Last year Ron Pereira wrote an article titled “How not to screw up pluses and deltas” that gave useful tips on how to properly review at the end of a day of class room training or a shop floor kaizen. The pluses and deltas activity is a great example of hansei in action, reflecting on what went well (pluses) and what you would like to do better (deltas).
Typically we write down a plus sign and a triangle which is the Greek letter delta (and scientific notation for “change”) in two vertical columns on a flip chart or white board. Everyone is asked to give input first on the deltas and then the hasei session is ended on a positive note by identifying a few pluses. Here are some tips:
1. Write down the deltas first, asking people to suggest things they would like to change about the next day or the next time this class is held.
Encourage them to think of changes within the power of the students, the instructor or the sponsoring management to make before the next day or next session.
2. Ask for things that were positive and that people would like to se more of in the next session.
Make it clear whether the class can expect more of the same pluses tomorrow or not. For example if the positive for today was a hands-on activity but the agenda for tomorrow has no hands-on activity, communicate this by explaining what is on the agenda and what you think the class will enjoy about it.
3. Identify what will be changed from the list and write it down.
Even if it is only one thing, make the change.
This template can be used to document and record the pluses and deltas from each day by copying what was written down on the flip chart of white board. It can be used very effectively also as a personal daily hansei sheet, or for a debrief sheet after sales meetings, interviews or other opportunities to make positive changes.
Reflecting together on the pluses and deltas each day empowers your students or your kaizen team to make changes to the class or workshop itself. When they see these changes reflected in how the class or workshop is run the next day they will take greater ownership of the process, learning and achieving more. Doing this sort of hansei each day, you will find that you are more effective as a teacher or leader and that your student or team members are more engaged.
Be sure to check out Ron’s newly redesigned Lean Six Sigma Academy website featuring more free information than ever before, including an e-book and a video demonstrating differences between batching and one piece flow. I have it from a reliable source that more exciting changes are coming to Ron’s blog so check back often or subscribe to his RSS feed.