By Jon Miller | Post Date: September 13, 2006 7:13 PM | Comments: 7
Anyone can be taught to do kaizen in 30 days.
If you're wondering how to learn the fundamentals of the Toyota Production System in 30 days (or how to teach it) you can take a hint from the June 23, 2006 article in Nikkei Joho Strategy titled Drumming in the Fundamentals of TPS in 30 Days: This is Toyota's New Hire Training! The literal title is somewhat more sensational than my translation, and reads "Beating the fundamental thinking into them in a month and a half, this is Toyota's new hire training!" ( 1カ月半で基本思想をたたき込む，これがトヨタの新人研修だ！). It's boot camp, but the article mentions no beatings.
The author of this article documented the experience of two of nine new workers who joined ALSO (Advanced Logistics Solutions, a subsidiary of Toyota Loom Works, in Nagoya, Japan) in April 2006. ALSO handles the logistics for automotive parts, not parts used to make automatic looms.
The two new hires were taught the fundamental principles of the Toyota Production System because as people working in a logistics and distribution operation, they would be working within the Toyota Production System. ALSO is not a manufacturer, they are a distributor and a logistics company. Yet the Toyota Production System is applied there just the same.
The article says the new workers immediately started their education in TPS after their morning orientation on the first day of work at Toyota. This included lessons in TPS and a review of videos of the principles. The first month was a repetition of class room learning and watching videos in the "dojo" in the morning followed in the afternoon by going to the gemba to observe and document processes and do kaizen. They had to demonstrate their learning by genchi gembutsu (go to the workplace, see the actual process) every day during this month.
In the first month these new hires study the following topics: kanban, abnormality detection and andons, material flow and transportation, material and information flow, Standard Work, productivity improvement, tools for quality control, and more.
Their assignment after the month of study to spend 3 days in a distribution center doing kaizen. They are required to find 30 improvements per day and ultimately reduce manpower by one person through kaizen. At the end they are to report the results.
Here is a photo of the two brand new Toyota employees showing off the work they did in the first month and a half of studying the work processes and learning the Toyota Production System fundamentals. Note the color-coded yamazumi board (operator cycle time analysis by work element) on the right side of the picture.
In this picture a new employee demonstrates the wastes he found in distribution center processes by studying the process and documenting it in detail on a material and information flow diagram (value stream map).
Here new employee points out the work analysis they did to create Standard Work and the Standard Work documents and kaizen results summary they created during their 3 day activity on the floor of the distribution center.
The author of this article was impressed by how much these two brand new workers had learned about the Toyota Production System in a short time. To the author, this new employee training demonstrated the idea of "developing people". The author suggested that Toyota should make a business out of selling this new hire training program to other businesses. That's a great idea. We'll get to work on it right away.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.