9.24.2009

Building up Standard Work Using Job Instruction

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In response to this post back in May, Dan said...

"Hey Bryan: Congratulations on being a dad and glad you're recovering from your hospital "adventure." When you get a chance, could you please elaborate on point #4? I'm curious about what you discuss in regard to standard work and also what you mean by "I also change the methods used in how to achieve standard work." I've studied the section on standard work on the TWI website, but I'm still not sure where you're coming from on this point. Standard work is something my company always struggles with and any help I can get to make the JI-Std. Work connection more clear would be appreciated."

I'd be happy to Dan. First we have to think about what we are seeing in front of us with Job Instruction. We have a four step method, a Job Breakdown Sheet and a Time Table for planning the training and meeting the needs of the business. What we don't understand is that these forms are the result of a lot of planning and many years of practice. To sum up this first point, there is a lot to learn beyond the 10 hr session that we aren't seeing.

So to be clear, I'm still working out the kinks on how this is all working towards achieving standard work. But I'll explain what I've learned so far.

Next, let's understand what is a Job Breakdown Sheet (JBS) and what is Standard Work (SW). First, a JBS is a reminder for the trainer to put over keypoints to a trainee while using the four step method to instruct. If you missed that part, that's o.k. Go to a 10 hr JI session and you will be up to speed! SW is typically known as three components: 1) takt time, 2) work sequence and 3) standard wip. If you know what takt time and standard wip are, great. If you are really using those concepts in your plant, I'd like a tour sometime.

The SW work sequence is what we are interested in here. On a SW combination sheet which is what most people associate as the form Toyota uses for SW, you will see a list of tasks down the left hand side of the sheet. Each one of these tasks could be a potential JBS.

Now, why is this important, you are probably asking? Because the nature of pull systems is such that hiccups in material flow will disrupt things, we have got to be fully committed to minimizing variability. If you are, then you will know that sometimes people don't do things the same way. JI is a good way to minimize that variability, maintain the standard wip and meet takt time.

So, most people will say that JI is the missing link to th Toyota SW model. What they mean is that JI is standard work, but that isn't really true. JI is critical skill that supports SW in that training is used as a countermeasure against variability.

Now, JI trainers do have a point. JI is a great way to get people who do the same job to get on the same page about how to do that job. My modification to the JI program will be that perhaps we bring in a group of mechanics and we have them rebuild a component or a pump. Each one will observe the other and try to write a breakdown sheet. Mind you, this is happening only after the group has gone through the first three JI sessions. This exercise of genba observation usually reveals the following results:

Joe - 5 steps
Randy - 8 steps
Lisa - 6 steps
Chris - 7 steps
Larry - 7 steps
Michel - 5 steps

I don't have to say a thing to convince them that they should "standardize" the task by using Job Instruction. But the different steps isn't really what convinces them, it is the observations that they make while trying to capture keypoints that wakes them up. The reason for this is that keypoints represent the largest percentage of those tribal knowledge elements that everyone claims is "their way" or "I don't do it like that!" When people see others doing the job better or worse than they do, they become very cooperative because they realize that either way, this situation is a problem for them. In short, the experience opens their eyes to problems that affect them personally.

This technique works on just about any group I've used it with. Finance, mechanics, assemblers, injection molding operators, packers, etc. It doesn't really matter. This technique was not detailed in the original manuals, but I find it very useful for tackling several issues as a team:

- excessive quality problems coming from a group
- no training system in place, but new hires are coming
- supporting changes made in a kaizen event

It doesn't work if you just let people fill out the JBS. You must have them go through the sessions in order for them to pick up the skill, the rest kind of takes care of itself as long as you use the standard JI follow-up methods on the progress and check results.

In fact, this is the standard work cycle that many companies are missing today. Finally, JI is a way to close the loop on the standardize/plan-do-check-act cycle. The photo below more or less sums up what the ideal state (at least what many think is the ideal state) might look like:

Job Instruction cycle of Standardized Work

If you click on the image, it might look a little grainy. It is a hi-res image. Use your browser to zoom to the appropriate viewing resolution. I use the hotkeys ctrl++ or ctrl-- to bring web graphics to the right zoom level.

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3 Comments:

At September 28, 2009 at 7:24 PM , Blogger Dan said...

Hey Bryan: Thanks for following up with this topic.
I agree that there is a lot of thought and meaning beyond the materials we can read today. The more I teach others about JI and observe JI in practice, the more I realize how powerful it is. JI goes way beyond just teaching others job skills, and can be the basis for teaching others how to problem solve and improve. My conviction is that it can and should be a supervisor’s primary tool for developing their people. Lean has helped us tremendously, but change is still hard, even after six years. We do try to understand standard work, using takt time to determine how to staff the cells each day. We build our cells to maintain a common work sequence (as best we can with the many customizations and specials we do). We use standard WIP at hand off points between operators who need to flex up and down the line to maintain balanced flow based on the product mix we are running. We can however do a lot better, and effective training, I believe is a large part that is missing.
I think where I’ve fallen down a little implementing JI is in understanding the need to really plan and get management’s visibility when we’re not meeting plan. We’ve done this for production metrics and for important projects, but not for training. We’ve made some recent corrections in this area, and I think we’ll be showing improvement. I’ve also realized the value of follow up by “the boss.” I think I read somewhere in the JI follow up material that it was better to have a supervisor’s boss following up with the progress of planning and training rather than some other manager in charge of training. This is certainly the case. Unless it’s important to the supervisors’ boss, it doesn’t automatically become important to the supervisor, no matter how useful or valuable the JI training might be. Another area that’s a challenge for us is that our supervisors are not our process experts. In implementing JI, I’ve had to teach JI to supervisors, support staff and operators and have them work together to see that breakdowns, training and our certification process are completed. This has had mixed results and we have taken a look at this and made some improvements there as well.
I think the technique you describe, getting people that do a job together to break it down and discuss it, can be valuable for us. I wasn’t clear, is this something you do the as part of the first 10 hr. JI class or as a follow up? The one pushback I know I’ll get will be the time it takes to hold such as session. But for a specific need, I can see how it would be much more effective than 5 whys or brainstorming ideas.
The future state standardize/PDCA cycle I’ve seen a while ago, but haven’t really thought much about how it should look for us. Probably some opportunity is there as well. I know for one thing, we need to continue to understand and reduce variation in our processes so we can document them in the detail of a combination sheet, rather than a simple SW diagram. Perhaps we’re getting to a point where Job Methods would help?
Thank-you for your help and insight in understanding the connection between JI and standard work. Although we may not be a model of (or even really good at, depending on you’re perspective) standard work, you are certainly welcome to visit any time. Using Job Instruction to help supervisors improve themselves and their people has become a priority of mine and a key part of our business strategy. A good set of eyes with an outside perspective is always welcome.
Dan A.

 
At October 10, 2009 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dears All Leaners,

I think that evolutions, best practices, History cases, and certificated value added using and praticing Lean Manufacturing is so clear for everybody. Anyway, Philosophy and actions flow often only into the downstream (Blue collars group), and They live the real value. What is happening with Upstream, our managers, how do they live effects of Lean Actions ? Combine often of savings, but, the value, what thing there is moreover or behind savings for them.
How do managers promote the better blue collar ?
Once managers have gained from downstream value added, How will they continue with Kaizen. I would like to say you that when coworkers understand that managers do not increase confidence or do not knock on blue collars live, we can say that Lean is death.
Implement Lean activities is often used followed big problems caused by managers. They should be change after receiving first savings as result of blue collar's effort.
Thanks

 
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