A Return to First Principles (Part 3) What Training Should I Do?

Every single person in any organization should be able to describe in specific terms how their efforts enable the organization to make or save money. For some folks, that is much easier than for others. If I manufacture my company’s product, it’s pretty obvious how I enable profit.

(Note: in non-profit organizations, the maximizing of profit is supplanted by the maximizing of cash flow. Every person in a non-profit organization should be able to describe how their efforts maximize the organization’s resources to pursue their missions.)

As a trainer, it is essential that I target my training efforts toward enabling my trainees to maximize the company’s use of its resources. Every time, without exception, when I apply a resource (material, personnel, time, machinery, etc.) I am incurring a cost. At the end of the process, I must be able to recoup all of those costs when the finished product is delivered, just to avoid losing money. I need to collect more than I spent, in order to make a profit.

Training must focus on controlling those things that will hinder profit. Any time a resource is expended and we do not recoup the cost of the resource, we have suffered a loss. Another way to put it: we have created waste.

There you have it. The training I conduct  must be focused on preventing waste in my organization. So before I can establish a training program, I need to understand what waste is, potential for waste (and for which kind of waste) in any process, and then putting in place counter-measures to avoid the waste.

In the next post, we will look at waste (well, actually, we will read about it). But before we go forward, I need to insert a comment about counter-measures. This is because “putting in place” counter-measures can mean one of two things:

1. Designing, developing and implementing the waste-avoidance counter-measure

2. Describing the counter-measure in the best possible manner to ensure the counter-measure is effectively implemented.

You could argue that the “trainer” is only concerned with the second option. Here’s your opportunity to do more than mere training…if I dare say it, “add more value!” When attempting to describe a counter-measure, you should make every effort to ensure it makes sense, and if a simpler or more effective counter-measure can be devised, discuss it with the “process owners.”

About Tim James "Mr. Procedure"

A communicator; all-purpose capability in writing, designing and presenting training for all facets of organizational function. While my focus has been manufacturing, my training/development experience includes supervisory and lead person development, audit processes, continuous improvement and Lean, and Quality Management System implementation.
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