A Truth about Human Behavior:  MindSet drives behavior.  If you want someone to change their behavior, you need to make sure they change their MindSet first.

Now, why do we train people?  Is it one, for fun?  Is it two, because we don’t have anything better to do with them?  Or is it three, because we want them to do something new or to do things they are currently doing differently, that is, to change their behavior?  I’ll bet you answered three.

New topic:  Why does so much training fail?  We see a clear need for people to do things differently, we develop (or purchase) superior training that gives them every little step-by-step behavior they need to change and do a great job of delivering the training.  Yet, when the training is over, they don’t do things differently, they don’t change their behavior.  Did you ever think it’s because you either didn’t know you had to or forgot to help them change their MindSet either before or as part of the training?  I’ll bet not.

Here’s the good news!  The process of MindSet change is a very straight forward, three step process.  The three steps are: Thinking, Talking, Doing.  And, that’s all there is to is.  No magic.  Nothing obscure.  Nothing hard to master.  But, if helping people change their MindSet is left out, chances are your training won’t be as effective as you’d like, or it will outright fail!

So, next time we’ll start to look at the steps of MindSet change in order.


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If training fixes everything, how does it explain that lazy Head Receiving Clerk that absolutely, positively knows how, why and when to do the job but doesn’t.  How do you know that Head Receiving Clerk absolutely, positively knows how to do the job?  Because that Head Receiving Clerk has trained all new workers in that job for the last 10 years and each and every one of them has done the job on time, right from the first time and they do it right every time to this day!

Here’s a cold, hard fact.  Training is the remedy for just one thing.  The person expected to do the job does not know how to do the job, or in some cases why or when to do the job.  Training “fixes” a lack of knowledge.  And that’s it, period!

So, will training “fix” that Head Receiving Clerk?  If you said yes, then there is no hope for YOU! In the situation above it is very clear the issue with that Head Receiving Clerk is not a lack skill or of knowledge.  It has something to do with the Performance System within which that Head Receiving Clerk works.

In other cases, it is not that clear cut.  So, how do you determine if you have a training issue or a Performance System issue? Ask the four questions below:

  • What is not getting done that should be?
  • What is getting done that should not be?
  • What do you want to see more of?
  • What do you want to see less of?

These questions identify the areas where an assessment is needed.

Determine if the person/people in question have the skill and knowledge to do the job.  If not, it is a training issue.

If the person/people do have the required skill and knowledge it is a Performance System issue, not a training issue.

If you do not get an answer to at least one of the above questions you do not have a Performance System issue.  But, does that mean there is no issue?  No, it just means that it is not a Performance System issue.

In some cases, it may mean that you do not “like” the person in question.  If this is the case then it is your Performance System that needs attention.

Tip of the day:  Only train people who have a lack of skill or knowledge.

Test of the day:  Why is training people who already know how, why and when to do the job worse than doing nothing?  Because it makes you look like a fool.  Only a fool would train a person who already knows how, why and when to do the job!




John’s Corner – Insert – 10 May 2017

On May 10, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

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Insert – John’s Corner – 26 April 2017

On April 26, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

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Now the air is clear

On April 26, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

During the last 4 posts, we looked at a serious contamination problem at a Pharmaceutical Company we’ve called Pharmco.  Not to beat a dead horse, but I’ll say it again.  Before we got on the scene, they were shot-gunning causes.  They blamed everything from the operators, to the product itself, to the production equipment.  They had even, as I said in an earlier post, flown technicians from Germany in to “fix” the equipment.

Once we had Gathered, Sorted and Organized the information available all of the above Likely Causes were summarily dismissed.  Below is the Deviation Analysis Information we developed:

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When we define a Deviation, one of the things we ask is, “Given the information available, would a knowledgeable person, or group of people, be able to find the cause of this Deviation?”  So, that’s exactly what we did, we gave the above to their technical experts.

Here’s what they determined:

  • When the old storage room was converted to a clean-up room, the air lock was no longer needed, so they eliminated it.  This, combined with the fact that Production Rooms 507 & 508 were at the other end of that old air lock, and that 507 & 508 had their own HVAC, and that when no one was working in 507 & 508 the exhaust fan was turned on (running the exhaust fan as opposed to the HVAC when no one was working in a production room was company policy).
  • Considering that industrial HVAC systems draw “make-up” air from the outside, there is a slight positive pressure in all areas with HVAC.  When running an exhaust fan, that space has a slight negative pressure.
  • Putting it all together, they determined when the doors to both 507 & 508 and the clean-up room were open during non-production or clean-up times, the pressure differential between the two rooms allowed Dydramat dust to migrate from the clean-up room to 507 & 508.  When the doors to 507 & 508 were closed, the dust settled evenly over everything in the room.

