Job Instruction, Art or Science?

Recently I watched an interview about the Art vs. Science of writing Job Breakdown sheets. I am highly suspect of the Art vs. Science pitch when it comes to leadership consulting. Why? Because even the greatest artists practiced and perfected their brushstrokes before they painted their masterpiece. This tells me that with practice, perseverance and opportunity - anyone can learn.

What I learned from this interview is that writing Job Breakdown sheets is not necessarily a technically precise exercise, but is about combining words and concepts rearranging them into sequences that work for the learner, so that it is easy for the learner to capture and remember all of the important steps and key points of the job. That it doesn't really matter if it is a key point or an important step, but what is important is that we are figuring out a way to make the job digestible for the learner.

While this sounds nice, I couldn't disagree more.

It's funny, pretty much every interaction I've had with people on the shop floor evolves into a discussion around things like sequence of work, subtleties of the job, the nuances and history of the work which that person takes pride in. If I were to suggest that those subtleties are not subtle, or the sequence is out of order, or their history is fiction, I can guarantee a somewhat visceral reaction. After all, they have the experience of the value-add work, whereas I do not. All I can do is help them learn new skills, show them where we need to go and encourage them to make their value-add better.

I was recently trained by somebody on how to assemble a component of a product we make. After watching the person do the job, I tried it myself. When I started the job out of sequence, the person immediately corrected me, "Don't forget to grease your part first!" Clearly, this person wanted me to remember something important before I moved on. In this case, I can probably say that the Important Step is, "Grease Part".

Now let's use our experts example: what would happen if I arbitrarily decided to put the greasing step as a keypoint, and I put it as 3rd on the list because I think it may be easier for the person to remember the 3rd keypoint because there is a #3 on the grease tube? If I write that as a key point, what is the Important Step?
Is it the same? I probably don't need to explain to you how this example alone invalidates the argument that keypoints and important steps are interchangeable.

But that may not be enough...now lets go one step further: how would I know that they can't remember it as the first step? I must have had the experience of observing the person fumble through the steps in order to realize this problem and then subsequently rearrange the steps in order to move the 1st to the 3rd, or was it the 2nd? What is the likelihood that this unpreparedness would undermine the training effectiveness, if effective at all?

Oh, you test the breakdown sheet first. O.k., let's say it was tested first, but we can go deeper with the flaws of this approach. Now, three weeks later, a different trainer must train a new person using the same breakdown sheet with the 1st keypoint located in the 3rd, or may be the keypoint is now the Important Step. What is the likelihood that they will be confused when they see me grease the parts on the 1st step and then skip over it on the 3rd? What is the likelihood that I will even use the breakdown sheet since it really isn't accurate in the first place?

And further still...what happens when the two trainees talk to each other? How well will they communicate about this job? What problems can you imagine, in the context of your workplace? Now imagine how many key points you may have in your workplace? Is it 100? 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? More? How many people work with these keypoints? It doesn't take much math effort to explain how this turns into a nightmare probability problem  - which is the primary purpose for putting standards in place to begin with.

I was somewhat surprised to see Important Steps and Key Points treated this way. It is my contention that this muddled thinking is the primary reason why people have difficulty in training to begin with and subsequently, problem solving at higher levels.

I think what he was trying to say is that you want to give people the right amount of information, in the right sequence so that they remember the job easily. That I can agree with.

So, let me kindly remind everybody here about the anatomy of a Job Breakdown Sheet:

WHAT - Important Steps - Advance the work - this is the sequence of the steps. The sequence of work can be rearranged for kaizen, but not for training, that would sort of defeat the purpose of standard work.

HOW - Key points - things that could hurt a person, make or break the job, or make the work easier, a trick, or a knack for something. I suppose you could make a key point an important step, but an important step it does not make. Example: Safety - you can do any job in an unsafe manner, and still advance the work. Key points are HOW you advance the work.

WHY - Reasons for the key points. Don't you want to know why we do things this way? Don't you want to communicate these things to people so they do not take shortcuts? You may better understand how your work relates to individual progress, team goals and business growth objectives if you include this info on your breakdown sheet.

When it comes to art vs. science, Job Breakdown Sheets are mostly science and little art. Yes, you need to know how to approach people. Yes, you need to know how to work with people. These are artful skills needed in dealing with people, but those skills alone will not make you successful at building a continuous improvement culture and they are not to be confused with technical skills.

Labels: , , ,


At February 14, 2017 at 5:50 AM , Blogger ellie kanika said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At April 19, 2018 at 3:02 AM , Blogger ciitnoida said...

CIITN is the Best Php training institute in Noida and delhi Ncr. You will get Live Project Training on PHP by our PHP expert who have 5+ year industrial experience.Focus on practical and live project training. In our PHP training, we you will learn core PHP, advance PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Cake PHP and Wordpress.CIITN provides 100% job assistance in PHP training. CIITN is well known PHP coaching center because our 100% PHP students are placed now.

Ciitnoida provides Core and java training institute in noida. We have a team of experienced Java professionals who help our students learn Java with the help of Live Base Projects. The object-oriented, class-based build of Java has made it one of most popular programming languages and the demand of professionals with certification in Advance Java training is at an all-time high not just in India but foreign countries too.

By helping our students understand the fundamentals and Advance concepts of Java, we prepare them for a successful programming career. With over 13 years of sound experience, we have successfully trained hundreds of students in Noida and have been able to turn ourselves into an institute for best Java training in Noida.

java training institute in noida
php training in noida
linux training in noida
linux institute in noida
java course in noida

At December 6, 2018 at 11:09 PM , Blogger uma said...

nice post and its also very important one

digital marketing courses in Bangalore With placement

digital marketing training in Bangalore

seo training in Bangalore

At December 6, 2018 at 11:16 PM , Blogger chandana said...

