Lean includes various manufacturing practices and process optimization. The most famous, however, are Kaizen, Kanban, JIT, TPS.
The basis of TPS is standardized work. The two main pillars supporting TPS are just in time (JIT) and jidoka, (also known as autonomy) or as it is called: “stop the line, fix the problem”. Reference: “Strategy for Lean Thinking and Learning in Organizations”, https://customessaysonline.net/strategy-for-lean-thinking/
What we must not forget is that we must have a comprehensive understanding of all processes to obtain a successful implementation of the program. We need to have the right people involved in the implementation and we need to follow the training model developed by Toyota.
A lean environment requires a different style of management, leadership style, presentation measurements, organizational structures, thinking, and culture. A lot of training and organizational changes have been made, but do we understand how to choose people to perform and manage lean production? Do we know what skills they need to be effective in a lean environment or what kind of training we need to develop to be successful in implementing Lean? Reference: “Lean integration in organizations – a real example“, https://mstsnl.net/lean-integration-in-organizations-example/
Lean training is performed by managers
Toyota depends heavily on the word spoken to train and maintain TPS knowledge from one generation to the next. Training is conducted repeatedly face to face with hand-created and selected notes or illustrations. There are events including a meeting, as well as visits to the production floor or in the warehouse or office to observe the actual processes in action. TPS is considered a living, dynamic and ever-changing entity. There have been modifications and improvements to TPS since its introduction more than 50 years ago. These improvements are the result of contributions from individuals who have been able to overcome some of the problems of the process or find a better way.
The amazing part of this learning process is how consistent and reliable it is. Everyone gets the same point, there are no conflicting messages, no individual interpretations of TPS philosophies, and no disagreements. The success of TPS is that everyone understands the principles and follows them. Supervisors immediately correct those who try to do or
learn something beyond the principles and philosophy of TPS. This is where we learn the meaning of a Japanese proverb: “A nail that sticks out gets stuck.
On-the-job training (OJT)
All new managers and team leaders hired by Toyota in America are required to spend an entire day on the production line. Experience shows that many employees expect to attend a traditional classroom learning style with books, instructors, homework, and final exams. This is not the way Toyota intends to train its workforce. The main training methodology was OJT.
OJT consists not only of training on how to perform your specific job but also of proper use
of tools, equipment, compliance with safety rules, quality procedures, human resources policies,
preventive maintenance and service, ordering materials, and reporting problems.
It consists of learning how individual operational processes worked and what was the role of each team member to support these processes. OJT is conducted in-store by observing, testing, and practicing various work items of a job and using standardized worksheets as guides.
Toyota emphasizes not only the ability to do the job, but also to do it well (according to the standard) and in tact time. To be able to do this, operators are trained in the intricacies of each function.
Training recommendations for Lean implementation
Lean performance training is a multidimensional activity. It’s not as simple as just creating a list of tools and methodologies for lean use and learning how to use them. Reference: “20 Keys to Workplace Improvement (Manufacturing & Production) explained with examples and strategies”, https://phron.org/20-keys-to-workplace-improvement-manufacturing-production-explained-with-examples-and-strategies/
There is a logic to why certain tools or methodologies need to be applied first, and only after we learn how to use them properly can we learn more.
Some tools and methodologies can be presented in the training room; some should include exercises, and the practical part of the training, others can be learned only by applying – learning by doing. All training activities should end with a demonstration by participants who have learned and understood how to use it.
Training activities that are encouraged are a combination of lectures and Shop floor exercises, combined with the implementation and evaluation of actually managed business movements Lean projects. Lean learning activities should be divided into two main topics:
- 1. How to manage in a lean environment
- 2. Knowledge of Lean tools and methodologies (More Agile methodlogies: https://www.muzonet.com/)
Each major topic should have several training modules (courses) ranging from very basic to advanced. The provision of these educational modules must be synchronized and follow a well-defined sequence. Participants are not allowed to miss any level of training. Participants move to the next level of training only by successfully passing the course, demonstrating that they have the necessary knowledge and skills.
This can be done by taking an exam, selecting and implementing a project and presenting it to a management committee, or by performing certain activities that satisfy the manager. Courses can be held as many times as necessary to obtain an assessment. Reference: “The Kaizen 20 Keys to Workplace Improvement”, https://agileprogramming.org/kaizen-20-keys-to-workplace-explained-examples/
Understanding the principles of TPS
All new Toyota employees in America attend a five-day orientation during the first week of work. The training consists of classroom training and exercises covering such modules as a team concept, production system, kanban, kaizen, quality principles, attendance policies, safety policies, labor relations and management, and competitive conditions in the industry.
