Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Learning

KAIP Academy Lunch & Learn Event at The WorkShop – Sacramento

Business Analysis, Corporate Training, Event Recap, KAIP Academy, Learning, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, The WorkShop, Training

The KAIP Academy recently had the pleasure of hosting Steve Morris, PMP, as he introduced his Morris Business Integration Framework via a Lunch & Learn event at The WorkShop – Sacramento.

Developed over the course of 40 years, Mr. Morris presented the labors of his research and extensive background to a select group of participants during KAIP Academy’s first Lunch & Learn.

The KAIP Academy is excited to host Mr. Morris’s future courses on Business Integration. We’re also looking forward to hosting Lunch & Learn sessions on a variety of topics coming soon!

If you need a location for your training session or meeting, The WorkShop – Sacramento can provide the space for you! Our small conference room holds eight people and our large holds up to 20. Email workshop@kaipartners.com or call 916-465-8065 to schedule your next event!

It’s Not Easy Being Lean: Dos and Don’ts of Visual Management Boards

Best Practices, Corporate Training, Employee Engagement, Infographic, KAIP Academy, Lean Six Sigma, Learning, Project Management, Sacramento, Team Building, Training, Workforce Development

By Ashley Christman, LSS MBB, SSBP, CSM

A version of this blog post first appeared on the Lean Transformation Group’s blog and was repurposed and posted here with permission. The original post can be found here.

In many organizations seeking to deploy Lean, one of the first things they rush to do is deploy visual management boards. Visual management boards are often found in Lean environments, and many Lean consultants extol their virtue, leading to organizations adopting them without enough information on the best practices with the board. They post a white board and fill it with metrics and graphs, performance data and improvement plans, but often fail to deploy them effectively. Soon enough these boards, chalk full of information, become nothing more than background noise on a wall with no real value to the organization. And this becomes a cycle.  As organization leaders come to the realization that it has little value as the boards are, they revamp them without a solid understanding of why they were ineffective in the first place.

So, what constitutes an effective use of visual management boards? Here is a quick overview of the dos and don’ts of visual management boards!

KAI Partners, via the KAIP Academy, is excited to starting bringing Lean Six Sigma training and certification to the Sacramento area soon! Follow @KAIP_Academy on Twitter to stay informed as we announce the dates of these Lean courses!

About the Author: Ashley Christman is a former nurse and Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt with a background in organizational change management and Lean. Her extensive experience in healthcare quality and performance improvement has transformed a number of organizations and led to better outcomes in patient care, reductions in wait times, and more. Her experience includes consulting for the CA Department of Public Health as well as multiple large hospital systems, including Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley Hospital. Her passion for improvement and educating others led her to begin teaching in order to help entrepreneurs, professionals, and leaders create a sustainable culture change by empowering them to be change agents and champions of innovation. You can find her online at @learnlivelean on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

The Benefits of the Certified ScrumMaster® Training Course

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Event Recap, KAIP Academy, Learning, Sacramento, Scrum, Team Building, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development

By Daniel Fast, CSM

I recently had the honor and privilege of attending the Certified ScrumMaster® training at the KAIP Academy. This short, yet informative two-day class allowed me to expand my creative and mindful solution-finding skills.

The class was very different than any of my previous training events. It went beyond traditional lectures and book learning and instead focused on lively, interactive, and passionate Scrum meetings.

I recently joined KAI Partners and at the time did not know some of our staff who participated in the class. I got to meet some of our great staff using the techniques and methods from our Certified Scrum Trainer, Bernie Maloney.

Mr. Maloney demonstrated that the scrum methodology is expressive and personal. This was made clear as I got to know each participant beyond their “work” role. Learning about each person—not as a resource, but as a human who has skills beyond their title—was quickly evident in our discussions.

Naturally, it is easier to talk and participate when everyone has a voice. Knowing each person beyond their work role made one of our training exercises more approachable.

The exercise involved building a city using only LEGOs and our imagination. We started with a collaborative discussion about the initial design phase. What looked like chaos in some ways was a well-organized effort of distributed tasks. This course taught us how to capture our energy and direct it into tangible results. This mindset became second nature when we approached our list of tasks.

One of the great practices and changes in philosophy in the Certified ScrumMaster® training is the “pull vs. push.” Imagine a to-do list of a dozen different tasks, each requiring a different level of effort and time to complete them. The “push” method would have an authority drop tasks into each person’s lap—not very exciting or new. The “pull” method differs as each team member pulls a task, based on their own passion and ability to accomplish the task. The team accomplishes the full vision using their individual creative contributions.

The Certified ScrumMaster® training allows managers and teams to operate as a diverse and creative collaborative/collective—and it’s fun! As a newly appointed Certified ScrumMaster®, I look forward to continuing to add to the KAI Partners family the skills to help our clients and the community achieve success.

 About the Author: Daniel Fast is an Associate Consultant for KAI Partners. He has worked as an IT Consultant for over 18 years. Mr. Fast has managed clients in health care, SaaS companies, lobbying, and law firms. Mr. Fast has also provided direction to non-profits as board member and president. He is comfortable wearing many hats over the year as project manager, software developer, staff developer, and world champion stick fighter.

How we Can Promote Workforce Development in the Sacramento Region

Co-working, Corporate Training, Event Recap, Internet of Things, KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Sacramento, Technology, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development

By Terry Daffin

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Golden Sierra Workforce Tech Forum: Occupations & Skills in an Automated World, hosted by Valley Vision and Golden Sierra Workforce Board.