Thanks for sharing the information. It is very useful .

best android training center in Marathahalli

best android development institute in Marathahalli

android training institutes in Marathahalli

ios training in Marathahalli

android training in Marathahalli

mobile app development training in Marathahalli

At December 20, 2019 at 6:48 AM , Blogger TNK Design Desk said...

Nice blog! i'm also working with a Digital marketing company in gurgaon
website designing in gurgaon
best website design services in gurgaon
web company in delhi
web desiging company
web design & development banner
web design & development company
web design & development services
web design agency delhi
web design agency in delhi
web design and development services
web design companies in delhi
web design company delhi
web design company in delhi
web design company in gurgaon
web design company in noida
web design company list
web design company services
web design company website
web design delhi
web design development company
web design development services
web design in delhi
web design service
web design services company
web design services in delhi
web designer company
web designer delhi
web designer in delhi
web designers delhi
web designers in delhi
web designing & development
web designing advertisement
web designing and development
web designing and development company
web designing and development services
web designing companies in delhi
web designing company delhi
web designing company in delhi
web designing company in gurgaon
web designing company in new delhi

At February 7, 2020 at 12:10 AM , Anonymous piping design course in hyderabad said...

Thanks for sharing information
"Sanjary Academy provides excellent training for Piping design course. Best Piping Design Training Institute in Hyderabad,
Telangana. We have offer professional Engineering Course like Piping Design Course,QA / QC Course,document Controller
course,pressure Vessel Design Course, Welding Inspector Course, Quality Management Course, #Safety officer course."
Piping Design Course
Piping Design Course in India­
Piping Design Course in Hyderabad
Welding Inspector Course
Quality Management Course
Quality Management Course in india
Safety officer course

At February 21, 2020 at 3:43 AM , Blogger Jones Brianna said...

Awesome article, it was exceptionally helpful! I simply began in this and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Cheers, keep doing awesome
Casino Game Development

At March 9, 2021 at 12:54 AM , Anonymous Classes of professional said...

What a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information I can't wait to dig deep and start utilizing the resources you have given me. your exuberance is refreshing

you've outdone yourself this time

This is probably the best, most concise step-by-step guide I've ever seen on how to build a successful blog. i am also writing blog about the kindly review it online english speaking classes for kids.

At December 16, 2021 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I want to read more of your good articles. Well done.

At December 22, 2021 at 6:12 AM , Blogger Online Courses with Certificates said...

Thanks for sharing this blog. This is really amazing information.

Learntoupgade Provide Industry training in Bioscience Industry. Get more about and just connect with us and get more information.

Wonderful blog & blogs post. Keep Blogging!

At January 26, 2022 at 3:01 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Good article good job thanks
เว็บสล็อตแตกง่าย 2022

At March 5, 2022 at 8:39 AM , Anonymous ragro.com/파워볼 said...

The most popular betting site in Korea is Private Toto. Private Toto, which occupies most of the toto sites market, attracts the attention of Sports Toto users by offering a variety of live betting services. To bet online please use Toto's private website which has been verified as a safe playground. 토토사이트 파워볼사이트 추천 안전놀이터

At March 5, 2022 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous totosite.totostrong.com said...

The most popular betting site in Korea is Private Toto. Private Toto, which occupies the largest share of the Toto site market, is attracting the attention of Toto sports users by providing various live betting services. Use Toto's private site, which has been identified as a safe playing field, to place bets online. 토토사이트 토토사이트 안전놀이터

At April 30, 2022 at 9:35 AM , Blogger patty1617 said...

wow that sound great I think it very wonderful .blog is very great and useful.

At May 26, 2022 at 6:35 AM , Blogger usop said...

thx , this is great news to follow.


At June 3, 2022 at 6:41 AM , Anonymous Government Jobs in Uttar Pradesh said...

Excellent Article!!! I like the helpful information you provide in your article.

vbspu ba 2nd year result name wise

At August 2, 2022 at 5:52 AM , Anonymous mgsu ba 2nd year result subject wise said...

Excellent Article!!! I like the helpful information you provide in your article.

At August 23, 2022 at 1:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very useful. I will apply it to myself.

At August 24, 2022 at 3:09 PM , Blogger arisa said...

Thank you for such a good thing.

At August 24, 2022 at 3:16 PM , Blogger jim said...

I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. สมัครufabetขั้นต่ำ10บาทเว็บตรง

At August 26, 2022 at 12:00 AM , Blogger Ni New said...

Wohh just what I was looking for, regards for posting.

At August 30, 2022 at 1:25 PM , Blogger LilyDarari said...

It's sound good.

At August 30, 2022 at 1:59 PM , Blogger arisa said...

I really like yours for such good things.

At September 11, 2022 at 3:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your good content. เล่นเกมสล็อตขั้นต่ำ1บาท

At October 5, 2022 at 12:22 PM , Blogger arisa said...

Thank you for such a good thing. I like it very much.

At October 15, 2022 at 7:33 AM , Blogger bybella said...

"Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better!
Thank you for sharing! เว็บตรงJokergaming,

At June 1, 2023 at 12:19 AM , Blogger bybella said...

fun and exciting.แทงบอลออนไลน์ฟรี

At October 30, 2023 at 7:46 AM , Blogger lisa said...

Thanks for your nice content. แคปชั่นเที่ยวผับฮาๆ

At December 18, 2023 at 9:31 AM , Blogger safetytraining0123 said...

Nice article NEBOSH IGC


Post a Comment

Your involvement is essential to ongoing evolution of the leadership community.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home