Is TWI a Strength-Based Approach? 0

When I think about Training within Industry (TWI), I think of a method of incremental training. You don’t go out and try to train everyone at once, but you work on Methos, Relationships and Instruction.  I asked Bob Petruska, the author of Gemba Walks for Service Excellence: The Step-by-Step Guide for Identifying Service Delighters, a question that eventually involved into looking at TWI as a Strength Based Approach.

Bob Petruska of Sustain Lean Consulting will be working his magic in his upcoming workshop at the 2014 Jacksonville AME Conference where you can participate and witness the Pizza Game.

Related Transcription: Ramblings of a Lean Practitioner

Joe: When you look at training individuals, then we talk about that lot that we have to train individuals and teach them about Lean. Is it so much training or is it just, like you just said, getting out of the way and leaving them try a few things and encouraging it?

Bob: Yeah, that’s interesting. The training has certainly evolved. What we think of is training or what I used to think of is training as you go to a class and you learn something and then maybe you use 5% of it, you know, and then you’ll forget 100% of it in 2 weeks, you know. So, training’s not effective unless you’re doing and I think learning by doing is a great way. And, what I encourage people to do is not only learn by doing but then teach other people. So, to put it this way, if I teach you something and I say “Okay. You can do this job now.” But, I’m going to ask you, Joe, I want you to train someone else.” That’s a whole other ball game. You’ve got to really raise your ability up to another level if you train another person.

I think it’s that helping relationship that we nurture by allowing people to train other people that really propels it and makes it stick because you really get a deeper understanding if you have to teach another person. I’m always on the lookout for those early adopters and people that really want to latch on and that want to carry the ball forward. Many times it’s often the person that is the least susceptible to the idea in the first place. They’re the ones that are kind of grumpy and saying “Well, that’ll never work.” I have people tell me “Bob, that’ll never work. We’ve tried that before.” I love people like that because I want to flip them because they become the biggest advocates of any improvement process.

Joe: I think of it when you’re talking that way is training within industry or TWI, is that because you don’t go out and try to train everyone at once, you actually get someone to master it and become your advocate and train more, you know, through the different programs of it. Is there any truth in that, I mean are you familiar with TWI?

Bob: I certainly am and I know there’s a component in there for the supervisor and we learn that that first-line supervisor is really key to any of these things. Again, we need to get ourselves in a position where we can step back and let other people shine. That’s not to say we can’t set them up for success. A big part of TWI is setting the person up for success because if a person is successful from the beginning they build confidence. You’re trying something new and we want you to be successful. On the other hand, we also want to correct your mistakes immediately and we do this in a non-confrontational manner. We just say, “Look, when you’re learning this, try it and see how it goes.” And then, come back and review. Watch them. If you see them making a mistake, correct them on the spot because they won’t take offense to it. They actually, “Oh, here let me show you how this is done. Wait let me show you again.” So, that they really can master it and once they demonstrate that they can do the job, then you’ve pretty well got it. So, I think TWI is brilliant and really it’s foundational.

Joe: Is TWI a strength-based approach?

Bob: I think so. I mean it’s not looking at deficits, is it?

Joe: No, it’s not at all. Is it?

Bob: It’s looking at best practice, right? It’s ‘let’s document’ the best practice that we know of. And then, let’s deliver it in a way that’s palatable for adult learners. You know, there’s a lot of people in the industry that have grown up teaching elementary students and that’s a totally different game than in adults. Adults don’t want to be treated like children, so we have to be really careful about how we approach them and TWI really fits the bill.

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Communities Just Don’t Happen Mind Map 0

I have gotten out of the habit making as many mind maps as I once did. It is probably because the amount of books that I now have on Kindle. My current tendency is to highlight and make electronic notes in the book itself. It has replaced the post-it-notes inside the books on my bookshelf. However, I recently was reading The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups that I not only littered in post-it-notes but had an outstanding chapter on communities that I could have just highlighted the whole chapter. Instead, I made the following mind map.


