November 30, 2013

Five Requirements of a Manufacturing Team Leader in Toyota

Toyota production organization structure is composed of small teams of workers. They are multiskilled and can produce full assembly or subassemblies at reduced numbers if one or two of them are absent. They on their own can decide to work overtime if the full day's production was not completed.

The leaders of these teams have to following role.

1. Knowledge of work - A team leader must have knowledge of all the tasks.

2. Knowledge of responsibilities

3. Skill in instructing - He must be able to educate and train his team members in the production activities.

4. Skill in improving methods - This is a very important addition to the role. Taylor hypothesized that a foreman will be burdened with too many tasks and may not be able to take up the role of improving methods. But at Toyota, the problem was solved by creating small teams and giving the responsibility of improving the methods to the team leader and team.

5. Skill in working with people

Toyota trained its team leaders through Training Within Industry (TWI) courses initially.

JI - Job instruction course

JM - Job methods course

JR - Job relations course

Smalley mentions that these five roles were specified by TWI courses.

Yes. They are mentioned in TWI Bulletins

Development  of SUPERVISORS through careful selection, assignment, of supervisory duties of increasing responsibility, and provision for related organized help through discussions and conferences, under both plant and outside auspices, dealing with methods of instruction, methods of developing better ways of doing a job, methods of improving working relationships, and knowledge of  responsibilities.
(The paragraph is from the bulletin - Management and Skilled Supervision issued by Bureau of Training War Manpower Commission in June 1944)

Preview the book Isao Kato and Art Smalley

Art Smalley on Lean Leadership

No comments:

Post a Comment