Cognitive Skills: The Impact on a Lean-Agile Workplace

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Cognition is defined as a mental action or process of acquiring knowledge through thought, experience, and senses. In a workplace that employs lean-agile concepts, having cognitive skills are important if you strive to make product development and management processes more seamless. Many workplace demands require cognition when solving problems and moving products from ideation to delivery. Communication, thinking, and learning are all key cognitive skills needed when trying to establish a more productive environment. Implementing these skills can lead to bigger returns and faster production times.

What Are Cognitive Skills and Why Are They Important?

Cognitive skills are essential in sharpening the mind and promoting idea exchanges at all levels of a business. Examples of these types of skills include attention skills, memory, logic, reasoning, visual processing, auditory processing and processing skills. As supposed to behavioral qualities, cognition focuses on what influences that behavior internally, factoring in moods, emotions, and thoughts. It deals with the how of one reacts rather than why, and in a workplace, that is immense when trying to understand decision making.

Having someone who displays strong cognitive skills allows for improved productivity; and using technology, tools, and information in a more effective manner. Furthermore, cognition promotes ideas, and people with a high amount of cognition can resolve problems. If you’re that type, it means you’re always thinking on the go, often coming up with ideas, whether in a strategic or spontaneous manner. This allows for greater efficiency in every aspect of the product development stage as your multitasking abilities, and strong attention to detail make communication more positive.

How Are These Skills Implemented?

The necessary knowledge and cognition needed to perform various activities does not exist solely within our mind.  In lean-agile workplaces, cognition and cognitive artifacts help to formulate decision making.  These artifacts take the form of knowledge and cognition that may well be distributed across objects, other individuals and tools in the environment.

Distributed cognition helps lean-agile teams understand tasks better to complete them in an efficient and timely manner. Furthermore, it allows you to be able to scope the uncertainty and manage any delays or doubt with the project and its processes. Reducing time and doubt happens through paying more attention to detail, processing information and using sharp logic.
Having these artifacts, including computers, calendars, and lists, among other things, makes learning easier.

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Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis & evaluation

What Are The Benefits?

Not only does it make your workplace easier to manage, but also with defined roles and considering the lean way of thinking regarding value, it reaps confidence at each level.

According to Bloom’s Classification of Cognitive Skills, there are six categories of cognitive skills: Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. With knowledge, you will recall or remember something without understanding or using it, but it enables you to identify problems and solutions by using memory. Comprehension allows you to understand what has been communicated, which enables a direct approach of how to evaluate parts of the process and relay information. As a result, that creates the desire to apply what you have learned to a situation, understanding how to implement new solutions and speed up the process.

Analysis fits perfectly for lean-agile workplaces as you can break down projects into more understandable tasks, analyzing relationships between parts or recognizing organizational principles. Synthesis allows you to put parts of different ideas together to make a collaborative unit while evaluation judges the value of material or methods as they are applied to a situation. You are determining a project’s worth and whether it makes sense to tweak things or change things entirely. This helps reduce queues, puts everyone involved in the best possible position and removes obstacles, whether it’s material or a case where someone must be removed. Better ideas, greater performance.

Cognition helps your workplace produce finer results through determining what makes you perform at your best and how to  react successfully under stressful situations.

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