Gemba Academy Training Review

Gemba Academy Review

How do you really know which online training course is best for you and your organization? There is an abundant amount of literature, DVDs and websites out there that claim to be the “best” way to introduce or keep you on the path to continuous improvement, but how to you really know which one is best for you? I have recently heard a lot of good things about Gemba Academy and their online training program for Lean and Six Sigma. Gemba Academy offers a free three day trial period into their school, so I decided to see for myself what they were all about.

Designed With Lean In Mind

My first impression of Gemba Academy after opening up their homepage was how clean and professional it looked compared to other sites I had been on. It’s hard for me to take a training site serious, especially one that promotes Lean and Six Sigma, that are cluttered and hard to navigate. Right away, I got the feeling this site was going to be a breeze to navigate through and find what I needed efficiently. First impression–very impressed!

Gemba Academy Screen ShotAfter taking a quick tour through the site, I was able to easily navigate back to the home page and sign up for a free preview account. It was one of the easiest “free trials,” I’ve ever signed up for. They required minimal information, there was no having to remind myself later to cancel and best of all, no credit card number was required. I immediately jumped into the training videos and was surprised at the amount of content I had access to under the free preview.

The content drew me in right away. After scrolling through the list of videos, I was pleasantly surprised with the length of each video. The majority of the videos are less than ten minutes, allowing you to soak in more content in less time–efficient if you ask me! There’s not a lot of flare and overwhelming graphics, just good information in a nice tight package. Did I mention they’re all in high definition?

Short Videos=Less Waste

Gemba Academy is broken into two sections depending on your focus (or you can do both), School of Lean and School of Six Sigma. Each one is broken into categories that are then broken down into specific categories. I liked the fact that each category begins with an overview video to introduce the subject matter. This allows you to get your feet wet before diving into the specifics, which again let me point out are short, efficient and to the point!

I really can’t stress enough how important that is. Long lectures and drawn out how-to videos have been proven time and time again to be ineffective learning tools. Short, to the point visual learning tools are much more effective for individuals attempting to learn a new subject, all the way up to the expert who wants to continue with their education.

More Than Just Training Videos

Gemba Academy Screen Shot of QuizWithin each school’s sites are access to plenty of other videos from established experts in their respected fields of Lean and Six Sigma. The ability to have expert opinions like the original Lean Guru himself, Mr. Masaaki Imai, Mark Graban, Mike Wroblewski and Mark Hamel to name a few, is a big bonus and a nice break from the training modules. In the School of Lean there’s even some older footage they received from the Kaizen Institute (also a partner of Gemba Academy) that might seem a little dated at first, but really adds some nice timeless content to their library. There is also a nice mix of interviews in the content with experts from various companies, including the originator, Toyota.

There’s even a good assortment of quizzes attached to specific topics that allow you to go back and gauge what you’ve learned along the way. The quizzes are short, but in depth enough to keep you focused and inline with the main points the video(s) were trying to make. Online quizzes can be sometimes difficult to navigate and get through. I did not find this to be the case with the Gemba Academy quiz format. They were nicely laid out and even provided be with a score at the end to see how well I did.

Bang For Your Buck

Gemba Academy has a few different packages to choose from. They have specific rates for individuals and another rate for organizations. A big benefit to the organization package is that it’s site based. Meaning, when an organization purchases a package the entire organization has full access to their subscription from anywhere, to anyone within your sites location, at any time. If you are a multi-site location they do offer discounted package rates that would give you the same access across your entire enterprise.

Each membership offers you full access to the Gemba Academy library in your package on any computer, tablet and smartphone with Internet access. However, if you prefer DVDs, they have discounted rates for those as well.

All Products Include:

  • Purchase additional current and future DVDs at discounted pricing
  • Quizzes and support files
  • HD quality (1080p) videos
  • Subtitles in multiple languages
  • Mobile device access -iOs4+, Android
  • Reliable access via worldwide server network
  • Virtual support and coaching (email/phone)
  • Learning pathway plans

From the ground up, Gemba Academy is out to build and improve on a better Lean and Six Sigma world. There is not a lot of frills and extras that slow the learning process down, just good content built with the same concepts they preach. In fact, the entire process is designed with Lean in mind, from how they’ve built their site, how they approach the training modules, down to the actual production of the videos.

There is no limitation to the content, from beginners to experts, there is something to help you in the continuous improvement process and it’s not all about the manufacturing industry either. Many of their clients come from a variety of fields and are seeing major benefits, as seen on their testimonials page.

Don’t just take my word for it, the free trial is good for three days. Which is plenty of time to get you through the site and decide for yourself if it’s something that can benefit you or your organization.

The mission of Gemba Academy LLC is to provide high quality online video training for individuals and groups. By leveraging leading edge technologies such as high definition (HD) video delivered via a global network of servers on high bandwidth connections, we can deliver high quality training, on demand, anywhere in the world.

-Gemba Academy

Additional Resources