Orienteering training is followed by OJT, in which each trainee works side by side with a Toyota Trainer or a leader of a production line group.
OJT lasts from six to eight weeks
All employees are expected to follow their work as specified. No deviations are tolerated. Finally
since the initial OJT, most of the new employees have a fundamental knowledge of basic TPS
- Single-piece flow
- Pull and kanban
- Tact time
- Achieving the highest quality
- Cost drivers
- How to notice, report and solve problems
- 7 types of waste in production
The three rules of JIT (Exactly on time)
1. Produce only what the customer needs
2. In the right amount
3. At the right time
By giving every employee this foundation of TPS knowledge, Toyota creates a complete and powerful workforce. The result is that everyone knows how to do their job, what the standards are, what is expected and how to deal with unforeseen situations.
Five necessary qualities of a leader
Toyota requires five basic levels of knowledge and skills from the leader:
- 1. Knowledge of roles and responsibilities
- 2. Knowledge of the elements of the work
- 3. Training skills
- 4. Leadership qualities
- 5. Kaizen qualities
1. Knowledge of roles and responsibilities
Knowledge of job responsibilities includes understanding the role, responsibilities, and authority as a leader at Toyota. It includes awareness of the need to do work according to
company policy, commitment to the implementation of the production plan, and compliance with company rules and procedures.
2. Knowledge of the elements of the work
Knowledge of working elements means knowledge of materials, machines, tools, processes,
methods and necessary types of technologies for production, assembly, machine
3. Training skills
This skill requires an understanding of basic tools, such as standardized worksheets, work instructions,
standard worksheets, worksheets, download system principles, and preventive
support among others. Leaders encourage the development of highly qualified employees because each operator is responsible for many different processes and quality must be built into each process.
4. Leadership qualities
Dealing well with people is important when trying to build a supportive team and maintain a smooth employee relationship. TPS emphasizes respect for people and participation in improvement activities. Because Toyota bases its working methods on a human-oriented philosophy that encourages leaders to treat employees as individuals.
5. Kaizen qualities
Leaders must be skilled in making kaizen and eliminating waste/surplus in the workplace. This means how they help increase work efficiency, improve quality, ensure safety and lower costs. At Toyota, team leaders and team leaders are developing standardized work as a starting point for improvement.
To be an effective instructor, every leader must know the actual work elements and possess teaching skills. Work knowledge consists of information and skills needed to perform specific tasks. It also consists of information on quality standards, materials, workflow, and expectations. Every leader must possess and have the technical skills to perform each operation. Learning skills refer to the ability to transfer this information, knowledge, and skills to others.
Labor training teaches a well-defined standard training methodology and teaches
job training techniques. Learning is achieved through three steps:
Each job is defined by using a task breakdown sheet listing all the main steps and points of the assignment.
It serves as a checklist to ensure that the training method is correct.
At the heart of TPS’s day-to-day work is standardized work. He regulates everyone
step in the whole process of car production. It concentrates on the operator’s movements and identifies the best and most efficient sequence for each production and assembly process. It is always repeated in the same way, thus avoiding unnecessary movements and loss of effort, maintaining quality, ensuring safety, and preventing damage to equipment. Standardized work establishes guidelines for three essential elements of the work process:
- Tact time
- Working sequence
- Standard inventory in progress
Tact time is the time required to produce a part or to complete a quantity
of work. It is determined by dividing the total daily (or monthly) working time by daily (or monthly)
Customer requirements. Inventory in the process controls the flow of material by determining how much
inventory must be stored between processes. The work is not considered standardized until
the necessary information is documented in these three forms:
- Standard sheet for production capacity
- Standard table for combining work
- Standard operating scheme
Principles of JIT Pull system
JIT refers to the production and relocation of what is needed, when needed, and in the right quantity,
necessary. JIT is based on three principles of operation:
- Pull / drag
- Continuous flow processing
- Tact time
As we know, it is practically impossible to achieve the right moment to get the right part to the right place. Toyota has reversed the traditional process of information flow controlling the flow of parts. At Toyota, the next process takes what is needed from the previous process. Material flow dictates information flow, and the tool used to achieve this is Kanban. Continuous flow processing eliminates the stops and starts that are common in a traditional production system.