A Simple Method To Ensure You Get the Best!
Several weeks ago a customer I worked with back in 2005 called me to ask some questions about a specific Root Cause Analysis process they were using as well as the facilitator they were working with. While I was familiar with the RCA process they were using I admitted to them I had never attended the formal training program offered by the company and while I did know the facilitator I had never seen him facilitate a formal RCA.
My customer then asks me a more difficult question; “Would you recommend we use this methodology as our select supplier for Root Cause Analysis training?”
In this case I felt the most professional thing to do was to pass on giving an opinion. I knew the company worked for had been in the industry for over twenty years, but I had never been to their training and had only cursory exposure to their methodology. This also leads me to the subject of this Blog Post; How can we ensure we select both a great RCA, Lean Manufacturing or RCM methodology as well as the best instructor/facilitator to lead our effort.
Listed below are the actual notes on how a team I worked with back in 1995 went about selecting a RCA methodology and instructor and I have to say, this works on nearly everything when you are searching to find the best.
- Make a list of what your company is looking to achieve from this training
- Are you looking to train someone as a trainer, facilitator or just participants?
- Who will be involved in the effort?
- When do you need the training/facilitation to take place?
- What funds do you need for this effort?
- List the different companies/methods we would plan to include
2. Develop a Ranking System for your team to score each method (Score 1-5 With 5 being best)
- Method is both simple and effective in solving problems
- Training materials were clear and professional
- Training was interactive and addressed all 4 learning styles
- Training course length fit the materials and subject
- Course Provider is willing to adapt course materials to real examples
3. Course Instructor – Criteria for ensuring we find a great instructor/facilitator (Score each 1-5)
- Instructor has real life experience in both consulting and manufacturing industry
- Instructor is dynamic, he/she keeps people engaged in learning the materials
- Instructor has above average listening/communication skills
- Instructor does not make up answers to difficult questions
4. Known Expert Ranking
- Select three industry experts to interview/solicit opinions
- Interview each expert and ask them to rank the methodologies they have experience with only. With 5 being the best methodology in terms of meeting our criteria in step 2
- Ask each to supply the names of best instructors/facilitators of each method
5. References – Ask each provider to provide 2 reference companies along with names we can call to interview
- Record the general opinions of each reference regarding the criteria in steps 2 and 3
- How long have they been involved with their effort?
- Have they tried other methodologies if so which?
- Why did they decide to select this methodology?
- Ask if their effort has been successful and record examples of success
- Ask of they have had any problems with scheduling, instructors, materials or billing – record any issues
- Ask for and record positive comments regarding the method and instructor
Now understand the method I have just suggested doesn’t happen overnight, it does however give your company the best shot at selecting a proven process and a great instructor and THIS is what it what it takes to ensure your team succeeds the first time! Remember in today’s world we all gave an online resume as well if your looking for a real subject matter expert, a Google search of that person will clearly indicate their experience. Search the name for conference presentations, books, magazine articles and key note presentations. Good luck with your search!