The Power of Digital One Point Lessons in Manufacturing

Connected WorkforceLearning & DevelopmentManufacturing Training February 22, 2023

One point lessons are a valuable training tool made even better by video and multimedia. Here’s why less is more when it comes to teaching skills effectively.

One Point Lessons 1

The concept in Lean manufacturing of fitting an instruction or training lesson onto a single sheet of paper for brevity is great, except for the “paper” part of it.

One point lessons (OPL) are a valuable training tool that can help address production issues by teaching workers specific skills concisely and effectively. They are typically short, visual and focus on a narrow aspect of a job or task. Traditionally written on one sheet of paper, one point lessons can now more often be found in video format in modern digital factories.

One point lessons are also an integral part of Continuous Improvement programs. By regularly reviewing and updating one point lessons, an organization can ensure that its employees are always up-to-date on the latest techniques and best practices. This leads to a more efficient and effective workforce as well as a more competitive organization overall.


There are several benefits of using one point lessons in your manufacturing plant, including:

  1. Effectiveness: Research has shown that less than 80% of information is retained by learners one month after formal training. By comparison, 70% of knowledge comes from on-the-job learning at the point and time of need.

  2. Immediate improvement: Since one point lessons are easier to understand and retain, employees quickly learn how to perform a task correctly, leading to improved performance.

  3. Efficiency: One point lessons are designed to be quick and focused so that they can be completed quickly. This allows employees to get back to their work and minimize disruptions quickly.

  4. Cost-effective: One point lessons are generally faster and less expensive to develop, maintain and deliver than formal training content. Poka users have reported that it is 50% faster to create video micro-lessons than written instructions.

  5. Flexibility: One point lessons can be delivered in various formats, such as in-person or video, making them flexible and easily accessible to employees.

5 Steps to Start Using One Point Lessons

Implementing and managing one point lessons at your plant is an easy process; here are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Identify an issue and area in production that is causing loss, quality issues or downtime

  2. Take the Operating Procedure for that task and break it down into smaller tasks.

  3. Create visual, one-point lessons for each task using the Training Within Industry (TWI) approach - explaining “what, how and why”

  4. Train your workforce with the new OPLs, ideally on the shop floor, at their workstations

  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson and make any necessary adjustments to improve it

Learning 4.0

Although one point lessons offer a major improvement over longer form, traditional training content, there is an even better way. Digitizing OPLs can provide an interactive and engaging learning format while reducing paper consumption. Digital work instructions also open up the possibility of using video. The saying a picture is worth a thousand words can be multiplied a hundredfold when we think of how much can be clearly communicated in a short video.

Video-based lessons have the added benefit of ‘democratizing’ the creation of content. Experienced workers that may not be comfortable writing instructions will often become your best content contributors when video instructions are used.

Poka is an application built to support continuous learning in factories. Digital work instructions and a library of troubleshooting solutions can be used as part of role-specific skills training and as refreshers on-the-job as needed.

For global manufacturing companies, more often than not, the hard-won improvements at one plant don’t make it out to the larger network of similar sites. However, with Poka's data structure, sharing content for common equipment or processes across global operations is easy, reducing the burden of creating content and ensuring best practices are fully leveraged.

Finally, the Poka platform also offers skills tracking, which enables management to oversee worker skills development. The skills matrix gives an at-a-glance view of the team’s skills coverage and gaps.

Case Study - Switching From Paper to Digital One Point Lessons

Before Poka, a leading dairy producer had a hefty collection of one point lessons stored in binders for employees to follow. These OPLs were created as a final learning as part of their continuous improvement process and were available for reference as needed.

Paper-based OPLs caused issues that impacted new and old workers differently. For experienced employees who had been with the company for a while, once they knew how to perform a task, they no longer needed to refer to the documentation—making them unaware of any recently added improvements or modifications.

Meanwhile, new hires were trained on standard work instructions, but weren’t given extra time to learn these separate OPLs. They knew how to do their work to standard, but weren’t adopting any new ways of working.

In summary, no one was getting trained on these carefully crafted one point lessons, so their continuous improvement efforts were rendered fruitless.

Now that their work instructions and one point lessons have been digitalized:

  • OPLs are available in easy-to-understand multimedia

  • They can be accessed in seconds via QR code on the factory floor

  • Workers are notified when updates or new lessons are added

  • Management can see who has or hasn’t read instructions

With Poka, one point lessons are not longer a stand-alone training or improvement process. New lessons can be added as issues in the knowledge base or immediately rolled into existing work instructions to train new hires on updated best practices. That’s the wonderful flexibility that cloud-based training provides.


Technology has greatly impacted how we learn and access information. Poka is one example of how technology can be used to deliver one point lessons in an effective and engaging way. The platform's ability to track and measure the effectiveness of one point lessons and mobile-friendly design makes it a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve operations. For more information on how Poka can help you make the most out of one point lessons, contact one of our experts.

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