Monday, March 18, 2013

One Track

One Track Training

By Tim Ard, President Forest Applications Training, Inc.

I was viewing a training video recently from another industry and something really struck home with me that applies to chainsaws and training there of. It stated that our minds are truly one track. We can only process one thing at a time. A brain in thought (in process) cannot process another thought unless the first process is completed or rejected. If we are given a detailed list of information for a task we should make notes without trying to process it as we write it down. If we attempt to think it through (process it) as we are receiving the information we will undoubtedly miss some of the needed important information.

What does this mean? If we are trying to think and process a plan in our head and something or someone else interrupts the process all processes stop until resumed or replaced with the later. I’m confusing myself now….

We need to make sure instruction, or supervision of a task, with an individual or crew allows for thought processing. If we do not have a clear shared plan before beginning, trying to do everything by command during the task, the brain is not allowed to function properly. No one learns and the outcome is questionable. Trying to train while attempting a production situation, on the job training, may not allow for rapid retention of the processes.

In a discussion with a supervisor group recently, they all agreed that it definitely takes longer to bring a new employee up to speed, even on basic tasks, if you are trying to do so in a production environment. Achieving productivity while taking the time to educate on the task is simply hard to do. This is even sometimes true when just moving workers between crews or even to new crew locations with experienced workers.

It’s tough to realize productivity in a new given task. We come up with an imagined goal of what a task should take in time, let’s say like sharpening a twenty inch loop of saw chain, but we don’t weigh in the factors of how a basic understanding of the task is reflected in the efficient use of the sharpening device to accomplish the task. We think a tool is going to be the answer to productivity, in reality it is the operator’s understanding of the projected result that makes the tool faster or more efficient. Production (Production=Efficiency Accomplished Safely) is expected without first building the basis of the task through education/training. We try the tool or technique without reading the manual for proper set up nor understand the design of the tool to maximize its function and accomplish the task.

Training programs (a good one) with maximum results are usually well timed and implemented to the participant’s ability to retain the information. Repetition assists retention outcome, taking time to repeat information enough to maximize results. We all wish we could be proficient at any task we desire to overtake in short order, but some tasks just take longer to master. In rushing the process, it is often clear the basics are overlooked, thinking we are above that plateau of experience. We then have to back up several times to retain the information to move along forward again.

Back to the top - We are told to do something without first given the ability to think through the why’s and how’s of the operation and or task. We fail because of it or the tool or technique is thought to be insufficient to the task. We are back to being told what to do to improve productivity, and we cant think through the reasoning because our brain can’t process it all in a given amount of time.

So, we need to train our brain to understand the basics, repeat as needed to retain the information and then move on…. This must be the reason we are not allowed to finish grades one through twelve in six years. Our one track brain needs one track information and it takes “One Track Training Time” to get us there.

Test Question - Do you consider on the job tasks during productivity a training program?

Try One Track Training and compare the results….

© 2013 Forest Applications Training, Inc.