Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five Things That Could Be Killing Your Training Efforts

Here are the five areas where I see huge mistakes made that kill even the best designed and delivered training programs.
The first huge mistake stems from a lack of supervisor understanding. We take the time to train the individuals but no one explains the concepts to the supervisor and managers. If he or she does not have an understanding of the content how can we expect them to ask the right questions or provide the right support? Take the time to either put them through the training or develop a short course to get them up to speed on what they need to know to make it effective.
The second big mistake is caused by “leaders” who don’t train because in their words “if I train them they will leave.” That means every day they stay they continue to do their job ineffectively or even worse continue to introduce additional failures due to ignorance.
The third big mistake is that the “leaders” do not create a learning environment where learning is expected and encouraged. The pace of change continues to increase and because of that we have to create continuous learning environments. If not the changes in technology will pass us by leaving us in the dust of our competitors.
The forth big mistake is the sites where they do not reinforce or refresh training on a regular basis. Some suggest that your job specific training needs to be refreshed at least every other year. I prefer a continuous process as referenced above but this still leaves us with something to think about. This can be done with single point lessons, elearning modules, and videos as well as tool box topics and traditional face to face review.
The fifth big mistake I see is the sites that just check the box on training without identifying required skill needs. They spend training dollars on the people who ask first not on the ones who need it the most. The sites don’t evaluate the skills needed and the levels of proficiency that exist. Without this step how would you know where to spend your training dollars?
Are any of these five things killing your training?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Wish My Boss Were Here For This Training!

I hear the title quote "I wish my boss were here for this training" or "My boss needs to hear this" after almost ever training session we do. Sometimes it is a leadership or communication class other times it is reliability or manufacturing improvement sessions but the response is nearly the same every time.
I take this quote to  mean at least two things:
  • first the student agrees with the content (which is nice) 
  • second they wish their boss either did agree or was more supportive of the concepts put forth.
So what can we do as students to build support and understanding with our boss?
The perfect solution would be to of course have the boss join you in the training but this is not always possible.
The second best solution is to have the training provider deliver a condensed but powerful "executive workshop" before the general training. In this session the trainer would provide key elements, key benefits, critical risk to implementation of the concepts, and key questions to reinforce the training with the larger participant group among other things.
But, what if you can not make either one of these things happen? How can you up-skill your boss? Below are 3 ideas that you can play around with to help get your boss on board and supporting the training which will drive a larger return on the training dollars you are spending.
First, if you can't convey the training in terms that connect with the concerns of your manager then you have already lost. Ask yourself "if I were them what would keep me up at night?" Does the training session or concepts taught mitigate that concern or at the very least reduce the risk in that area? If so lets use those points to begin the conversation.
Second can you convey the key points of the training, building off of the managers concerns, in approximately 2 minutes (think elevator speech). Key here is do you know it well enough to confidently articulate it in their terms concisely enough to get their interest before they get distracted?
Third tell them what you need. Tell your boss what is required for the training to be successful. Don't just focus on the resources that you need. Tell your boss what you want to be held to task on or asked about regularly. This takes trust but, you know what you need to do to make the training successful in changing the behavior of the organization. You also know the parts that will be hard for you and where you might need a little extra motivation or help to keep things moving.
There are other tools like A3 charters and Single Point Lesson that can help as well but we can save those for another post or a conversation.
I hope this helps you to help "your boss to hear" during your next training session. Just remember you have to sell it with confidence and passion while meeting the bosses needs and reducing any potential career risk to them that might be associated with what you need them to support.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Does reliability have to cost a fortune? Guest Post By Chris Wozniak

