TWI CardHacks - Break down the Job

This week we dig into the next Get Ready point: Break Down the Job. Writing a job breakdown sheet (JBS) may seem simple and it is, after a few tries you get  better with pratice. Last week we posted CardHacks for creating timetables. Timetables, when done correctly, list the Job Breakdown Sheets along the top of the form. Once you see the workflow on the timetable it is time to get to work.

A few tips:

Stop thinking admin. Don't go into this thinking that the purpose is to replace your work instruction documents. Writing a document, or replacing one, is not the goal of the organization. The end result is that you dilute the effectiveness and purpose of Job Breakdown Sheets,

Don't write your JBS from behind a desk, go the genba with the person that knows the job better than anybody else. Better yet, write it with a team and compare notes,

Keep it simple. Important steps are best when they are verbs and nouns, or action+object. Don't get wordy, you already have work instructions.

Be open and ready to deal with people. If you have strong interpersonal skills, perhaps you are o.k. If not, it might help to familiarize yourself with the Job Relations skill. When you write Job Breakdown Sheets, you are likely going to find safety and quality problems that involve people. Writing a JBS, a ten minute step, is a small discovery phase in your lifetime lean journey. Discovery leads to commitment to improve. Be ready to take action!
Later this week, we will post some additional materials that support this important skill.

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JI Timetable CardHacks - Form Uploads

Just uploaded three file formats of the Job Instruction timetable: MSWord, MSExcel and Google Sheet formats.

One more bonus: Timetable Coaching Guide for Supervisors. This was developed for staff people to coach trainers through development of timetables. Before you jump into Job Breakdown Sheets, make sure you plan out your approach with a timetable first!


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TWI CardHacks - Job Instruction Get Ready Points - Timetables

The link takes you to a new user generated content section on TWI Service.com. I'm very excited and thankful to have TWI experts from all parts of the world contributing to the ongoing development of the program. Contributions have come through the yahoo and linkedin groups and will be posted in these CardHacks, sort of like LifeHacks for TWI and Lean. This week, we start with a CardHack on the Job Instruction skills around Training Preparation and some insight behind the importance and key points in building Timetables.

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Job Breakdown Sheets vs. Work Instructions Part III

See Part I of this blog post series here and Part II here...

A common question I get at the TWI Blog is if Job Breakdown Sheets can replace Work Instructions in an audit.

Caveat: I can only speak to ISO 9001:2008 audit standards, not TS or AS standards. However, I can't imagine how the following reasoning would not apply there as well.

Essentially, the ISO standard is still one where you are obligated to "do what you say and say what you do." There is nothing in the standard in which format or content is pre-determined or mandated. Your documents are simply subject to other elements of the standard such as Control of Documents and Control of Records.

It is interesting to me when people get wrapped around the axle with this question. The problem has nothing to do with the standard and is born from the anxiety that comes with the notion that your current documentation probably stinks, is burdensome and avoided by the masses.

First of all, I find that a Job Breakdown Sheet is far easier to audit and people are more likely to be following the important steps, key points and elaborate on reasons why then they are with a long winded, convoluted work instruction. Plus, despite an organization's best effort to update every document two weeks prior to an audit, the work instructions are usually not 100% accurate. That is not to say that a JBS is ALWAYS accurate. In both cases, the problem of accuracy, completeness and timeliness is a people problem that is management's to solve. One other thing, you may need multiple JBS to cover a twenty-eight page work instruction. That's o.k. to do. Don't try to squeeze twenty-eight pages into seven steps. Also, don't create twenty-eight pages into forty-seven steps on an eleven page JBS. That's what we like to call, "reformatting".

Because of this transition anxiety, I used to think that having both documents is o.k., since most organizations are usually in a state of partial implementation when it comes to adopting JBS and JI. Unfortunately, with this approach, inertia can set in and stalling will occur all too often. Nowadays, I'm inclined to say that all new "how-to's" are done on a JBS and work instructions are to be replaced by the supervisors and experts of their respective processes - as soon as time allows.

The reasons for this are pretty straightforward and it will help you and your teams be successful on both audits and continuous improvement efforts: ownership and probabilities.

Teams that own their documentation are far more likely to use them as roadmaps, training aids, guiding lights, problem solving aids, etc., then if they do not own the documents. And because work instructions are normally begotten from the nether regions of an office - they stand little chance of being utilized in any useful manner. Usually, work instructions find themselves basking in the glory of sunlight only days ahead of the audit.

Job Breakdown Sheets, on the other hand, tend to be posted in an area, are dragged out during genba observations, easily used during refresh training on repeat orders, etc. And since they tend to more accurately represent the actual work done on a product or service, can be used in an audit.

The matter really comes down to one of practical use and the probability of said use. Work instructions, due to their often low accuracy, unwieldy nature, foreign terminology and origin, tend to have a low probability of creating confidence in users, supervisors and auditors.

