Last week, we addressed the issue of “Basic Skills” training as an overlooked — but, critically necessary — part of any successful training program. In fact, it should be the initial focus of all workforce learning. A solid background in fundamentals such as work practice, proper tool use, applied industrial mathematics, reading and writing are all critical elements in any meaningful skills training program.

However, the desired goal of any skills training initiative lies at the other end of the training continuum. Without question, the ultimate test for your employees will prove to be their acquired troubleshooting skills — particularly in the areas of maintenance and operations.

While most maintenance tasks are routine, knowing how to systematically think through a problem is vital to an organization’s operating efficiency.

Acquiring troubleshooting skills equips the worker with strategic thinking that can be applied to the analysis of problems in any organizational system. Developing logical thinking skills and the ability to create a personal troubleshooting outlook will prove valuable under any troubleshooting situation.

Developing “logical thinking skills” should arm your employees with the procedural answers necessary to perform the following functions:

• How to perform root-cause problem solving.
• How to perform the basic steps involved in any general troubleshooting procedure.
• How to obtain information about any malfunctioning system.
• How to compare problem symptoms to normal operation.
• How to describe sources of information concerning normal operations.
• How to describe sources of information concerning the background of a problem.
• How to recognize the difference between a symptom and a cause.
• How to develop a troubleshooting plan.
• How to recognize the importance of schematics while troubleshooting.
• How to systematically perform the steps necessary to repair a problem.
• How to undertake the steps that can be taken to prevent, or minimize, future trouble.

Developing logical thinking skills is the bottom line test for all your employees. Individuals with excellent logical thinking skills are worth their weight in gold. They’re the ones who keep our organizations humming!

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com