PATS is focused on
The PATS approach integrates training into workflow by taking the
learning process from the training room and moving it to where employees actually do their
All employees are involved in work processes--all the little things
that are done at the work site. Thousands of processes take place on the job within an
organization every day. PATS promotes a simplified teaching and learning process at the
work area. It differs from a standard training program by going beyond the training
room--it's on-the-job, just-in-time (JIT) learning. Employees never have to leave their
job site to learn and improve their work processes.
On-the-job training (OJT) is a very effective learning intervention.
Many organizations want to formalize OJT, but they do not have a system in place to
follow. PATS helps organizations develop a formal OJT system that can be used to shorten
process cycle time and simultaneously reduce learning cycle time.
The reason OJT works within many organizations is because it makes
training more comfortable between the trainer and the learner. PATS makes learning
nonthreatening because most people tend to feel more comfortable when a co-worker teaches them
how to properly complete a work process, as opposed to being taught by a training
professional. The people acting as trainers, gain insight from the training. They become
more knowledgeable about their own work processes by repetitive teaching, and their
co-workers' knowledge and skills increase because of repetitive learning.
Subject Matter Experts
Every organization has a group of individuals who are subject matter
experts (SMEs). They know exactly how their jobs are performed. These SMEs are the
foundation for PATS and are the building blocks for an organization's in-house training
program. The SMEs are an organization's experts for deploying PATS.
Following the PATS methodology, SMEs lead teams of their co-workers to
carefully examine each work process and to create process-learning session plans. These
teams not only work on identifying and describing each step of a work process, they also
evaluate how the process fits into the big picture of their department's purpose and their
organization's mission. The teams also can determine ways to improve the work process and
reduce cycle time.
Having the subject matter experts create the process learning session
plans empowers them. Many organizations talk about empowerment, but empowerment is a
misused term and misunderstood concept. Organizations that empower
employees are not loosening corporate standards. They are giving employees a sense of
ownership within their work areas.
With PATS everyone in the organization is provided an opportunity to
improve work processes. Everyone is empowered to operate within his or her own work area
to take control of the services and products he or she produces and to respond in a timely
fashion to co-workers and other endusers.
Total Quality Management (TQM) organizations look at customers both
internally and externally. Inside TQM organizations, employees are encouraged to look at
their fellow workers as a customer or a supplier, not as co-worker. When employees respond
to each other through this relationship, they tend to view each other differently. They
are focused on satisfying each other's requirements in the work place.
Reward and Recognition
PATS provides an organization a well-trained work force in a short
period of time, and it benefits all the areas directly related to the training.
Furthermore, it has a positive impact on areas such as design control, management
responsibility, and purchasing. Because PATS directly involves everyone in the work force
in identifying and designing critical work processes, it makes quality an
organization-wide process instead of only a management commitment.
But the real benefits are to the people on the job. Because PATS
actively involves employees in the training process from start to finish, it recognizes
their hands-on understanding of their jobs. In addition, it empowers them as experts who
know best what it takes to do their jobs and to do them right.
The subject matter experts not only become on-the-job trainers, but
also role models and communicators who set important examples by practicing correct and
safe work processes. PATS is a rewarding experience for everyone--from senior employees to
PATS delivers thoroughly documented work processes. When an
organization documents its work processes, it allows everyone in the organization to
flowchart and document the critical processes and to eliminate unnecessary, costly steps.
In addition, the shortened "cycles of learning" reduce cycle time at the work
site. The PATS process enables the work force to operate in an efficient, timely manner,
thereby increasing productivity through shortened work processes and creating a simplified
For more information about PATS, contact Dr. Fisher