Engineer’s First Day on the Job
Today, I want to talk to the young up-and-comers, excited to get started in their careers, and also any managers who are hiring them. Follow me through a typical day on the job of lightning problem solving for a little on-the-spot training!
So, you got a job in manufacturing, or maybe you’re in college hoping to get a manufacturing job when you graduate. What do you need to know to be successful? It’s much easier to learn how to solve problems the right way BEFORE you’ve trained yourself how to solve problems the wrong way.“It’s much easier to learn how to solve problems the right way BEFORE you’ve trained yourself how to solve problems the wrong way.” Click To Tweet
The hardest engineers I’ve EVER trained were engineers that thought they were good problem solvers before they attended my class. They had a history of finding bandage solutions quickly, but not finding root cause. (I have a video called Root Cause versus Solution you can check out if this is a new concept for you.) Bandage solutions will look like you’re solving the problem at hand in the moment. But usually they set off a chain reaction of creating new problems at the same time. This is NOT good problem solving!
Video: Engineer's 1st Day on the Job
Toss the Band-Aids – Grab the Hoe and Go for the Root Cause!“If you ever get the opportunity, I recommend taking a 3-day course on lightning fast problem solving.” Click To Tweet
If you ever get the opportunity, I recommend taking a 3-day course on lightning fast problem solving. Simply learning these job skills is what has set me apart from your average, run-of-the-mill engineers. It will make you stand out far above all of the bandage solution hunters that still “solve” problems the outdated, inefficient, problem-causing way. Mastering the skills I teach can set you apart from the rest too!
Here’s my BIGGEST piece of advice for you guys – if you remember NOTHING else, please remember this! There is an 8-letter word that can totally change your life and set you light years ahead of all of your competition. If you’ve watched many of my videos or read the corresponding blogs, you’ll be very familiar with it. In fact, we can belt it out together like Aretha Franklin and her backup singers if you want! The word is C-O-N-T-R-A-S-T. Sigh. You’re right. I’m a syllable off. But it was fun trying!
When is it Appropriate to look for Contrast?
When you’re faced with a manufacturing project, remember to look for contrast. It could be a broken part, or a gap or flushness problem. You could be dealing with scratches or a paint problem. Maybe there’s a noise or water leak you’re dealing with. Your competitors are all going to be looking only at the bad parts and trying to figure out how to put a bandage on them or fix them. But not you! You now know something that nobody else learned in college. You know sticking a bandage on something might seem to fix the single problem under the microscope but it’s going to create new ones in the process.
When they are looking ONLY at the bad parts, YOU are going to be looking at a group of BAD parts and comparing them to a group of GOOD parts. Why? Your goal is simply to find contrast.“Contrast will lead you to the root of what’s causing the problem. Then you can address the root of the problem so it never comes back again.” Click To Tweet
Contrast will lead you to the root of what’s causing the problem. Then you can address the root of the problem so it never comes back again. I have more specific videos on how to look for contrast in each of these situations if you need help getting started on a specific project. Also, I’m always just a phone call or an email away if you get stuck and need a little advice to get through a tricky project. Better yet – your first call is free! I’m here to help you get started strong!
Why should Redesign be your Last Resort?
So you’ve collected a fair representation for both sides. What is different between the good parts and the bad parts? Look at the good parts that are never failing and compare them with the bad parts that have broken or failed in some way. Your competition will look only at the bad parts and almost automatically think redesigning the part is the answer. Even if only 1% of the parts are failing and 99% of the parts never failed!If only 1% of the parts are failing and 99% of the parts never failed, when you redesign, you’re changing the 99% of the parts that would have never failed. Click To Tweet
When you redesign, you’re changing the 99% of the parts that would have never failed. Redesigns are very expensive and new designs introduce new problems. Instead, you need to find what’s different between the 1% that failed and the 99% that never failed. Contrast.
And Now for the Bonus Round!
This last section is specifically geared toward managers bringing new engineers into their manufacturing company. My best advice is that you’ll really want to invest in sending them through the 3-day lightning problem solving class. It will:
- Give them the right tools for finding contrast lightning fast.
- Teach them to identify root cause instead of using “bandage solutions.”
- Base their decisions solely on hard data that no one can refute.
- Fill them with confidence in their root cause identification.
- Award them certification in the basics of lightning problem solving techniques, designed to help your company become the best in your industry!
I love hearing from you! Comment below with any savvy tips you’d like to add for new engineers. Thanks so much for joining me and until next time, happy problem solving!