Job Instruction - Major Change to Session I

In my new role, I surveyed my team and asked them to independently list the top five problems in the organization that they could have influence over. When we met together to share our opinions and thoughts about the survey, interestingly, the top problem was Training, with Communication not too far behind.

This prompted me to run a quick JI Appreciation Session, to test the waters with the group. The response was that JI could work well in our organization so we decided to give it a try.

I scheduled six JI sessions of with six participants each. Team Leads were encouraged to sign up and the rest of the company was invited to voluntarily enter the program. The sign up sheet was full in two days.

One of the things Mark Warren discovered in the New Zealand program was the fact that the Training Time Table was moved into Session I, from Session III. I had tried this before, but found this change wanting, not fully understanding the change. The thinking was that supervisors should plan for training first, and not jump right into job breakdown sheets - a big temptation for many. But simply presenting the TTT as it is just didn't have the intended effect. People really struggled with the TTT. After some discussion with Mark and additional research into the New Zealand coaching guides, we made a small change.

I tried this change out today in my first of the six sessions, and I'm really excited about the results. The order of the Session is standard until the end:

4 Objectives
Five Needs
Who Needs Training
Problems in the Workplace
Job Instruction Definition
Telling Demonstration
Showing Demonstration
4 Step Demonstration
Establish 4 Steps
Present Time Table
Tree Example

Trainers familiar with the JI program will not recognize the Tree Example.  Here is what this is and how it worked:

I presented the TTT just like in the JI manual, except not with the Bill Smith example, but with a fictional TTT that continues with the 4 Step demonstration in my electrical shop. This seemed to help the participants make an easy transition from the knot tying story to the nuts and bolts of how the Trainer prepared for training. Once the participants grasped the TTT, we moved onto the Tree Diagram.

The Tree Diagram serves several purposes:

1) Not all participants are supervisors, so not all are responsible for planning for training,
2) TTT are used to spot problems by the supervisor and to plan to prevent those problems through training,
3) The Tree Diagram serves the same purpose as TTT but in a form that anybody can use to spot problems in their work:

A participant was asked what his job was. He replied that it was Manufacturing Engineering Technician. I then used a tree diagram (i.e. like an org chart) to drill down to the next layer of work units. He listed three basic units: utility planning, facility layout management and fixture design and validation. Since these are still large units of work, we drilled down further - after I asked him which unit is the source of most of his problems. Once he identified utility planning, we broke that piece down further: electrical, air and developing specifications. I asked him which one of those was most problematic. Once he had indicated the task that has the most problems, I congratulated him on picking his practice job!

Using this method, we successfully gave ALL participants a method for learning to look at their work a different way - whether they are responsible for training or not. In addition, ALL participants could see that they now have a method that they can practice on a real problem that will make their work, and others, easier to manage and with improved communication.

As I complete the sessions over the next few weeks, be sure to check in and see what else becomes of this change. What do you think of this change? Does it sound like it could make a difference in your approach to training and communication?

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