Download PDF: Communities Just Don’t Happen

I had first found the book as a result of researching work by Bill Baker on the Seven Norms of Collaboration. These are a set of tools to create productive communication:

  1. Pausing
  2. Paraphrasing
  3. Probing for Specificity
  4. Putting ideas on the table
  5. Paying attention to self and others
  6. Presuming positive intentions
  7. Pursuing a balance between advocacy and inquiry

My first thoughts about both of these items; “What a great set of sales tools!” 

What are yours?

Is Trust in Sales Still Needed? 0

The Trust Equation

Trustworthiness = (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation

The above equation was a central part of a discussion with Charles Green, author of a series of books that have long been a favorite of mine.  I own all of them and even have one in both print and audio. Chales GreenThese books seem to be timeless and never more on point than the present.

Charles Book’s:

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What Type of Individual Manages A Project Better 0

I asked MICHAEL SINGER DOBSON, a marketing executive, project management consultant and nationally-known speaker; “In all your experiences, is there a certain type of individual that manages a project better? To me there always seem that if you get the right guy heading the project, it gets done.”

Michel has been a staff member of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, award-winning game designer, and career counselor in his varied career. My favorite book of Michael’s, out of twenty or so he wrote, is Creative Project Management.

An excerpt from the Podcast and Transcription: Impossible Projects

Michael:   Yes, absolutely. But the right guy does vary project to project. There are projects in which say construction, nice classical project. The discipline, I am there’s a lot to be discipline. I don’t mean to trivialize it in any way, shape or form. It’s understood as a discipline. If you want to master it, you can master it. The mind-set is highly organized, forceful and detail oriented. You get somebody running R&D projects in the game business, since I’m familiar with that, what you need is somebody who’s out of the box thinker. The number of tasks and the complexity of tasks are normally not great. All of the brain’s sweat, all of the effort is on that creative side and frankly Microsoft Project does relatively small amounts of good in the environment like that. It’s a very different sort of situation. It is certainly the case that you want the confident right person.

Projects vary so much that the correct answer is different. Who do you need? I mean notice somebody like Steven Spielberg still has a team of staff producers. Kathleen Kennedy, people like that, who can run all the logistics to free him up to do the things that only he can do. If I’m a project management professional in here, yes I can lead the project in the areas in which I am confident but a lot of times the help I can give you is I can help somebody else set up the organizational component for you to get that off your back. It all varies; political skills, forcefulness, persuasive ability, negotiation. I tell people all the time that the best followup for basic class and project management is a class in negotiation. I mean, project managers are basically all blanche du bois; we rely on the kindness of strangers.

By the definition of a project, it’s something outside the normal routine. So, it’s mostly the case that a large part of your team are not people who report to you in some formal standard supervisory sense because the project is of limited duration, it will end and those resources would have to be released to somebody else. In most cases it’s true, if you’ve got a job to do, it’s almost always the case that you cannot possibly get it done without the willing and essentially voluntary cooperation of people over whom you have no direct official power or control and I know you’ve been there to, I’m sure.

Joe:          Oh, I’ve always been very convinced. It’s not about having the best idea. It’s about what can get implemented. Not the best idea always can be implemented.

Michael:   Absolutely. Politics is very simple. I have a test if you have office politics in the organization. It’s very simply. You do a head count, number exceeds 3; you’ve got it because people do not check their humanity, self-interests of goals at the door when they punched in to go to work. It never has been the case, never will be the case. If you can’t work with that, your effectiveness as project manager is going to be incredibly limited.

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Want To Be a Program Manager? 0

I asked Paula Wagner in a past podcast what qualities do you look for in someone that wants to fill the position of Global Program Manager? Paula Wagner, MBA, PMP, has more than 20 years of business experience in technology, strategy, and planning.

