Key 14 of the 20 Keys system is often seen as one of the more difficult Keys to implement. However, the underlying principles are simple; we need to empower people to make their own improvements in their workplaces. This may be by supporting their ideas for improvement or ensuring that the necessary facilities are available when needed for experimenting with ideas. An often overlooked part of Key 14 is that of providing facilities for doing retraining or facilities where people can go and learn new skills. After all, training is one of the best ways to empower people, and apart from ensuring that individuals and teams have the right skills levels, first-line managers need to look out for retraining opportunities. One of the ways of doing this is to do regular task observations against Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
At Grain Field Chickens (GFC), a large chicken processing plant situated in Reitz, South Africa, which recently achieved the International 20 Keys Excellence Award, a need was identified for quick, in the workplace, re-training for employees working in some Production Departments.
Adolphina Mojatau, the Key 14 Leader and also a trainer at the plant, identified that some workers, when they are still new or have been assigned to a different production line, work less efficiently than others. In a high speed plant like GFC a small difference in efficiency of workers has a large impact on overall efficiency due to the number of people as well the high throughput rate of the plant. It is often not feasible to do formal, in the classroom, training in such cases, as production lines are finely balanced and withdrawing workers will affect throughput. To do all of it on the production line, while in production, is often also not an option.
Adolphina and the supervisors involved, identified the specific training needs and set up a Key 14 “Kaizen Corner”. This is basically an area, in this case, in the plant, close to the production lines, where some equipment is installed and where a supervisor or trainer can practically do refresher training, and provide coaching for ensuring that the SOP is followed and that work is done at the optimum efficiency level.
The attached photographs show one such a corner. Tracking is done of its usage and all usage is done under supervision, to ensure the safety of people using the equipment.
Author: Johan Benadie: Director at ODI
ODI has been in business since 1989. For most of that time, we have been in partnership with a Japanese company, the PPORF Development Institute (PDI). PDI is the original developer of the 20 Keys programme for operational excellence.