24 Aug 2021- Creating the right conversations at S&C Electric Franklin.

S&C Electric Franklin (Wisconsin) make industrial transformers. A group of middle managers undertook our ‘Getting Started With Work Standards’ 2x2Hr live online program back in April this year. Alex, Manufacturing Manager, immediately recognised opportunity through the Mark Rosenthal quote – “If you don’t have a clear expectation of what ‘good’ looks like then your definition of ‘not good’ is subjective and varies depending on who, what and when things are being looked at.” In the 2nd session Alex brought an example to the group (task video clip) and the principle of ‘define normal’ was applied – a very fruitful conversation. Following the workshop, within a period of two weeks an associated small but critical part of the assembly process was adjusted reducing the risk of rework to virtually zero.

Alex was impressed – he requested we deliver the same 2x2Hrs program to his Team Leads. We suggested an add on of 2 x 1Hr follow up sessions to further encourage ‘learn by doing’.

Ten Team Leads attended the 2 sessions mid July. We then split them into 2 groups for the two mentoring sessions. Each was charged with selecting a focus task where they knew there was opportunity through our Mark Rosenthal quote “If you don’t have …”.

The most significant learning came from the Team Lead Carlos who identified a ‘subjective statement’ in their reference documentation, one that was causing rework. It related to the movement of a lever after assembly on a transformer. The stated standard was ‘moves freely’. Carlos quickly recognised the subjective nature of the wording as a root cause of rework. There’s no value in standardising ambiguity! Carlos set to work with one of the site Process Engineers in order to set an objective and measurable ‘normal’ statement – another very fruitful series of conversations.

Contact us please if you’d like to learn more about our ‘Getting Started With Work Standards’ program.

At a connected but higher level, here’s a new and excellent standardised work overview article on the TWI Institute website.

12 Aug 2021- Toyota Way 2nd Ed encapsulates scientific thinking

Through Jeff Liker’s 2nd edition of the Toyota Way we learn early in the book how the Ps of People, Process, Problem Solving and Philosophy are the hub. Jeff, through discussion with Mike Rother, has included ‘scientific thinking’ at the core of this 4P model. Jeff quotes as follows (page 8) – ‘The biggest change in the Toyota Way model in this second edition is placing scientific thinking in the center.’ He adds that the first TPS Manual published in 1973 by Toyota’s Education and Training Department taught a view of the ‘scientific mindset’. So this mindset has always been there, it’s the recognition of its presence and importance that has come to the forefront.

Jeff acknowledges that we are not ‘great at it’ – scientific thinking that is. This is why Mike Rother’s second research question (mid 2000’s) of ‘How can other companies develop similar routines and thinking in their organizations?’ was so vitally important. Just to write about the scientific thinking was never going to be enough to help the rest of us change our behaviours.

How Jeff came to adjust his Toyota model and why is interesting,  learn more here -about a 5 minute read.

(Consider going here to our continuum for your development of scientific thinking.)

27 July 2021- Frontline Leaders: The meat in the sandwich, we owe them our time

The opening sentence of the excellent recently posted TWII Institute blog on Frontline Leadership says it all!

What it then doesn’t say clearly is that at exactly the same time (probably), management is breathing down the Frontline Leaders neck pointing out the importance of safety, quality, productivity and cost. That is probably harsh in some cases, but often when we ask a Frontline Leader, that is how they’re feeling – they need to deliver results amongst a myriad of variables.

This is why we owe them our time.

Please take some of your time to read the Institute blog, it is well worth it.

Then, as a next step, consider the associated Quest we have developed – 2nd row down on our Quests page, click here please.