Frequently Asked Questions

Lean Action Learning
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Lean Action Learning

Three organisations collaborate in a program. Each organisation hosts a project, which addresses an issue of high priority to the organisation. For each project, a small team is formed with three people from the host organisation plus one person from two other organisations to provide fresh eyes to the problem. A suitably qualified action learning facilitator coordinates project planning and works intensively with the project team for five weeks. The facilitator mentors the team through the implementation of the resulting action plan. Project outcomes are mapped against performance criteria to provide a pathway for team members to receive a nationally recognised qualification.

The Action Learning Institute is a Registered Training Organisation, Provider No. 40676, under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011. The Institute has been delivering nationally recognised qualifications through the Lean Action Learning program since 2010. It is the first education institution in the world to deliver nationally recognised qualifications entirely through action learning. BALT is keen to offer programs through other RTOs, who are willing to adopt the action learning model. The Action Learning Institute has committed to assisting Tasmanian RTOs to co-design action learning programs and provide the supporting systems and processes to achieve compliance with the Standards for RTOs 2015.

The cost to host a Lean Action Learning project is $30,000 per company. This does not include any additional travel costs if facilitators are required to travel to regional areas or interstate. BALT has a number of highly qualified facilitators in locations across Australia and are actively recruiting local facilitators to reduce travel costs incurred.

When compared with conventional training, costs may seem high, however the returns on investment can be compared with a typical improvement project facilitated by a professional consultant.

Government subsidies can be accessed for BALT programs, which result in a nationally recognised qualification for the learner. You may be eligible for funding subsidies under federal or state funding. We recommend visiting to search for funding support. Please contact a BALT representative or email if you require specific information about the program to assist with your funding submission.

This is really up to you and is determined by the scope of the project you nominate. A comprehensive project specification will be prepared by your facilitator and will specify measurable targets for your project outcomes. Every project completed to date (32 in total across Tasmania and South Australia) has met or exceeded the specified targets. For example:

CPT Engineering undertook a project with Bell Bay Aluminium (BBA), which sought to analyse and reduce the costs of the current process for anode rod repair, including transport, by $200,000 per annum. This target was exceeded and the improvements emanating from the project allowed CPT to remain competitive and retain this work, which may have otherwise been sent offshore. A contract for new work, valued at $3.7m, was also secured with BBA to replace their entire fleet of anode rods with an improved design as a result of the relationship built through the Lean Action Learning program.

There may be costs inherent in the recommendations presented by the project team at the end of the Five Day Workshop Series. Analysing and justifying these costs will be part of the team’s learning and the resulting action plan must be approved by senior management prior to implementation.

Senior management will need to nominate three participants and a Project Champion to be involved.

Experience has shown that it is best if the participants’ usual work is in some way related to the nominated project. This ensures that time spent on the project furthers the objectives of their department or area and does not take the participant too far away from their normal work. Whether you nominate a project first and then seek participants, or nominate participants and then seek a project, your facilitator can assist you with your selection.

The Project Champion is a member of the management team that has a particular interest or responsibility for the area under study. The role of the Project Champion is to provide any necessary support for the team, overcoming roadblocks or resolving issues outside their control, that may be impeding their progress.

The following selection criteria provide a general guide however your facilitator will take you through a project scoping process, which will assist in identifying a suitable project.

Project selection criteria:

–  Must address an issue of high priority to the company

–  Likely to benefit from “fresh eyes”

–  Potential to demonstrate best practice/lean principles

–  Likely to achieve a tangible outcome in the time available

–  Fits with the competencies defined in the relevant qualification

–  Company willing for outcomes to be used as a case study (within reason)

Each project begins with a Five Day Workshop Series, one day a week for five weeks, followed by an implementation period of six to nine months. The Five Day Workshop Series for projects are rolled out consecutively with implementation undertaken concurrently. The implementation stage for each project begins at the end of the workshop series and the resulting action plan must be implemented within six months. This means that the early projects in a new action learning program will have some team members, who already commenced implementation of their home project while participating in a Five Day Workshop Series at another company.

Each participant participates in two series of workshops, one at their ‘home’ company and one at another company. This equates to approximately 120 hours across 17 weeks, including additional time spent between sessions to complete allocated tasks. The participants must then implement the action plan for their ‘home’ project. Based on previous projects, this could accumulate to up to 200 hours over six to nine months. For the Certificate IV, nominal hours of 400 hours is the guideline for achieving training quality standards. Where possible, tasks are incorporated into the participant’s ordinary work.

Senior management (CEO, General Manager and Project Champion) are expected to attend the program launch, project launch meeting, the presentation of project recommendations and the final review forum. This amounts to approximately 12 hours. Project Champions are also expected to participate in project planning, the project briefing, mentoring sessions during implementation, and monthly Advisory Panel meetings. This amounts to approximately 80 hours across six to nine months.

Other employees may be called upon for stakeholder feedback and other input. This will be arranged to minimise disruption to their work.