Tips for Lean Managers

Job Breakdown Sheets for Teaching TPS

By Jon Miller Updated on May 29th, 2017

Job Breakdown Sheets are used as part of Toyota’s approach to OJT (on the job training), called Job Instruction. A Job Breakdown Sheet details the Major Steps, Key Points and Reasons for the key points. Having a Job Breakdown Sheet creates confidence in the instructor as well as the trainee that there is a clear and unambiguous method to be followed.
This is an example of a Job Breakdown Sheet used in one of our Job Instruction training classes.
Creating the Job Breakdown Sheets is an essential foundation step to Standard Work, or simply being able to instruct people to perform the work safely, with good quality, in time. Job Breakdown Sheets are fundamental to a properly functioning multi-skilling effort. The Skill Matrix must be supported by proper Job Breakdown Sheets.
At Gemba we are currently taking our current condition assessment process, documenting and standardizing it, and breaking it down. Although “Standardized Work for consultants” was the mantra a year or so ago, we now realize that work standards come first, and job breakdown even before that.
There is a lot of “knack” that we need to move from the heads of our kaizen experts down into the Job Breakdown Sheets. This is proving a good challenge. The trick seems to be breaking down the job properly. What is the job? What are the steps? What are the major steps? What are the key points? Why are these the key points? These questions focus the mind on identifying just the steps needed to get the job done.
It’s a simple process. It requires rigor and persistence, trust in the process of detailing the observations we make, questions we ask and analyses we perform in order to grasp the situation fully and accurately during a current condition assessment. We can do this.
Once the assessment reveals where the gaps are, teaching TPS in order to close these gaps is relatively easy. Training all of our people who come from varied backgrounds, strengths and areas of expertise, to see the same whole picture will be an ongoing process. Toyota has been using Job Instruction and Job Breakdown Sheets for half a century, with confidence. If TWI and Job Instruction was good enough for training workers for the war effort 60 years ago, it’s good enough for training kaizen consultants to be better waste warriors.

  1. Lee

    September 24, 2007 - 6:29 pm

    Hi Jon,
    We are currently using job breakdown sheet across much of our healthcare organization with a huge amount of success. This is the primary tool we use in rolling out a “daily management” system. When we first got started I can’t tell you how many times I was told that standard work and TWI methods cannot be applied in a service/healthcare environment. I rarely hear that anymore.
    The first couple of times a team works through the process they find it difficult. Often teams pick too large a job, or put to much or to little detail. Yet, over time if leadership keeps coming to the Gemba and asking to see the breakdowns, teams continue to apply the methods and they improve.
    I appreciate this post, because I am the leader of an internal consulting team and we have been training others in job breakdown, but not applying it ourselves. The other day we made the commitment to practice what we preach and will begin to standardize our work. It will be fun, challenging and should lead to more stability in our practice.
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Jon

    September 25, 2007 - 8:04 am

    Hello Lee,
    Yes, it’s quite humbling when you start to write down the major steps, key points and reasons within your job.
    It’s a big task, but there are few more important this, particularly in healthcare.

  3. Droppa Mapantz

    October 1, 2007 - 9:05 am

    Funny enough, this is the thinking I’ve been having these last days. Of course, I’m in the beginning of a transformation (IT processes), and need to have managers understand Standard Work. Then write it down.
    But as I will soon (crossing fingers) have more people in my team, I should be considering to do standard work for lean coaching as well. And there are many different jobs: lead a kaizen workshop, coach managers, teach collaborators in problem resolution, etc.

  4. Ethel Kan

    April 8, 2008 - 8:21 am

    when the supervisor applies the major step, key points and reasons in teaching ground staff – why do we have to repeat reasons by reciting the third time major steps? Can we first do major steps followed by key points with reasons?

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