Lean and Training Within Industry (TWI)
The Missing Link to Quality, Productivity, and Sustaining Lean Improvements
by Larry Rubrich
What is TWI?
TWI is a three-component training system for ensuring new employees are properly oriented and trained in their job and in continuous improvement activities. Additionally, it ensures existing employees are properly trained when process improvements are made or when these employees are moved to different jobs.
The three components of TWI are:
- Job Relations Training (JR)-making sure the lead/supervisor/manager has an understanding of what leadership is, and what good employee relations are in preparation for the training
- Job Instruction Training (JI)-preparing the worksite and the employee for the training-then doing the training
- Job Methods Training (JM)-a process for promoting the improvement of the quality and productivity of the current method or process
It should be noted here that we present the components in a different order than the original TWI order of JI, JM, and JR, because the people orientation of Lean would require good employee relations (respect for people) to be established first.
Lean and TWI
Organizations do Kaizen Events which generally result in operational improvements and the creation of Standard Work and job instructions to support those improvements - but it is wrongly assumed that organizations have effective and standard methods to train their employees on the new process. As a result of this non-standard, ineffective training, improvements are not sustained.
TWI History and Background
The TWI Service was developed by the US government in 1940 to meet the training needs of the defense industry, which was rapidly adding new employees. The goal of the TWI was to quickly train employees to a high level of productivity.
Example Benefits of TWI during WWII:
The Boeing Aircraft Company's goal was to ramp up to producing one plane per hour. To meet that production goal required that they hire and train thousands of people, including 4,000 people capable of grinding optical lenses. Before 1940, to train a person to be capable of producing an optical lens took 5 years!
- Using TWI, by the end of 1940, it took 6 months.
- By the end of the war, using Job Methods (JM) improvement activities, it took 6 weeks.
TWI was abandoned by the government and industry in 1945 as production shifted from defense to U.S. consumer products which now had a world-wide demand.
TWI was introduced to Japanese industries by the US occupation forces, whose goal was to help Japan quickly rebuild its industrial base so that a sustainable economy would develop.
TWI was initially used by Toyota in the '50s and '60s to train their employees in the Toyota Production System (TPS). The Job Instruction (JI) component of this training is still used today by Toyota.
TWI was reintroduced to American businesses in 1998.
Bottom-line Goal of TWI
While TWI hopes to create more "people oriented" supervisors with JR, and a template for continuous improvement with JM, the ultimate goal is to use the JI Breakdown sheet to get 'a' person (a new employee for example) to do 'a' job:
- Quickly (up to the required/production speed)
For this article, we will concentrate on JI activities and how they interface with Lean Standard Work. True Lean organizations will have adopted the two pillars of the Toyota system -- respect for people and continuous improvement -- so JR and JM will not be discussed here.
Current Ineffective Methods of Job Instruction:
- Showing Alone - Supervisor only shows the employee how to do the job - then turns the employee loose to do the job. Jobs cannot be learned by observation only.
- Telling Alone - Supervisor only tells the employee how to do the job - then turns the employee loose to do the job. What did we forget to tell the employee? Was it safety or quality related?
TWI Job Instruction (JI) Training
JI training contains two elements:
- Getting Ready to Instruct
- How to Instruct
Each element has 4 steps.
Job Instruction - Getting Ready to Instruct - 4 Steps
1) Develop a Training Timetable - Why do we need to do this training?
a) Lets everyone in the organization know who, what, and when
2) Breakdown the Job, using a Job Breakdown Sheet shown below, into:
a) Important Steps (What we do) - a step that advances the job (moves it closer to completion)
b) Key Points (How we do it) - worker safety issues/concerns, factors that "make or break" the job, or factors that make it easier to do or verify it is being done correctly
c) Reasons (Why we do it) - for the Key Points
JI Breakdown Sheet Notes:
- Breakdown Sheets are also known as the trainer's Standard Work. They are used by the trainer only. The employees must learn and know the Important Steps and Key Points by listening to the trainer, from coaching by the trainer, and by repetitively doing the task and explaining what they are.
- Job Breakdown Sheets are normally created by actually doing the job.
- For new products, Job Breakdown Sheets are created by the Product Development group to develop and verify the proper assembly procedure. These sheets then become the "template" for the new product Standard Work.
- Breakdown Sheets and the Standard Work should always be in alignment for a process.
- JI Breakdown Sheets can be used as a process audit tool. Do the employees know the Important steps and Key Points?
3) Get Everything Ready
a) Tools, equipment, materials, and supplies should be ready. If the training is not done at the production site, the training area should duplicate it as closely as possible.
4) Arrange the Worksite
a) 5S the worksite (hopefully 5S is already in place so that there is a place for everything and everything in its place).
Job Instruction - How to Instruct - 4 Steps
1) Prepare the Worker
a) Put the person at ease
b) State the job - show completed job - where does it go next in the organization?
c) Find out if the person knows anything about the job - or any related activity such as a hobby
d) Tell the person about the job and its importance to the organization
e) Find a good position for the employee to observe from (normal is over left shoulder)
2) Present the Operation
a) Tell, show , and illustrate the Important Steps - one at a time
b) Repeat the process stressing the Important Steps and Key Points
c) Repeat "b" 3-4 times (typical)
3) Try-Out Performance (Application)
a) Have the person do the job - instructor corrects mistakes as they occur
b) Have the person do the job again - this time discussing each Important Step as it is completed
c) Have the person do the job again - this time discussing each Important Step and Key Point as they are completed
Continue part 3c until you are confident in their ability to do the job.
4) Follow Up (Test)
a) Put the person on their own. Inform the employee of performance expectations (i.e. Takt Time).
b) Inform the employee of where they go for help/questions
c) Check back frequently to make sure the employee is OK
d) Encourage questions
e) Taper off the coaching and follow up
An Example TWI Job Breakdown Sheet - How to Pop Popcorn on the Stove
More Info and References:
Larry Rubrich - firstname.lastname@example.org
The TWI Workbook by Patrick Graupp and Robert Wrona.
2006, Productivity Press.
Training within Industry-The Foundation of Lean by Donald Dinero. 2005, Productivity Press.