Pinewood Derby Cars, Standard Work and Training

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service=""]It is Pinewood Derby Car season and working with a 6 year old who wants to use a coping saw, spray paint, and lead weights just sends chills down my spine. One thing that is helping get me through this process without a mental meltdown or trip to the hospital is reflecting on how a new associate, the 6 year old mentioned above, and I, the supposed reasonable adult or Supervisor go through the derby car making process and how Standard Work and training would help the manufacture of the car, calm my nerves, and make a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

As I am working through this process one thing really stood out for me. How important it is to stress safety, ergonomics, and mistake proofing. I have helped develop standard work for a various number of operations and I have had safety as part of the process but not the main focus. Now I am taking a fresh look at the process and seeing that I should be raising this aspect even higher. Also, adding mistaking proofing to the standard work is probably obvious to most but in the past I have made it a separate process.

The why we are doing something is always important to capture but once again I find myself not doing it to the level of detail I should. When you are working with kids and they do the 10 why’s, I found that some of the steps are unnecessary and others demand a deeper explanation than I originally thought.

Standard work does not eliminate the need for training and the training should not be OTJ. Once again this is obvious but how do you facilitate this process? After going through standard work and answering or at least investigating the questions, there needs to be time for the associate to perform the work off line. This entails a duplicate process or at least something close to what they will be asked to do. This then creates work questions and potential concerns related to the process that will trigger either another review of standard work or additional changes to the document. Once reviewed again, the associate can join the workforce.

Thinking through this process helped both of us create the car we wanted and gave me some added insight into standard work that was refreshing. Sometimes thinking like a six year old has its advantages.

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4 Responses

  1. I am looking forward to my first (well with my son) derby experience this March. I will have to keep this in mind, I work a lot in my shop with my kids. I even had to find small safety glasses and work gloves so they could practice what I teach. You do learn a lot from your children. Nice story to share.

    Tim McMahon
    A Lean Journey

  2. Good insite Scott!
    I think you hit on something we overlook in the respect for people piller. Protect them like they were your own child.

  3. […] Check out Mr. Meruna’s lively and refreshing post here. […]

  4. […] tweetmeme_service = '';tweetmeme_source = 'leanisgood'; Several weeks ago I posted an article related to building a pinewood derby car. After superior engineering, cutting edge tribology and a monster paint job, we didn’t bring […]

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