And, that was all there was to it!

Next time we’ll look at a new topic.





John’s Corner – Insert – 12 April 2017

On April 26, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

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We’re making progress!

On April 12, 2017, in Case Study, Problem Solving, by George Loyer

When we started wave three of the Deviation Analysis, we knew that, in each case, Dydramat dust was only found in production rooms 507 and 508.  Next, we discovered it was found during the regular pre-production inspection.  This inspection takes place just before the start of production on the first scheduled production day after the normal cleaning and maintenance days.  During the inspections on 8, 16 and 24 February and on 3 March they found the Dydramat dust more or less evenly distributed all over the floor and on the production equipment.  Although the Dydramat dust was barely visible, a thorough vacuuming produced from a low of 31 grams to a high of 68 grams.  Analysis of each vacuum bag indicated that in each case the dust was virtually pure Dydramat.  Fortunately, no Dydramat dust made its way into the Microcyn production equipment.  If it had, they would have had to shut down production.

We confirmed that since the Dydramat dust was found in rooms 507 and 508 on 8 February, the only time Dydramat dust has been found is during the regular pre-production inspection.  We know that because since 9 February Product Quality has been checking all active Microcyn production rooms on an hourly basis.  They have found no trace of Dydramat dust.  The only time it is found is during the regular pre-production inspection.

Whenever there is a problem like this, lots of Likely Causes start to fly around, mostly from people not directly involved in the Deviation Analysis.  Based upon the information we had at this point in the Deviation Analysis, we could conclusively rule out the following possible causes that were flying around:

  • Incompetent operators are letting Dydramat dust fly around.
  • The sealing equipment in the clean-up room doesn’t work right.
  • The production equipment in question was used in Dydramat production during the previous cycle.

Tip of the day:  When you do a good job of gathering, sorting and organizing information, you can rule out Likely Causes that do not make sense.

Next time we’ll look at the true Likely Cause and how we proved it.



Last time we determined there was documented Dydramat contamination in Microcyn production rooms on 8 Feb, 16 Feb, 24 Feb and 3 March.  That was a good start.  So, we continued our Deviation Analysis by determining if just some, or all of the Microcyn production rooms were contaminated.

Production floors 3 and 5 are dedicated to Microcyn production in 10 functionally identical production rooms.

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The investigation quickly found that production rooms 507 & 508 were the only Microcyn production rooms with the Dydramat contamination.

Floor 4 is dedicated to Dydramat production.  As the Dydramat contamination is limited to rooms 507 & 508, we quickly ruled out anything directly related to floor 4 as the cause.  In addition, we knew something about floor 5 itself was directly related to the contamination problem.

So, we compared floor 5 to the other floors in the production building.  Here’s what we found:

  • Each floor has its own Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
  • On each floor, except floor 5, there is one HVAC system for the entire production area.
  • All HVAC systems are zone controlled, allowing for HVAC being provided to each production room independently as needed.
  • About 2 years ago, the HVAC on floor 5 was upgraded to provide better HVAC control.
  • Floor 5 now has 3 independent HVAC systems.  One services the offices.  Another serves what is now the Production Equipment Clean-up Room and production rooms 505, 506, and 509.  The third HVAC system is dedicated to production rooms 507 and 508.

The above got us to focus on the HVAC equipment.  Standard procedure is to turn the air conditioner off when there is no sanitation activity or production in a production room.  Because there is no heat being generated by the equipment and because people are not continuously working in the area, air handling is accomplished by turning on the exhaust fan in each production room.  This significantly reduces your electrical cost and is only a minor inconvenience to the people staging the sanitized equipment in the room in preparation for the next production run.

Next time we’ll continue to look at the Deviation Analysis and how we used the information above.




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John’s Corner – Insert – 29 March 2017

On March 29, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

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John’s Corner – 15 March 2017 – Insert 2

On March 15, 2017, in Uncategorized, by George Loyer

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