not really using it right. And they thought the training was the problem. The training said, “No, application is the problem.” So, a typical issue — how do you resolve this? Now, if you looked at this with a blended model, you could put together an online portion of this that could serve as a permanent ongoing reference. So, as people came into class, then the whole thing could be revolved around practice and actually picking up and learning those skills. And then, setting expectations at the end of class that: “Okay. Yeah, class is over. However, this learning event is going to continue on until we have assessed your effectiveness; and here is how we are going to do that.” And once you have done that, then you can start to get a pretty good start on the levels three and four. Most companies never go beyond levels one and two in their training assessment.

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