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LCS Framework: 1 Introduction

Framework Structure

The LCS framework has seven Levels of Lean Competency, grouped into three categories:

Key Points about the Framework

  • Implicit in the framework design is that competency is accumulative for levels 1 and 2 knowledge, so a learner would be expected to have reached Level 1a before moving on to Level 1b and so on.
  • Competency has knowing and practicing dimensions, so assessments in accredited course have to cover both (apart fro Level 1a)
  • The importance of the practical dimension as part of competency increases as the levels progress.
  • Each level has a level descriptor which states the knowledge and practical capability an individual should possess, so a course aligned to a level should therefore closely reference its descriptor, with its learning and practical outcomes clearly aligned.
  • The descriptors are Outcome based, so are not prescriptive and the role of training is to deliver a knowledge and practical outcome capability for learners.
  • The divide between levels is not strict and some topics and tools could fit into more than one level.
  • The framework references the LCS accreditation philosophy, which is informed by an eclectic and holistic interpretation of lean thinking (see below)

Accreditation Philosophy

“The Accreditation Disruptor”

The LCS approach differs significantly from traditional accreditation approaches in several ways.

Its interpretation and definition of Lean Thinking, based on that developed and refined at the Lean Enterprise Research Centre, is core to this difference.

  • It has an open source perspective to lean, which characterises it as dynamic and constantly evolving, driven by the market and practitioners. There is no single ‘book of knowledge’ that defines lean thinking, but a broad, ever changing body of knowledge.
  • There are some generic, high level principles underlying lean thinking, but many different methods, tools, techniques and models available to be used, all of which can align to these core principles.
  • Organisations should use a contingent approach to lean implementation: in other words, the method developed will depend on their specific context and the circumstances they face. This means there is no right or wrong way to design a system or deliver training.
An outcomes based approach

The LCS accreditation model is outcomes based, which means the job of the training programme is to deliver a specific capability for an individual. The LCS is non-prescriptive and does not specify how the outcome should be achieved, nor the specific syllabus to be used. This also means that the LCS devolves responsibility for defining quality to the accredited organisation and empowers it to take responsibility for managing it and continually improving.

Flexible & Adaptable Model

The LCS offers a flexible and adaptable model that can be applied in all types of organisations, regardless of sector or scale. Accreditation does not require 100% alignment of courses with the topics in a given level, as it aims to ensure that the accredited organisation's courses remain highly relevant to its needs.

It also accommodates the Learning Organisation – one that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself.

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The LCS is a licenced service of Cardiff University