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As you look at your organizational challenges, do you have some nagging issues that you can’t seem to resolve? One manufacturer shared they do a good job of implementing process improvements, but, they don’t seem to “stick”. Another said the operators don’t follow instructions.

Often during discussions around potential resolutions to these issues I hear, “we tried that but it didn’t work.”  Perhaps you have heard that phrase as you work to resolve your organizational challenges.

Over the past few weeks, I have been discussing the programs within Training Within Industry.  The first three programs, Job InstructionJob Methods and Job Relations provide tools to help people learn to do their jobs quickly, improve how the jobs are done and effectively deal with conflict that arises along with way.  Each of these programs can effectively be applied to individual manufacturing plants.  However, at some point, there are some challenges that are unique to a particular plant or company. So, the last program contained in Training Within Industry is Program Development which is defined as “how to address a production problem through training.” The program includes defining the production problem, developing a specific plan, putting the plan into action and then checking to ensuring the action has the desired results.

When defining the problem, it is helpful to gather evidence and underlying causes for the specific issue.  This data can help determine if you have a training issue or perhaps a different production issue. All too often the problem isn’t fully defined before implementing a quick fix resulting in a nagging organization issue.

Following this process may take a lot of time, a precious resource in most organizations. But, before deciding that you don’t have time to utilize this program, ask yourself, how much is this issue costing my bottom line?  If I don’t address it, am I willing to live with this ongoing problem?  If you decide that the organization needs to address the issue, follow the process outlined in Program Development.  I am confident that you will be able to make lasting improvements to your organization.

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to