Related Podcast and Transcription: The Program Manager UnMasked

Paula:  With someone who’s a Global Program Manager, I would say for anyone working in a global business, the number one skill is flexibility. Because you have to be flexible and understand different cultures, different customs, different styles of doing business. I once talked to somebody and they said when they hire someone for a global position they always want to know is this person going to eat at the hotel restaurant or are they going to go and experience the culture and eat at the restaurant down the street and really experience their customs and their food.

There are a number of skill sets to being a program manager. Obviously, leadership, these people have to lead project managers who are very strong leaders in themselves, but also you’re leading this whole enterprise to achieve the business results you’re looking for. Understand the politics and the market conditions and the locations that you’re operating in that can affect any of the projects that you’re overseeing.

There’s also a need to be somewhat technical, technology savvy, or technical savvy, in the area that your projects are under so you can understand their language and their needs and their experiences. You also want to have a strategic vision. Be able to look and think broadly, and then act locally; understanding the organizational structure of the company as well as the structure of the program and the project managers. You also need some environmental awareness ? what’s going on in the world and how it would affect the work that you’re doing. And it’s always great to have experience as a project manager before stepping into the shoes as a program manager.

Program managers have to be real great time managers because they have to be flexible and obviously people are working around the world so you have to be cognizant of time zones, time changes. In the U.S., we have Daylight Savings Time. In around the world those that do practice Daylight Savings Times have different weekends that it changes, so they have to be aware of that.

I actually worked on a program where Daylight Savings had to be written into the software, so that can easily shift or add an hour or lose an hour during those two days of the year. And most importantly a program manager has to have strong communications skills as well as people skills. And sometimes those soft skills are often the hardest skills that there are, is the way to work with people and really be able to communicate both verbally and in writing so that people from many different backgrounds can understand you.

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When is there to much information on a page? 0

I asked Mick Campbell, MBA is co-founder and Managing Partner of OPPM International (The New One-Page Project Manager: Communicate and Manage Any Project With A Single Sheet of Paper) that question in a past podcast.

Related Podcast and Transcript: Easy, Not Simple Project Management

Joe: Has anyone ever claimed that there is too much information on a page?

Mick: That’s an interesting conversation. I recall a wonderful, in-depth conversation with a friend of mine at Texas Instruments whom I’ve come to know. He talked about using the OPPM as a front door step, as a boiler plate. As something that would draw in attention and then he wanted to have cells that you could click and find a litany of data in and behind that. That is as you would expect, because he is a detail oriented person.

One of the best thinkers and probably most successful project management writers, a gentleman by the name of Harold Kerzner has talked about an idea that we like and use, and he mentions it in some praise for some of our books. That executives, those who are making decisions have so much information to look at, and we, ourselves, we’ve got hundreds of web sites, we have multiple news publications, who know how many cable stations or satellite stations we have at our disposal, how many e-mail accounts you manage personally. We are inundated with information and so, how do we parse through that?

The idea being that when he goes out and does some things he causes that people write up a report, and invariably it is multiple pages and people have beautiful documentation that accompanies it, at the end of that he throws all this away to make a singular statement that I’ll share with everyone. I love this statement. I think it’s applicable to your comment about too much information on one page.

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He says that if there is a paper clip around it or a staple through it they won’t read it. So, we took that and applied it directly to our thinking, saying that you can’t choose or scrunch down your fonts size, you’ve got to keep it legible, and that, actually, for most of us who are detail oriented, which many people in the project world are, that becomes quite a bit of a struggle. In fact, when we’re out talking about the One-Page Project Manager that is sometimes the hardest thing for people to do is to try to determine how much information they’re going to put and what information is salient.

Production Improvement: Crank it up and Go Faster 0

Remember the classic TV segment of Ethel and Lucy at the candy factory? “That Lucy segment is a classic example of production and the mindset of “Hey, let’s turn this up and crank this dial and go faster,” said Bob Petruska in this video segment.

Bob Petruska of Sustain Lean Consulting will be working his magic in his upcoming workshop at the 2014 Jacksonville AME Conference where you can participate and witness the Pizza Game.

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You Tube: Production Improvement

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