How can we justify the expense of implementing the Le2 ™ Program when we are having to make budget cuts in really critical areas of education?
Schools that are serious about improving student performance must also balance their budgets. One of the universal outcomes of Lean implementation is that of cost savings. A minimal investment now can easily pay for itself quickly. Even better, the savings will continue, year after year, as administrators and staff continuously refine processes and find additional ways to improve. The alternative – do more of the same and get the same disappointing results – is not an option when a third of students are dropping out of school and two thirds cannot perform at the required proficient performance level. Our Le2 Program can be implemented in steps, and as your school begins to save costs, you can reinvest your savings into further improvements to your program.
How does the Le2 Program improve student performance and increase graduation rates?
The Lean Learning component of the Le2 Program offers students the opportunity to achieve the level of learning for which they yearn. Students are empowered by understanding and applying Lean tools and methodologies to the learning process itself. These are especially powerful for low performing students who’ve become convinced they’re not good at learning. As students of all abilities quickly gain confidence, their test scores increase and so does their motivation to learn. Teachers who have implemented the Lean Learning component are continually amazed at the transformation in their students as they become truly enthusiastic about learning. (After all, people like doing things at which they are successful.) Successful students remain in school.
Change is very difficult for some staff members to handle and accept. How does the Le2 Program deal with the challenges of change?
Change is more difficult to handle and accept when it is imposed by others. One of the powers of the Le2 Program is that changes brought about through the system are designed and self-imposed by the very people affected by the change and at the level closest to the change. These people are motivated to make the change since the change itself makes their own jobs easier. In addition, employees feel a heightened sense of fulfillment both from facilitating the changes that affect them as well as contributing to the overall improvement of the school.
Will the Lean continuous improvement process be effective for anyone who uses it?
Adopting the Lean continuous improvement process requires and results in a culture change in organizations from an “It’s not my job” attitude to a “Can do” attitude. If an organization, regardless of the type or size, is genuine in its commitment to improve performance and facilitate a positive cultural transformation, then the Lean continuous improvement process will be effective.
How can we fit the Le2 Program training into our schedules when we’re already overworked?
The time you invest in the program now will save you time exponentially later, even within the same school year. For example, teachers who lead their students through the Lean Learning component of the program will reduce or eliminate the need to re-teach the same material. When unnecessary steps in processes are identified and eliminated, teachers can recover many hours of instructional time – as much as 120 hours over the school year. Think of what you could do for your students with that recovered time!
How long does the Le2 Program take?
The individual training modules of the Le2 Program vary from a half-day to one week. We structure the workshops to accommodate your staff availability. Training days do not have to be contiguous. Training needs are determined by the existing preparedness a school or school district has for Lean implementation, as well as by its preferred implementation plan.
Are layoffs a part of the Le2 Program?
Absolutely not! One of the basic tenets of Lean is to protect the employment of existing personnel. While the Le2 Program focuses on eliminating waste that could, conceivably, include a certain job, we advocate utilizing the employee in another way, thereby building more capability and flexibility with existing resources. The goal of the Le2Program is to maximize the use of available resources, not eliminate them.
Wasn’t the Lean continuous improvement process developed for manufacturing?
Yes. Lean principles were originally developed to increase performance and decrease costs in manufacturing operations. [link to Le2 Program Evolution] However, the principles proved to be so universal, they have been successfully applied to achieve the same results in many other industries, including those in the service sector. Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. adapted the principles to meet the unique challenges of K-12 education. Our Le2 Program was designed by an experienced, practicing teacher/administrator and a certified, practicing Lean Master to help schools streamline processes, reduce waste, and save costs while improving school and district performance.
What is waste?
Waste is considered to be any activity that unnecessarily consumes resources, one that adds cost but does not create value as perceived by the end user.
Are Lean principles theoretical or practical?
Practical. The people who originally developed Lean principles and practices were businessmen, not academics. They were spurred to seek resolutions to everyday operations problems by applying traditional scientific methodologies in new and creative ways. The resulting approaches they developed are simple yet very effective. They have been successfully applied to production and non-production activities in a broad range of industries. While training in the approach is important, Lean practices are learned and mastered by DOING!
For how long will we need to engage Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. consultants to work with us?
The Le2 Program involves training school personnel in understanding Lean principles, tools and methodologies. Lean Education Enterprises, Inc.’s goal is to make sure every participant rapidly becomes self-sufficient in applying this knowledge by coaching participants in improving real-time challenges in their work. Staff then can continue on, unassisted, with their improvement initiatives. The program is set up to Train the Trainer, so in-house practitioners then become the training resource for the rest of the school or district. Further assistance from Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. may only be needed for refresher training or facilitation of special improvement projects, if at all.
Why select Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. for Lean education implementation?
First, Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. is the industry leader in adapting Lean process improvement principles to the unique challenges of the education industry.
Second, our trademarked program was developed collaboratively by a licensed, practicing education professional and a practicing, certified Lean Enterprise professional. Those same professionals will be your Le2 Program consultants. With practical experience in the fields of education and process improvement, we understand the challenges that educators and education administrators now face. We offer practical guidance in overcoming those challenges.
Third, Lean Education Enterprises, Inc. continuously conducts research on the ever-evolving set of best practices in applying Lean principles to education. As the industry leader, we see our role as not just helping schools to establish best practices, but also to share this information within the education community. We want all schools and school districts to have the tools to improve student performance, keep students engaged, and increase graduation rates without spending more money.