The Engine Room of Continuous Improvement

Why You Should Consider Lean Six Sigma Simulations and Games

Are Your Belts Practicing Enough?

A typical college football team plays 11 games, each of which has 60 minutes of running clock time, for a total of 11 hours. During the season, the team practices approximately 370 hours (this would probably be higher if not limited by the NCAA). The ratio of practice to play is therefore 34:1.

Within your Lean Six Sigma deployment, what's your ratio of practice to performing? Why isn't it higher?

Reasons - or Excuses?

In today's demanding business environment, there are many possible "reasons" why we don't have Belts practice as much as they should. Process improvement tools can be complex, with complex interactions.

Real-world cycle times can be protracted, delaying the important learning feedback loop. But when do reasons cross the line and become excuses you can do something about?

In our current downturn, deployments have less time and money but still need to produce confident, critical thinking Belts who can complete projects quickly.

No one wants students practicing on actual critical projects, where mistakes can be expensive and potentially dangerous, so a growing number of Lean Six Sigma deployments are turning to affordable simulations that provide the practice trainees need to build competence and confidence.

What Is a Simulation?

Batting cage for practice

A simulation is an activity that imitates a real situation or process, usually to save money and build experience in a safe, virtual and risk-free environment.

Simulations can be live activities, computer-based activities or a combination of both. Many process and business simulations are presented in a game format to drive competition and interest for professionals.

The best of these online simulations can be run in less than a day, cost far less to run than live project simulations, and present students with complex scenarios that drive critical thinking rather than rote learning. Students quickly increase their practice to performance ratio in a safe, condensed and meaningful experience.

The Benefits of Lean Six Sigma Simulations

Here are some - though not all - of the benefits that Lean Six Sigma deployments derive from using online simulations in the classroom:

  • Reduces your training costs
    Simulations are a cost effective way to provide in-depth experience to students
  • Saves you training time
    Green and Black Belt trainees can complete an entire project in 1-3 days
  • Builds your student competence
    The best simulations are designed to drive critical thinking over rote learning
  • Engages your students
    Interactive decision making and rich media stimulate interest
  • Provides a risk-free environment
    Your students are free to make mistakes in a safe, virtual practice space
  • Reinforces teamwork
    The use of competitions helps teach team dynamics and communication skills

In short, simulations provide the cost-effective PRACTICE necessary to build COMPETENCE and move your Green and Black Belts from competence to CONFIDENCE.

How Can You Learn More?