What is the Job Methods Training Program?

Job Methods Training (JM) is the second program of the Training within Industry group.  It teaches supervisors the procedure to improve how to do the job continuously.  It focuses on improvements to get more quality products in less time with the effective use of the resources available.   Supervisors and employees learn how to improve processes by breaking them down into smaller steps questioning each one as a way to generate improvement ideas.  

JM teaches four steps to improve the job, break down the job, question every detail, develop a new method for performing the job, and then apply it.  See the program summary taken from the JM card, at the end of the post.

The first step of the Job Methods Training is to break down the Job

  • Use the Job Breakdown sheet to list each step and detail of the job as it’s currently performed. 
  • Be sure to include all aspects of material handling, machine work, and work performed by hand.

Question every detail

  • Review the list of job steps and details and question each one. 
  • Ask questions using the 5W’s and 1H
    • Why is this necessary?
    • What’s the purpose?
    • Where’s the best place to do it?
    • When is the best time to do it?
    • Who’s the worker that’s most qualified/most appropriate to do it?
    • How is the best way to do it?
  • Also, question every other detail related to the job task, like materials, equipment, workplace layout, process flow, and housekeeping.  

Develop new job methods to perform the job

  • Eliminate unnecessary steps and details
  • Combine steps to reduce waste when it is possible
  • Put steps into the best sequence (order)
  • Simplify all details possible, like motion, layout, tools, and handling.
  • Work out and review your ideas with other workers
  • Write up a proposal

Apply the new method

  • Begin the process of getting change approved and implemented
  • Get approval based on considerations related to safety, quality, quantity, and cost
  • Implement change
  • Make sure people involved in proposing change get due credit or recognition.

If all this sounds familiar, is because it is.  You heard this before when we talk about how to create Standard Work to solve problems.  Once you prove the new method accomplishes the purpose of getting more quality products in less time using effectively the resources available, it is time to create the new standard.

Job Methods training program

What is and how do you use the Job Breakdown Sheet?


Use the Job Breakdown Sheet to breakdown the job into steps

What is this?

The Job Breakdown Sheet is used as part of the Job Instruction program to breakdown the job into the smaller steps that make it up.   By doing this, we make it easier to understand and learn each step at a time.  The form provides space to analyze each step (what you do) by explaining the key points (how you do it) and the reasons (why you do it that way).

Job Breakdown Sheet example

Let’s use one example to explain better how to use the sheet.  The process or operation that I will use as an example is how to cook a sunny-side egg.  

The top of the form contains the heading, which is general information. This information describes the process and what you need to do the job.  You will need to list all ingredients, materials, equipment, and tools need to cook two eggs.   

The breakdown section has the job steps, those that advance the work, change or transform the materials or ingredients, or adds value. Use action verbs or phrases to start the description of each step. For each one, add the corresponding Key Points and Reasons.

The Key Points explain how to do the steps along with critical information that will help to avoid injuries, ensure the quality of the product, or make the job easier. To add this information, use adjectives or adverbs. The section called Reason explains why the step exists. When you take time to explain to people why it is critical to do something, they understand the job better and are more inclined to follow the instruction. The Why section is meaningful because it is used to support safety, quality, delivery, or cost objectives.

Please, see below the breakdown example. You can use it as a reference to breakdown one of your jobs.

Job Breakdown Sheet for how to cook sunny-side eggs