Job Breakdown Sheets in the hands of the expert who knows the work better than anybody else - and under the guidance of a coach, then to have a higher probability of being accurate, timely, simple in nature (i.e., easy to use) and due to the local ownership - can be front and center in how work is done.

My stance has changed: get rid of your work instructions! (but make sure you have JBS in place first!)

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TWI - New Zealand Program Evolution & Toyota Discoveries

Digging a little deeper in the first sections of the New Zealand Appreciation, Operating and Follow-Up programs the past days...there are some interesting discoveries to discuss.

A little background may be in order: as stated in previous posts, the New Zealand TWI group honed their skills over 30 years - far longer than the TWI Institutes of World War II. They also had some pretty good exposure, er, influence over a heavy Lean hitter. Mark reported back to me that the New Zealand group, later called ITS, or Industrial Training Service, contracted with Toyota NZ operations to deliver TWI programs. This occurred over some 45 sessions during the early to mid 1980s. More roots to dig into! Here is an article link about the Toyota NZ TWI installation.

I digress. The point is, ITS had lots of experience, arguably far more experience than the WWII TWI team, especially when looking at their program development over the years. Here are a few things that were codified in their JI program:

First, Job Instruction training improves communication. My experience is that the JI skill is an excellent way of clearly communicating with people. What is interesting to me is that ITS states that their JI program aims to improve communication and training. This is the first time I’ve seen anyone claim that the aim of JI is to improve communication, especially over the training objective. Most trainers in the U.S. will claim better communication is an output, or result of training - not the primary aim. Perhaps the ITS team did not mean it that way, but judging from the 240 pages of materials in this book, I think they may have discovered something and shifted the focus on the JI program:

JI Skills Aims
Form #103/1, from New Zealand ITS, TWI Appreciation, Organizing and Follow Up, ed. Mark Warren

This makes me wonder, why do I often hear from others that communication is a problem in companies? (data) I thought we had this one figured out? Obviously, not. So, we need to relearn how to communicate. There are many ways, TWI JI skills being one way. Are there patterns in the art of communication that we are missing that, if found and used, could make communication better? Is communication an art? Have we forgotten about the science behind communication, or are we all better served to leave the talking to those born with the gift? Would your team benefit if individuals could learn how to communicate better? Do you have any ideas about how JI skills could improve communication? What is your experience?

The second discovery is how ITS “sold” TWI programs to organizations. They called it “The “Problem Approach”. I think almost all companies today try to sell something to customers that they think they need. You don’t sell a car to somebody, you sell status. Or reliability. Or style. Or all of the above, but you aren’t selling them just a car. In the case of ITS, they used “The Problem Approach” to sell management on the proven results obtained by people using TWI skills. The ITS group really embraced the model setup during the war, which was never really codified as the war ended. ITS seems to have figured out that is how to get around some of the objections to installing what could be perceived as yet another training program.

The Problem Approach
Form #301 from New Zealand ITS, TWI Appreciation, Organizing and Follow Up, ed. Mark Warren.
What results have you realized using TWI skills? Do you feel they could be used to sell the continuing use of the program, or the spread of the program to other parts of the organization? What best practices could you share that help demonstrate benefits of TWI skills that go beyond training? Have you found that people communicate, cooperate and collaborate better when taking a different approach than what we have learned about TWI already?

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TWI-Train-the-Trainer, New Zealand Style

My friend and fellow TWI geek, Mark Warren, has made available the full versions of the Organizing and Coaching guides from the New Zealand TWI group. A special thanks to Mark from all TWI Blog readers for sharing excerpts in the coming weeks...if you would like to purchase a printed copy of the NZ materials, go to this link and support Mark in his dedicated research efforts to uncovering lean lessons already learned - making today’s job easier for all of us.

It is important to note that the materials I’ll be posting on the TWI Blog represent 30 years of practical use in New Zealand industry and professional sectors. The New Zealand Industrial Training Services group developed a complete TWI solution for New Zealand companies over a 30 year period of ongoing continual development. One of the first projects for the New Zealand TWI Service was to establish a research group to validate and improve the TWI programs to improve the outcomes for their enterprises. In 1947 New Zealand had only 6 companies with more than 500 employees. The best examples of TWI use in the USA and England were with the larger companies. To state the obvious, the materials I’ll be posting over the following weeks and months are how-to’s for small business organizational excellence.

First up...a bit of a shocker...

How long does it take in the U.S. for one to become a Master Trainer in Job Instruction? If you read through the U.S. archive materials, the time commitment evolved from around 40 hrs to upwards of 80 hrs. If you include the attendance and observation as a participant in JI 10 hr sessions, one could argue that a Master Trainer needs to commit 80-160 hours. That’s a big commitment!

Or is it? Check out this NZ Timetable adaptation for staff training in the TWI programs:

Yup...two years!

Here are the questions that go through my mind when I read this timetable: is U.S. TWI training this intensive? Should it be? What are the trade-offs? What are the benefits? Take a close look at the information, why is this important? What would you change about your current train-the-trainer program in this light?


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