Client: Metsä Wood

Assignment: Lean Facilitation Skills Development

Building capability to support business critical improvement projects at Metsawood

The Problem

Developing the facilitation skills of Lean Coaches and Line Managers; As part of its UK strategy deployment process, the executive identified thirteen manufacturing improvement projects.

In addition to achieving greater efficiency, one of the underlying objectives was to develop and share best practices across its three sites in the UK and ultimately into European operations. A core project team of Lean Coaches, well versed in the principles of Lean, were appointed to support these initiatives. However, they needed more support in how to engage the wider workforce in adopting Lean and addressing the challenges.

The Solution

Metsä Wood believed in enhancing the facilitation skills of the core team and selected line managers was a priority, and therefore asked Bourton Group to set out a training and support package for them.

Our Approach

We designed and delivered a bespoke development programme that would teach the Lean Coaches and Line Managers the fundamentals of facilitation in a classroom environment, and then provide on-the-job coaching and feedback during live Lean interventions.

The ultimate aim of the programme was to enable participants to help teams and their leaders/managers to use Lean approaches in work-based improvements, and to lead cross-functional improvement events. This would involve facilitating meetings using the principles, tools and techniques of Lean. In addition, they needed to learn how to lead a programme of continuous improvement activity and demonstrate the business benefits as part of their coordination role.

Building Capability

The first phase of the programme was a two-day residential training course, held at our Midlands training facility. In addition to being a convenient central location, this provided participants with the opportunity to get to know each other and build cross-site working relationships away from the day-to-day pressure of the business.

Classroom training was an interactive blend of tutor input; individual and group exercises; training and facilitation simulations; and structured feedback. The course enabled participants to gain:

  • a greater understanding of their role as Lean Coaches and Line Managers in the context of the business strategy
  • an insight into the skills and behaviours necessary for effective facilitation, including giving and receiving feedback
  •  the ability to deliver training in Lean principles, tools and techniques to others
  • the ability to lead a group through the use of a selection of basic Lean tools
  • the ability to engage and manage stakeholders at every level of the organisation
  •  an awareness of how to lead improvement events and how benefits may be captured, measured and monitored

The second phase was a series of coaching days held at each of the three UK sites. Our consultant worked alongside the participants as they led their own teams through their application of Lean tools and techniques to their chosen project. These days also gave participants the opportunity to observe each other leading ‘live’ team-based Lean improvement activities, and to give and receive feedback. As a result the participants gained:

  • the chance to teach their team members how to use selected tools and techniques to address a ‘live’ problem
  • the opportunity to demonstrate their Lean facilitation skills to their operational teams and enable them to participate in the problem-solving process
  • a raised awareness of their own effectiveness as a facilitator
  • a greater understanding of what worked well and what could be improved in future sessions the opportunity to hone their feedback skills

Examples of the sessions led by group members included:

  • the analysis of waste in a tool changeover in order to reduce set up a time
  • the identification and prioritisation of opportunities to improve quality in a specific production area
  •  the development of a process map and action plan to relocate a warehouse
  • the development of a suite of standard operation procedures
  • the application of tools such as SWOT analysis and FMEA to current projects
  • improvements to data collection and analysis activity

The Benefits

Value Delivered

As a result of attending the programme, the Lean Coaches have:

  • gained greater focus in managing the thirteen strategic cross-site improvement projects
  • gained confidence in leading cross-functional and cross-site Lean initiatives
  • greater confidence in continuing to support line managers in their application of Lean tools and techniques

As a result of attending the programme, the Line Managers have:

  • improved their ability to engage their team members in improvement projects and the use of tools and techniques
  • built feedback skills to support individual performance improvement with their direct reports

Download Case Study in PDF Format

Download Case Study

What Metsä Wood said about us

“The two day classroom training met our expectations, instilled key facilitator skills & knowledge into the

new facilitators at the same time as developing / enhancing that of facilitators with previous experience.

All this was achieved by an extremely professional & competent consultant who shared her own

experiences & knowledge whilst imparting the skills necessary for new facilitators to take away, put into

practice & develop. The method of first theory followed immediately by a practical demonstration by the

delegates using the workbook “tools & techniques” sheets certainly aided the learning process.”

Programme Manager