Reducing Training Costs With One-Point Lessons

General Article

One-point lessons are a simple yet powerful learning and operational tool. When applied systematically throughout the work site, one-point lessons provide many benefits. They can help deploy just-in-time knowledge and skills across an organization. They also positively affect employees’ abilities to perform daily tasks as well as improve an organization’s cost efficiency and product quality.

As an aid for spreading best practices company-wide, one-point lessons can support and enhance improvement efforts such as Lean Management, Just-In-Time (JIT) Production, Total Quality Management (TQM), and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

One-Point Lessons

One-point lessons are short visual presentations on a single point. One-point lessons have three purposes:

o They sharpen job-related knowledge and skills by communicating information about specific problems and improvements.

o They easily share important information just-in-time.

o They improve the team’s performance.

Characteristics of One-Point Lessons

One-point lessons are:

o Short visual presentations on a single point

o Detailed on one or two pages

o Supported by diagrams, photographs, or drawings

o Generated and used at the point of need

A one-point lesson is a learning tool for communicating standards, problems, and improvements about work processes and equipment. Workers and supervisors use one-point lessons to provide key information about everyday work and improvement opportunities. Thus, one- point lessons may contain information on a wide range of topics.

Types of One-Point Lessons

Three types of one-point lessons exist; each type has a distinct purpose:

o Basic Knowledge

o Problem Case Study

o Improvement Case Study

Basic Knowledge

Basic Knowledge one-point lessons fill a knowledge gap. This ensures that team members have the knowledge they need to do their job or participate in improvement activities.

Problem Case Study

Problem Case Studies use actual examples of breakdowns, defects, and other abnormalities to illustrate how to identify and/or avoid a workplace problem.

Problem Case Studies are most effective when presented immediately after a problem occurs, while the issue is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Improvement Case Study

Improvement Case Studies summarize the concepts, contents, and results of improvements that result from team activities. This helps teams in other areas to make similar improvements.

Where to Us One-Point Lessons

Examples where one-point lessons may be applied are:

Quality

o Defective incoming material or products

o Causes and prevention of defects

o Materials or product specifications

o Methods for finding and discovering abnormalities in equipment and materials

Inventory

o Materials inventory control specifications

o Product inventory control specifications

Equipment operation

o Changeover operation

o Startup sequence

o Monitoring and inspection methods

o Shutdown and lockout/tagout sequence

o Cleaning and maintenance protocols

Safety

o Emergency stopping methods

o Safety standards for use of tools and equipment

o Reliable methods to prevent accidents

Maintenance

o Cleaning procedures

o Adjustment procedures

o Inspection procedures

o Lubrication procedures

Inspection

o Methods of inspection

o Acceptance inspection specifications

o Product inspection specifications

Improvement tools

o Checklists

o Cause-and-effect diagrams

o Control charts

o Red tags

In other words, whenever workers need key information to perform their jobs, one-point lessons can be an effective tool for delivering that information.

Sharing Knowledge Among the Team

Team leaders and members who have acquired special skills or knowledge need a way to share their knowledge with their teammates. Rather then merely repeating what they have learned, they should put it in a form that suits their workplace. One-point lessons translate knowledge into practical information that teammates can use to effectively perform their jobs.

Additionally, one-point lessons are an effective training tool because:

o They are short and focused on a topic that team members need to know about.

o Information can be presented in bite-size chunks, when and where it is needed.

o They offer a simple vehicle for going over the material until everyone has mastered it.

o They offer a flexible way to deliver training on the floor, during meetings, during production activities, as well as during formal training.

o The act of teaching develops communication and leadership skills on the team.

o They are good tools for training new employees or transfers.

Conclusion

We have discussed how companies use one-point lessons to eliminate waste and improve operations by providing just-in-time information. We have described the kind of information contained in a one-point lesson and how this information can be used as a training tool to sharpen the knowledge and skills of the entire team. We have discussed the three types of one-point lessons: Basic Knowledge, Problem Case Study, and Improvement Case Study, and have reviewed examples of each. Finally, we have briefly discussed the steps involved in one-point lesson development.