2019 Lean Black Belt Project Highlight: Lean for Leadership Collaborative

Posted by Heather Barto on May 6th, 2019

2019 Black Belt Capstone Project Highlight: Lean for Leaders Collaborative

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Photo: 2019 Lean Black Belt Candidates; Colin Capelle, State Procurement Card Administrator and  Suzy Easterling-Wood, Director of Utilization Management at NH Hampshire Hospital

As part of course work, the NH Bureau of Education and Training’s (BET)Lean Black Belt program requires a capstone project. The scope and purpose of a Lean Black Belt Capstone Project is to engage candidates in advancing the practice of Lean within their organizations or at a statewide level. At the end of the program year, candidates have a deliverable product demonstrating knowledge of the core foundations of Lean and as a Lean practitioner, demonstrating knowledge of how to engage in fostering a robust Lean culture.

As students of BET’s Class of 2019 Lean Black Belt program, Colin Capelle and Suzy Easterling-Wood set out to develop a project that provides a holistic, comprehensive overview of Lean culture, and emphasizes Lean tools easily accessible by leadership. Colin and Suzy designed a structured approach to educate leaders for the framework of a Lean culture.  This Capstone Project work places particular emphasis on the importance of clarifying roles for leaders, managers, employees, and facilitators. The Lean for Leaders Collaborative identifies those components essential to advancing Lean project work such as the importance of a holistic flow of communication and the practical application of Lean tools to advance the workforce towards a Kaizen event or other process improvement work.

An important element with Project Capstone work and any process improvement work is to review the current state. Colin and Suzy’s Capstone Project completed a formalized review of the Lean for Leaders curriculum in it’s previous state. They found accessibility points and delivery inefficiencies. The new and improved Lean for Leaders can be provided at a weekly team management meeting or a working lunch. Additionally, the Lean for Leaders practical application  adds value to programs as it can brought on site where “the work gets done”. To promote sustainability of a Lean culture within the State workforce, the session provides the opportunity for participants to share constructive feedback regarding the evolution of Lean awareness, how helpful the Lean for Leaders Collaborative session was by engaging in a practical application of a Plan Do Check Act cycle.

The goal of this project is to highlight Lean and relevant process improvement tools to use for practical application in the workplace. In alignment with the strategic plan for the Lean Executive Committee, the primary goal is to promote the use of Lean tools, methods and solutions at all agency levels.

Want to learn more? Join us for the next installment of Lean for Leaders Collaborative. We will find out more about Colin and Suzy’s roll out of the program, data collection efforts, and the statewide impact of their work!

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