Valley Vision “…inspires leaders to think big and collaborate on bold, long-term solutions that improve people’s lives and Golden Sierra’s Workforce Board, “…is an industry-led board of directors who identify and solve problems within key economic sectors in the tri-county region (Placer, El Dorado and Alpine).”

As the Project Manager for KAI Partners’ KAIP Academy and the Community Manager for co-working and incubation space The WorkShop – Sacramento, I was especially interested in hearing firsthand what employers are looking for in terms of workforce development for their organization.

There were many great panelists at the forum, including Sean Moss, Senior Estimator and Project Manager for McGuire and Hester; Gordon Rogers, Project Principal of the Owen Group; Annette Smith-Dohring, Workforce Development Manager for Sutter Health; Bernadette Williams, CMI Operations Manager at VSP; and Joseph Taylor, Assistant Professor at CSU Sacramento.

Each panelist was asked to describe what they believe the biggest educational need is for graduating students entering the workforce. Here’s a sampling of what they said:

  • Gap in technical skilled labor—employees are either highly skilled/specialized or they have little technical skills
  • Up-skilling; providing skills training on the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to an existing workforce
  • Critical thinking skills; under-preparedness upon graduation

I left the forum with the question, “What can we do to close these gaps?” As a training provider, it’s clear we need to help industry and education align their efforts so that the workforce can stay updated on new methods, software/programming languages, and other emerging skills.

Here are a few ways to stay on top of digitalization and close the skills gap:

  1. Industry and education leaders should seek out training programs that will prepare students for critical thinking, data and business analytics, problem solving, and soft skills necessary to enter the workforce and immediately become productive.
  2. Students should be encouraged to seek out internships in work-based learning opportunities (especially those that provide educational units for their participation).
  3. Employees should be encouraged to widen their professional development by taking certification courses (especially those that provide professional development units).

There is a lot we can do to close the skills gap and promote workforce development in our region. KAIP Academy is excited to offer training courses and programs for building up a more highly skilled Sacramento.

About the Author: Terry Daffin is an Executive Consultant within KAI Partners. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and has over 25 years of project management experience. As a public sector consultant in the health care industry, Mr. Daffin assisted in the development and implementation of Project Management Offices that include project management, service management, lean agile and traditional product development lifecycles, and governance processes. He has been an innovation advocate and evangelist for 15 years and has implemented innovative processes for projects that he has been engaged on since 2001. Mr. Daffin currently works as the Project Manager of the KAIP Academy, KAI Partners’ training division and is the Community Manager at KAI Partners’ new co-working space, The WorkShop – Sacramento, focused on connecting innovative start-ups and the public sector.

Hey, Sacramento: City Hall Is Calling for Our Help

Co-working, Corporate Training, Event Recap, Government, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Sacramento, Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda, Small Business, Startup Company, The WorkShop, Training, Workforce Development

Photo Credit: Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda

By Stephen Alfano

Recently, when I logged into an online presentation webinar covering the subject of “Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda,” I was expecting a rundown of the events and activities of the last few months.

What I got was just that, along with the details of several programs that begged for more discussion, plus an invitation to lean in, lend a hand, and hold on for the huge changes ahead for the City and the surrounding region. In short, I got the message: City Hall wants my help … and I’m all-in.

Here’s why:

  1. It will drive new business. Although the webinar format didn’t offer much of an opportunity to interact with hosts Maria MacGunigal, Chief Information Officer, City of Sacramento and Louis Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Sacramento, their presentation identified several initiatives where the tech sector will be crucial players and that translates into business opportunities for project management, program delivery, governance, and change management firms … like KAI Partners, Inc.
  2. It will support new infrastructure. For example, the presentation highlighted the Verizon 5G deal announced in November 2017, which will deliver state-of-the-art, high-speed Internet access throughout the Sacramento city limits, including free WiFi at 27 parks and common spaces. That boost in connectivity will help attract and accelerate the growth of start-ups and the supporting business services providers … like The WorkShop – Sacramento.
  3. It will fuel new workforce development. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, innovation is “the introduction of something new.” Frankly speaking, the ideas presented in the webinar have potential to reinvigorate or reinvent current workforce development planning; to shift from fulfilling tax-base or commercial real estate-focused goals to skills-building and economic empowerment programming. That shift will spark needs for more training and coaching and mentoring service providers … like the KAIP Academy.

I could easily list at least a half-dozen more reasons why supporting “Sacramento’s Urban Innovation Agenda” is good for me and my colleagues at KAI Partners. Instead I’ll blog on a regular basis about the progress of City Hall’s agenda and its worthwhile set of goals; measuring and reporting on the impact of the three areas identified above and keeping track of how the “help” (like me) is doing as we lean in on the effort. Wish me and the City of Sacramento luck. Better still give me a shout if you’re looking to lend a hand.

About the Author: Stephen Alfano is an Organizational Change Management Consultant and Communications Expert. He has 30 years of experience leading and managing internal and external marketing initiatives for both private and public-sector clients. His résumé includes providing both new business and business process improvement services to Apple, American Express, AT&T, California Department of Transportation, Chevron, Entergy, Levi Strauss & Co., Louisiana Office of Tourism, Mattel, Microsoft, Novell, SONY, Sutter Health, and Wells Fargo. Stephen currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., spearheading business development and leading the firm’s marketing and communications practice and line of business.

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