4.25.2013

Hidden Benefits of Job Instruction - Part 2

There are several basic things you do when practicing the skill of instruction:

1) Creating Timetables
2) Writing Job Breakdown Sheets
3) Readying the workplace with correct tools, materials, equipment, etc.
4) Organizing the workplace as it will be used,
5) Training using the 4 step method
6) Following up with people and adjusting plans

In Part II of Hidden Benefits, we ask the question: what is the primary purpose of Writing Job Breakdown Sheets? The primary reason is to organize our thoughts around training. Consider that Job Breakdown Sheets are for the trainer. Job Breakdown Sheets (or JBS) illustrate this in a simple way:


  • The materials, tools and information needed to do the job,
  • Important Steps, or, the orderly sequence of the job, 
  • Keypoints of each Important Steps, or, the quality, safety and special knowledge about the step,
  • Reasons for the Keypoints, or, the reason and logic behind why we do things a certain way,

But there are more benefits than organizing your thoughts. When used with a bias towards continuous improvement, questions asked when writing a Job Breakdown Sheets can lead us to habits and behaviors that are sometimes lacking in Lean implementations.

First Benefit to using JBS: What do you see?

JBS are very different than Work Instructions (or WI). See my post on JBS vs. WI for more details. For today, we will focus on one of the key differences: writing a good JBS forces you to go to the shop floor and observe the actual job. This sharpens your observation, questioning and coaching skills. In a past life, I wrote WI's behind an engineer's desk. I quickly discovered that going to the source and pulling information from the production system created a better WI. But even then, the effectiveness of the WI was diluted because of the length and depth of unnecessary details, flowery language and technical jargon. A JBS is concise, short and represents the actual work on the floor. When I learned about Job Instruction and started writing JBS, this alone enhanced my observation, questioning and coaching skills - without those objectives even being my intent...which leads me to the next hidden benefit:

Second Benefit to using JBS: Discovery and Connectivity Support the Business Strategy

A JBS can concisely and accurately represent safety, quality and productivity keypoints - or HOW things are done. In recent years, I've added a small check box column along the right side of the Reasons for the Keypoints:

= Quality
$ = Cost
+ = Safety
= Productivity

In this way, we can concretely illustrate how a keypoint contributes to (Q)uality, (C)ost, (S)afety, (P)roductivity. In lean transformations that focus on tool use, we struggle with linking the activities of people with meeting customer and company objectives related to QCSP. As a result, we create new tools such as Hoshin plans, X-chart Strategic Project Deployment, Leader Standard Work, etc. These management tools are designed to force lean tool use in the workplace. Unfortunately, the success rate of this push style lean transformation is quite low, and the degrees of separation between reconciling the improvement efforts of individuals and customer related goals and objectives is many.

When two people can see how work is directly connected to QCSP objectives we immediately clear the fog around what we are doing and what we should be working on. The pathways to improvement immediately shorten and degrees of separation to success are reduced to one.

I've sat through many, many hours of Hoshin planning realizing that the primary difficulty in doing so is trying to connect the dots between what people do to get results and what the expected results are to be. A JBS helps us make the connection within minutes: by directly observing the work, we are able to see how our work affects business objectives.

Third Benefit to writing JBS: Demonstrate a commitment to development of your people.

When you stop telling people to improve and starting working together with them, people see that there is a plan for them. JBS' are a great approach to deliberately practice working together. When they see that you are thinking about them and taking action, what do you suppose is going through their mind? For some they may feel uneasy. For others, they may be excited. A few may mutter, "It's about time!" If you follow through on your plan, in the long run the team will realize that we are in this together and for each other.

Summary: If you write JBS with others, you are modeling one of the high quality leadership behavior traits: mentoring and teaching. And doing this with others increases each person's emotional intelligence, working with others, resolving differences, testing assumptions, organizing actions, reflecting on results. We need tools to help us do what is required of us for the benefit of our team. A JBS is another deliberate method we can use to maximize the potential of our people.

In Part 3 of Hidden Benefits, we'll stress the importance of readying the workplace for instruction.

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1 Comments:

At August 22, 2016 at 2:03 AM , Blogger Naviya Nair said...

I have read your blog its very attractive and impressive. I like it your blog.
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