The work cell in lean requires job rotation and the workers being multi skilled, this promotes cross training that also is one of the lean tools. Cross Training is exactly what the name applies, multiple people trained for each function, and every person trained for several jobs.

Which Skills to Train with Cross Training

In an operation based layout where all presses are placed together, the operator would only need to know how to operate a press. A work cell works opposite to that, and would have all the operations to produce a product. In that case the operator would need to know how to operate all the machines in the cell and be able to take any function.

Monitoring the Cross Training

It is beneficial to monitor which operator has which skill in a work cell, as it highlights any issues with lack of training right away.
Below is an example of a Cross Training card.

Cross Training

Benefits of Cross Training

  • If more than one person is working in a cell, they can help each other if they are cross trained and one of them falls behind.
  • People are able to cross check each other’s work and improve quality as a result.
  • There is never a process step without an operator, as every operator can step in and do any function.
  • Employees get challenged by doing different jobs, and feeling less bored then doing same task constantly day after day.

Cross Training Not Just for Manufacturing

When going to a manufacturing floor Cross Training is often seen, backups are trained for each function to cover situations where people are on vacation, break and leave.
But even though same things apply to the office environment, Cross Training is much less seen there. As a result people often take their laptop or work phone with them on vacation, and spend long time trying to catch up after they come back from holyday.

If you are interested in lean and how to make your organisation more efficient, then our 5S Training might be interesting for you. 5S is usually one of the first elements implemented when starting out with lean, as it gives a great foundation for further improvements.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other trainings we offer.

Go to Quality Training