Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help.

Mapping a Modern Effective Training Solution:
Overcoming Familiar Frustrations

Product Development Essentials for Engineers
Familiar Frustrations Training Solutions

Familiar Frustrations Training Solutions...

We are starting to see how the frustrations of traditional solutions can be improved by adopting good practice. By looking at how a typical business improvement plan for a small manufacturer might look like, we can start to see how a modern effective training solution would actually work.

Mapping a Modern Effective Improvement Process – Overcoming Familiar Frustrations

The key stages are listed as numbered points below. Related observations and suggestions are bulleted beneath each stage.

1. Learn best practice theory

  • Delivered digitally by web, email and eBook for advantages such as copying, customising, searching and dissemination to others.
  • In short – use Advice Manufacturing to access the crucial info capable of delivering step-change improvements for you.


2. Design and plan the most suitable method of applying best practice to your situation or manufacturing process.

  • Quickly customise digital data changing forms, templates, diagrams in presentations etc. so the best practice process closely resembles yours.
  • The information in text books doesn’t offer this level of flexibility.
  • The theoretical jargon-filled language often used in reference books doesn’t help either.


3. For 2) above, involve those actually performing the tasks. Undertake this at their place of work, in the physical environment they operate in.

  • Digital data can be modifying in situ. Use a laptop or tablet. Get the staff to actively contribute.
  • Discuss and plan improvements in situ, at employee workstations, where they can visualise and try out improvements. Refine good ideas and make them 100% applicable to your staff in your organisation.
  • Books simply haven’t got this flexibility.
  • Short course material is most effective and resonates when it’s being taught in the classroom. The problem is rarely is it then used immediately back at work, as business-as-usual tasks typically take priority – especially the stuff that has built up when you’ve been away!


4. For 2) and 3) facilitation is best undertaken by someone who knows and understands the overall process, is clear on the purpose, and appreciates company objectives.

  • Importantly they should understand the culture, the people, what motivates staff, as well as what worker concerns are. In short this should be undertaken by a company employee (champion) who has the respect of the staff.
  • This is ideal for an internal employee willing to champion improvement processes (perhaps as part of their own training, professional development or working towards a qualification or professional registration).
  • They use their understanding, trust and respect to get real meaningful information.
  • This is where so many consultants fall short. The reality is employees act and behave differently with outsiders. This is made worse when often they fear the result of any recommendation could be significant change, possibly even job losses.


5. Train and coach the staff in the new improved process.

  • This may be as a pilot initially. Standardisation is often the key. Constantly ask and answer questions explaining the changes, and emphasising the benefits both to the staff and to the business.
  • Again, the knowledge, trust and respect of the champion really comes into its own here. Initial resistance is far more likely to be overcome quickly.
  • Consultants, on the other hand often struggle here for the reasons mentioned earlier.


6. Get employees to undertake and practice the improved process until it’s being performed to an acceptable quality standard.

  • The champion’s knowledge of the culture, together with employee pride in their work will help.
  • The customised data ensures you are clear on what the desired quality standard is.
  • Likewise digital information on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone can be taken to where it’s needed.


7. Document the new improved process so it becomes standard. This provides guidance and training material.

  • Document the process in the work environment. Use digital information to do this directly, perhaps with a laptop. Use a range of media to document what you do well, including photos, text, presentation slides, even videos on mobile phones (showing detail with verbal description). Consider what  works best - anything most likely to best serve your purposes of instructing and training.
  • Books, courses and consultants don’t offer anywhere near this level of flexibility.


8. Continuously refine and enhance the process with suggestions from those doing the job every day.

  • They will naturally find better, faster ways of operating. Invite suggestions and recommendations. Continue to improve in the future.
  • Digital files can be quickly copied and updated. All that is required is version control on the files – easy!
  • Information held on company IT networks is then readily available to all and can be updated and controlled centrally, unlike paper copies.
  • This is also ideal for small companies considering ISO certification, other forms of accreditation or those preparing for audit. Your documented process demonstrates control.

Familiar Frustrations Training Solutions


There is a new, effective and powerful way of implementing training and improvement programmes. It is based on digital information delivered by those who know the business and possess great interpersonal and communication skills. It offers significant benefits over other traditional methods like consultants, books and short courses. In addition, it is low cost, convenient and can be rapidly customised. Further to this, it can be shown to offer excellent value for money by offering tangible benefits as part of a wider business strategy.

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