Business to business, industry to industry, a great deal of effort (and money) is spent on trying to find the “silver bullet” or “next best thing” when it comes to reliability.  The goal is to produce game-changing results in record time . . . or at least a time faster than your closest competitor.  I submit that there are two components to success: 1) the content (money) piece; and, 2) the people (priceless) piece.
    Most businesses find a way to fund the content piece.  In fact, that’s probably the most readily addressed portion of a reliability program.  Funding predictive technologies, computerized maintenance management systems, training solutions, and subject-matter experts/consultants - these decisions come easier than most, since we have the ability to determine (or, at least, estimate) the return on investment.  But . . . even if you or your business “knows” the right answer, folks still need to execute the strategy.  Over the next few posts, my goal is to present a few key characteristics to unlocking the potential of your personnel – at minimal cost.
    I ask you this question (to start): what do you expect of your supervisors?  Drilling down, do you expect them to be at every meeting, and rapidly answer every email, or do you expect them to be actively interacting on the shop floor?  If you do expect them to spend the majority of their time outside of the cubicle, what does that interaction look like?  Are they deeply involved in maintenance actions, or rabidly chasing down urgently needed parts?  If you expect them to be office-centric, how do they maintain a finger on the pulse of the shop floor?  Are those communication paths formalized and reliable?
    Taking an introspective look at how our front line supervisors spend their time is an important first step.  And the best part is . . . it costs nothing.  We’re taking a look at processes already in place – good, bad, or indifferent.  Depending on our findings, though, what should our supervisors be doing?  Every business has its own challenges . . . but the presumption is that our supervisors (regardless of industry) earned their positions based on certain elements of technical prowess, experience, and people skills.  Our expectation should be that they bring these talents to bear on the shop floor by mentoring and overseeing . . . not by becoming distracted with administration or allowing themselves to become deeply and personally involved in any distinct maintenance action.  As standards and expectations are set at the strategic level, we need to recognize that we get what we inspect, not what we expect, at the tactical level.  Whatever it takes, we need to ensure they maintain the overarching, birds-eye view of their respective work centers.  If they are getting sucked into maintenance actions, we have to figure out why.  Are their crafts trained well enough to function independently? Is the mentorship/apprenticeship learning progression functioning correctly? Are job plans sufficiently developed and detailed appropriately?    
    Bad things happen when “parental supervision” is lost.  When supervisors leave their (sometimes) uncomfortable position of being the man-in-charge to become the most experienced craftsman on the job, a dangerous void of leadership forms.  The big picture can be lost; thereby jeopardizing personnel and equipment safety, and opening the door for additional maintenance-induced defects.  Understanding the demands on our supervisors, and enabling them to maintain the higher level perspective, doesn’t require a massive capital investment . . . in fact, it costs nearly nothing.  But it does require a change in expectation, and a threshold for pain as we may have to operate outside of normal comfort zones.    
C.D. Wozniak
Cell: (330) 685-5796

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Understanding And Complying With ISO 55001: Part 3 in a 3 Part Series

Planning Part 3 in a 3 part series by Darrin Wikoff

Asset Management Plans are documents that translate the Asset Management Policy into actions or tasks, including resource requirements and timelines, for a specific asset in order to mitigate identified risks and achieve the stated value and stakeholder defined objectives. Section 6 – Planning – of ISO 55001 lists the requirements associated with defining asset management objectives and, planning to achieve the asset management objectives.
When defining your asset management objectives, the focus should be on four equal but unique business categories, Finance, Customers, Community and Employees, relative to your stakeholder requirements.  Objectives should be balanced in order to drive performance improvement in two equal directions, the financial health of the business and overall image of the business.
 Financial growth is based on the organization’s ability to reduce the cost of operating through focused improvements in overhead, maintenance and material costs. Financial growth is also reliant on the business’s ability to improve capacity through higher levels of availability, production rate and quality. These capacity improvements must be balanced by customer demand.
 Image growth, on the other hand, is based on the organization’s ability to develop intellectual capital within its own business through training, strength-based organizational structures and performance management, and the business’s ability to expand its license to operate within the community based on environmental, health and safety performance.
Demonstrate that risk-based methodologies are used when planning the design, implementation, operation, support and improvement of the asset management system.  Risk refers to stakeholder requirements and the impact that the asset management system has on these objectives, such as resource utilization and cost.
Demonstrate that each and every business function within the asset management system has specific and verifiable asset management objectives that align to the overall Strategic Asset Management Plan and stakeholder objectives.
Demonstrate that each asset management plan is derived from a risk-based methodology and specifies the type of task needing to be performed, the individual skill or competency required to complete the task, the frequency at which the task will be performed and the method of determining if a completed task complies with the intended outcomes.
Demonstrate that financial risks considered during the design and implementation of asset management plans include life cycle costs and residual risks at the end of the life cycle period.