• Ben Roush

The Lean Journey: Training Strategies for Standard Work

Updated: Apr 26

By Ben Roush



Effective training is often overlooked in moving forward with our lean journey. The truth is, that our training budgets are sometimes the most under-valued opportunity available to us at the plant.


State funds are available for our colleague training… and we choose not to spend it?


Why is it we constantly underspend our budget funds for training?


Occasionally our organization does make it conducive to effectively spend this money. Then the question becomes, who receives this training? Is it the supervisors? The team leaders? Do we even have designated trainers in my system today?


One of the biggest challenges is that our HR groups are now booked with market driven turnover and the on-boarding of new colleagues. Having to manage a high turnover of temporary employees does not help either. Most HR professionals would love to do some organizational development activities, including training, if only they had the time to organize such an approach.


Who is to say that our Human Resource group should be implementing training anyway?


Whatever is decided upon, we believe the “train the trainer” is the most effective approach in teaching standard work. After they are trained themselves, the subject matter expert should then integrate the training into your colleague base. The one-time training and “certificate of completion” on the wall is not really benefiting our manufacturing group, nor is it what they really need.



Training Strategies


On the Job Training is often lacking in structure and usage of the adult learning model. The old school approach of “go hang out with Hank” to watch and learn for 20 minutes, just doesn't cut it anymore. It really depends on the organization and their understanding of the adult learning model.


Train the Trainer. The Training Within Industries has great historical success and works well in manufacturing to teach essential skills to supervisors, team leaders, and anyone who directs the work of others. This approach is a dynamic program of applied hands on learning and practice and is proven to:

  • Teach leaders how to quickly and correctly train employees

  • Establish and maintain standard work

  • Generate cooperation and positive employee relations

  • Improve methods

  • Solve problems efficiently and effectively


The Toyota 20/20/20 training method is a practical side of quickly teaching a new colleague how to do the job using a Standard Work Instruction. There has been lots of writing on this subject and a genuine effort made to make this successful within many companies.



What kind of formal process do you currently have in place?


Do you have designated trainers in place for your shop floor?


How do you test for competencies?


We at Dynamic Improvement Group are here to help you with your colleague training process.


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