I like the Job Breakdown Sheet because…

As a trainer, it serves as a reminder for the key points to a job. I don’t forget to train people in things that are tricky, safe or build quality into the job. As long as I use it my trainees are able to do jobs safely, correctly and conscientiously. As I follow-up with people, I can pick up and correct errors or bad habits that have crept into the work. I also like the JBS when I use it with the 4-step method. One doesn’t really work without the other, and if used together, people have fewer questions or problems with trivial things and more questions about deeper subjects. In this way, I can keep the workplace more organized, training is faster, we meet our work-cell objectives more often and people are generally more satisfied with the job.

As a supervisor, I can use the JBS to follow-up with people. I can ask questions about the job to test their knowledge and understanding of our products and processes. I can see and hear what problems are occurring with equipment, materials, tools or people. These follow-up sessions in the gemba give me a daily opportunity to tackle these problems. But since there are so many to tackle on my own, I often coach people into helping solve many of these little problems. After all, they are most familiar with the job, right? Because the JBS is really theirs, I like giving them that ownership and opportunity to contribute to making the workplace better.

As a facilitator, I can get people together and have them work out one best way for the job. They can break down each of their methods and find the common best practices, waste, safety issues, bad habits and what is really needed to add value to the job. A big surprise benefit is that they now have a common vehicle for communication and improvement. The supervisors and managers like this about JI the most. The see it as something much more than training, more like a conduit to problem solving that starts with good training. It isn’t about who has the better method or personal preference anymore, it is about what is the best method and are we working together towards that common goal.

As an engineer, I can see what is really needed for the job, and build lean principles into my designs, layouts and equipment so that we create a waste-free workplace. I also like it when a team of operators, mechanics and technicians get together and invite engineering to a Job Breakdown Session. This gives me the opportunity to ensure that design intent and quality key points that may not be obvious are built into the JBS. This really helps everyone get on the same page and understand the process better.

As a manager, it helps me assess how our problem solving culture is progressing. By using the JBS as a reference during my genba walks, I can see how things really are. The simple act of checking a JBS against what the person is actually doing can reveal a lot about our culture. I can see gaps more easily this way and can address them in a direct and tangible manner. In this way, I can talk with my supervisors about problems and solutions in a factual manner. Because the quality, production, safety and cost key points are built into our JBS, I feel that people better understand how their daily work is tied to the company’s objectives. To things come up as gaps when I talk to our genba people, training and communication. Since we have encouraged the use of JI and the simple JBS, people have said that communication is improving and training has become a way to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

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At August 21, 2009 at 10:06 AM , Anonymous Sean Jordan said...

I had an observation this week that gave me another perspective about why I like the JBS and JI...Some employees were using their JBS to train a new employee this week. The situation was far from perfect: The training was spur of the moment; the trainers were not able to prepare, were very rusty and struggled to perform proper JI technique; there was a language barrier; and the work load was higher than normal for all team members.

Despite all of this, the trainer and trainee still were able to follow standard work. The work place has always been relatively organized (aka 5S), so preparing the workplace was not an issue. And the trainer remembered to provide follow up and support.

So even with a less than optimal execution of JI, the JBS and a well organized area still performed better than the previous training methods in the area. Perhaps a bad day of JI is better than a good day of 'follow joe' ?

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