Task information constitutes one axis of the skills/task matrix. The
second axis, individual ability to contribute, is constructed with
consideration of not just current work but all the knowledge and
experience workers possess. Our discussion of data collection for
the second axis uses real examples from a company we'll call ABC
For this 300 person manufacturer of medical products we developed a
questionnaire that asks every employee, direct and indirect,
salaried and hourly, to record the number of months of experience
they have under these headings:
DEPARTMENT CURRENTLY WORKING: lists every manufacturing and
operations support group.
LIST OTHER DEPTS. AT ASC MFG. YOU HAVE WORKED IN: repeats all the
departments and provides for "other" to pick up closed or name
COMPUTER SKILLS: four lines list: Cad/Cam Usage, CNC Programming,
Computer Programming and Data Entry.
GENERAL SKILLS: includes generic skills like Blueprint Reading,
Carpentry and Typing plus 22 others relevant to ABC Mfg.
FACTORY SUPPORT MACHINES: covers experience at ABC Mfg. and anywhere
else on plant-wide systems including refrigerated air coolers,
rotary air compressors, exhaust fans, etc.
MACHINE LIST: every significant machine type in the plant from ABAR
to WELDING is included. Workers identify the number of months of
their experience under these labels: (a) CURRENT JOB (b) PAST AT ABC
MFG. (c) OUTSIDE EXPERIENCE, and in a separate section: (d) OPERATE
(e) SETUP (0 MAINTAIN, and (g) PROGRAM.
QUALITY TASKS AND MACHINES: identifies all QC and QA activity. OTHER
TASKS YOU HAVE LEARNED TO DO AND MACHINES YOU CAN OPERATE: wherever
the knowledge or ability was acquired.
Three sections: EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND, PERSONAL INTERESTS and WHAT
OTHER SKILLS OR SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE DO YOU HAVE? help identify trainee
WHAT DO YOU DO BEST? is the one place a personal qualitative
assessment is required. Respondents rate themselves Good, Better or
Best for 10 designated kinds of work. Team leaders who use these
preference indicators get better results from individual assignments
Questionnaires are completed in group sessions. The purpose of the
exercise and how the information will be used is carefully
explained. Follow-up individual interviews are conducted as
necessary to improve data quality.
Adding capability to reported experience and deter mining the
significance of each task to the team's objectives allows
conclusions to be drawn, options to be identified and good decisions
to be made.
The matrix, presenting comparative information pictorially, speeds
the decision process. The mail room task matrix for Mary Jones in
Figure 1 illustrates its value.
After an initial evaluation a PC database, located in the
department, enables weekly or bi-weekly reviews with Mary. In some
companies the entire team conducts open reviews of all the people to
record demonstrated capability.
The dates on the matrix provide signals for the team; they tell when
personal progress was last made, identify individual capability and
the level of support Mary needs to perform the tasks.
To be Continued
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02
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