Training Methods

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TRAINING METHODS that world class company follow:

There are as many ways to train people as there are people. Some just seem to have a better knack than others when it comes to Training Methods and teaching. Just what is it that they have or do that is better? Can there be a “best” way to train?.

The Japanese think so. They rediscovered the Training m Within Industry (TWI) technique, which was  originally developed by the U.S. government during WWII to bring an inexperienced workforce up to speed quickly. It was introduced to Japan in the postwar construction period and adopted by Taiichi Ohno as one of the foundations he used to build the Toyota Production System (TPS).

The TWI technique is as applicable in classrooms as it is out on the production floor. Inclusive of TWI, the Toyota Production System only uses the best possible training methodologies that have proven to be unsurpassed in the world. In fact, they mandate that all training be done only one way with no deviation or exceptions. They have discovered what works best and use the specific techniques extensively.

Before reading about how the TPS handles training, here is a list of the methods that do not work.

Buddy system—I sit next to you, watch you, and what you know migrates to me.

Read all about it—Read the “how to do this” manual. “By the way, I skipped a few pages that were boring or that I did not understand.”

Class full of “rookies”—No one has been prescreened. Students do not know about TPS or teaming, and are not committed.

Fast learner—”Here, let me do it my way. I can do anything!”

Companies that practice the TPS method of training have a distinct advantage over those who do not. They are prepared and ready to service customers faster and at a lower cost, and thus are able to attract new customers who previously belonged to the competition.

“Train the Trainer” Team Leader Training Usually, a consultant conducts the first few kaizen events in a company. In doing so, he or she typically conducts a special training session specifically for team leaders. It is recommended that all aspiring team leaders attend this preliminary training to prepare them for their future roles. As team leaders, they will be expected to know how to conduct Toyota Production System (TPS) training for team members prior to every event.

“Train the trainer” is the Japanese standardized method of guaranteeing that a student will positively learn what is being taught. Those who have used “train the trainer” methods can attest to the fact that they indeed work—every time!

The TPS method of training, not previously translated into English, is what all Toyota trainers use as a standard. The training generally takes one full day and accomplishes two objectives:

1) The trainer learns the TPS method of training.

2) A typical subject or process is used to train with, so as the “subject” is covered, flaws in the process are discovered and corrected. The net results are a process is perfected; a trainer is trained; and a standard methodology is established for the training process. And, because actual subjects or processes are used, the training is customized to the needs of the organization.

The TPS Method The TPS method of training is proven and is the format all trainers must use. As the trainer delivers the TPS material, the following key personal qualities and values must be emphasized to all the students:

They must be committed. Everyone must believe the new philosophies of TPS 100%—no exceptions—no reluctance.

1.The value of time must be understood and appreciated. Time is the most valuable element of business. The sense of urgency must be appreciated and the importance stressed.

2. Each person must practice internal discipline to complete a task, stay on course, and not give up. Without internal discipline, external discipline must be exercised, which is counterproductive. External discipline comprises the laws and rules that exert public pressure to conform.

The following sections contain step-by-step instructions for the trainer to use when administering TPS training.

Stage I: Prepare for Learning

1.Introduce yourself as the trainer. Ask about the students’ personal likes and hobbies, families, etc. Find out what they know or have heard about TPS. Ask about their jobs. Make them feel at ease, like part of a family.

2.Explain about the operation they will be learning. Tell them that as their trainer, you will help them in any way needed.

3.Ask if they have previous experience in the operation. Have the students show you how they currently do it. Tell them there may be some differences between the way they now do a task and the way it will be done in the future. Mention why the TPS requires that there be only one way to do a task, and that what they are being instructed to do is the best method.

4.Motivate the students. Explain to them of the importance of the operation and define the critical elements. Tell them how each task fits into the overall picture.

5.Place the students in the correct starting position. That is, be aware of ergonomics, of their height and body size. Make them feel comfortable.Explain that most jobs require standing, why it is healthier for the worker to be mobile, and how the requirements of the job dictate the worker be mobile—hence no sitting.

6. Express the need for safety. Make sure there are no unresolved safety issues.

Stage II: Explain the Operation

1.Demonstrate how to do the operation. Explain every detail as you go along. Explain why the sequence is as such. Express what might happen if the exact sequence is not followed. Make it clear why the Standard Work Combination Sheets are always followed and how they document the details of the process.

2.Element by element, get the students familiar with the operation.

3.Demonstrate how to do the process again. Match the emphasized key points with the corresponding physical motions.

4.Demonstrate how to do it again. But this time, show the reasoning behind each key point and explain the consequences if it is not followed exactly.

5.Do not give students more than they can handle. Let them completely master each element of the operation before moving on. Explain that the sequence of learning requires each step be perfected before continuing to the next or increasing the speed.

6.Use patience. Go slowly and steadily. Let the students gain the confidence that they have mastered each element.

Stage III: Practice

1.Let the students do the operation. Check to see if they follow instructions correctly. Correct errors as they occur. Use language such as, “This way brings a better consistent result,” or “This way is safer.”

2.Let the students continue. See if they can recite the given procedure while performing the operation.

3.Let the students do it again. But this time ask them to recite the key points. Let themrefer to the key points as they do the task. Ask questions as they explain. Be certain they understand the key points.

4.Let the students repeat it again. Have them explain in detail the reason for the sequence, the key points, and caveats to not following the exact sequence or process. Compliment them for doing a good job when they finally do it exactly right. Be patient.

Stage IV: Consolidate

1.Let the students do the operation alone. Now have them do an actual job. Stress quality before quantity. They must learn how to make perfect parts before they accelerate the pace.

2.Explain that they must always refer to the trainer for answers to questions about the process or the way it is done.

3.Check again and give followup advice.

4.Tell the students to feel free to ask questions. Make them feel comfortable.

5.The final step is to have each student assume the role of trainer. Have him or her go through the same procedure witnessed as when a student. Observe and make comments as required.

6.When the student has progressed to the point that you feel they are ready for production, let them loose!

7.On the training matrix, complete the scoring column for each individual to show that he or she is now qualified to do the task.

8. Compliment the student and record the accomplishment on his or her personnel record.

Team Training The entire kaizen team is required to attend TPS training prior to participating in the event. The training is planned to take place all day Monday and a half-day on Tuesday, if required.

It is preferred that all team members be active in their participation in the training, even if they have attended TPS training before. When someone is attending for the second or third time, these team members should be asked to co-lead the team and assist the team leader whenever possible. There is more than enough work for everyone.

Occasionally, someone may audit or monitor the class for reasons that might not be clear to the team leader or the rest of the team. These auditors should be quiet and inconspicuous, since they are not considered part of the team.

During the training, sufficient time should be allowed for the students to practice via hands-on exercises. For instance, to demonstrate the preferred method of using a stopwatch during a time study, the watch is kept running while one team member calls out the time when an element of the process begins, which is immediately written on the observation sheet by another person. Learning by doing is the Toyota method.

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