Do you like to write every small thing you encounter or you rely more on your memory? Well if you ask the same question to a larger audience, you will find that people would say that they would prefer to remember and only if it is very important, they will write it down. Well, this habit is a cause of concern for TPM implementation. Many of the companies that are implementing TPM complain that there is a lot of documentation and paperwork required to be done and their team is not ready to write that much.
Is Documentation A Cause Of Concern For TPM Implementation?
As a TPM instructor / facilitator / Coordinator, I am sure you must have also encountered the same problem at your workplace. When deploying TPM activities in an organization, we need to understand the people mindset. If we would want an overnight change, then it would not help. Ideally, even the smallest improvement that we do should be written and displayed so that this brings in collaborative learning and cross-fertilization of ideas, but what would you do, if the people are not ready to pen down what they are thinking.
We would always want our workplace to be a visual workplace, but at the same time, we have to consider the people behavior mind. You might have several reasons that people are not ready to do documentation:
- Poor literacy level: In case you don’t have many literate people on the shop floor who can read or write and you ask them to write, then the people will hesitate. There might be a case that people are comfortable in their local language, but you ask those people to write in English because you want to impress the visitors, so people will not be motivated as they will feel very uncomfortable to write. As a solution, ask people to write in the language in which they are very conformable. Also, try to make things more pictorial rather than text so that people find it easy.
- People don’t have the required knowledge: You would want the people to prepare graphs, do a why-why analysis, prepare Pareto charts etc. but have you actually trained them how to do. Have you done the hand-holding so that they are comfortable doing it? We need to spend time with the people before we expect them to give results.
- People don’t find it useful to document things: If people believe that what you are asking them to write is not adding value, then be rest assured, that they will not be writing. So the first thing is that you have to explain the people the purpose of filling the documents or doing an analysis. Only once they see that they are adding value by writing, then only they would start doing that.
- People don’t want to share their knowledge with others: It might be a case that we are working in an organization that is not so transparent, so the people might feel that if they share their knowledge, then their importance in the organization would reduce. So they would refrain from writing or from showcasing their analysis. They would do something of their own without explaining the reasons to others. Recognizing the efforts of the people that have done a good job and also trained others would help you come out of this situation.
- People don’t have a have a habit to write: Since years, people have been working on a set routine and all of a sudden you ask them to document things, then the people might feel uncomfortable and would resist. Go slow and gradually involve them.
- There are too many documents / formats that you have introduced: As a TPM practitioner you might have brought some organizations to a world class level and when you change your organization, you would want to set the same systems in the new organization as well. So all the formats and documents that you used at the previous organization, you would want that to be introduced on day one. When people see so many documents, they get allergic and refuse to do documentation. Again the mantra is that be realistic, practical and exercise patience.
- Even if people write, there is no one reading those documents, so people have got demotivated: Very often you will find that even though people have filled up the documents, there is hardly any use of it. There is no one going through these documents and so people feel disinterested and often stop to document things. In such cases, as a TPM practitioner, you should try to organize review meetings on the shop floor where these documents are referred and people fee enthusiastic.
- You don’t have the proper systems to display and retrieve the documents: If you are working in a dusty environment or you do not have a systems / place to display the documents, then all these documents remains in the files / cupboards which hardly would be used. So create a system, so that these documents are displayed properly on the activity boards and people feel pride in showcasing them.
- People are not recognized for proper documentation: In organizations there are always few people who are very good in documentation. Use them as a catalyst. Also, recognize and appreciate people who are doing good jobs. You can also organize “The best activity board contest” or “Kaizen Story Board Contest” in the organization. This goes a long way in culture building
Considering the above points, if you are able to draw up your documentation plan, then people would not complain and should see success soon and you will never complain that documentation a cause of concern for TPM implementation.