While traditional on-site workshops and project support are often the preferred approach to developing continuous improvement skills and results, Pivotal clients are increasingly turning to our “blended” approach as a great way to achieve the same or better outcomes at greater convenience and value. Blended solutions – which feature a mix of virtual training, remote coaching, e-learning, classroom training and selected reading – are especially effective for groups that are geographically dispersed. But the array of benefits can be valuable for anyorganization:
- Reduced travel time and expense – Typical classroom-based offerings include two or more on-site workshop sessions. A blended approach can be structured to include as few as a single on-site session, or may be done completely virtually. Overall, this can save thousands in travel and logistics costs and participant time.
- Live, experienced consultant support – A significant advantage of Pivotal’s blended solutions over other blended and e-learning offerings is the direct and ongoing engagement with our experienced organization change and continuous improvement consultants. Each group is led by a dedicated trainer and coach who can focus on participants’ individual needs and projects, and guide them through the process to achieve project results and key learning objectives (including optional “Belt” certification).
- Versatile learning/application strategies – The different venues and media of the blended approach is more appropriate to the diverse working and learning styles across a group of participants. And the mix of activities makes the overall process more engaging.
- Flexibility in content and schedule – The highly modular approach of Pivotal’s blended solutions means they can be more readily tailored to your needs. For example, we can emphasize specific concepts (e.g., adding more change management or lean methods), increase or reduce the frequency of coaching sessions, extend the duration of the program to fit project schedules—in essence, adapt a strong foundation to your unique specifications.
- More frequent, convenient and sustained support – One of the biggest challenges of learning and applying continuous improvement is sustaining the momentum needed to achieve results. Designed around a series of short (1 to three hour) doing and learning activities, done each week, the blended solution ensures participants are constantly gaining new knowledge and focusing on their projects. And virtual coaching support can easily be extended so longer-term or more complex projects get ongoing advice even when the formal training has been completed.
For those blended solutions that incorporate skill-based e-learning, on-line training is provided by SkillSoft, a global leader in on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions. SkillSoft’s extensive library of well-designed continuous improvement courseware, including Green Belt and Black Belt modules, are built on a solid and effective e-learning design approach. SkillSoft also offers program coordination and consultation as part of our allied services that can streamline management of major implementations and ensure seamless interface with an organization’s learning and/or performance management systems.
And because SkillSoft has existing relationships with over 3,000 leading business and government organizations, the added cost of integrating these modules into your blended solution may be much less than you would otherwise need to invest.
As noted, blended solutions can be created or adapted to fit your specific needs, drawing on our extensive change leadership and organization improvement curricula and experience. Examples of common program types include:
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (certification optional)
- Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (certification optional)
- Champion/Sponsor development and coaching
- Lean Initiative Training
- Design for Six Sigma (DMADV)
- Change Management – basic and advanced
To help you better understand Pivotal’s unique approach to blended offerings, here is a brief overview of the typical components found in our comprehensive solutions:
Virtual Training: Typically 1-3 hour modules with a live instructor connected to participants via web-meeting technology. These sessions include a mix of concept/skill instruction, examples and exercises, questions and discussion, and project application.
Virtual Coaching: Project-focused discussion and one-on-one review sessions with a project leader and/or team and their assigned Pivotal consultant. Participants share written updates on their projects with the consultant prior to each session so the conversations can really delve into challenges, discoveries, key tools and next steps. Coaching ties learning to the “real world” and supports both skill development and project results.
E-Learning Modules: These self-paced on-line components range in length from 1.5 to 3.5 hours and can cover a wide range of topics. The selection and sequence of modules is tied to an overall program schedule to ensure continual progress and alignment with project activities. The e-learning experience is interactive, with challenging questions, case examples and review quizzes presented to ensure course objectives are met.
On-site Training: In-person engagement with fellow participants and the Pivotal consultant remains an important part of the blended approach, even though with fewer on-site sessions. Timing and content for the on-site sessions is designed to provide maximum impact/benefit to the participants and their projects. And the on-site session is not just “training”: project application and coaching from our consultants are also part of these face-to-face sessions.
Independent Reading: Depending on the content of the blended program, we recommend selected sections of valuable books that help broaden understanding of key concepts and offer additional “how to” perspectives. While the reading is an admittedly “low tech” approach, we have found this additional dimension to the overall development process to be a very effective component of the blended solution.