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WCM Associates LLC Newsletter
In This Issue
Material Handling on a Construction Jobsite
Lean and Training Within Industry (TWI)
Lean Construction Facilitator Training


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Material Handling on a Construction Jobsite

by Ted Angelo

It has been said that material handling on a construction site can consume anywhere from 20-30% of total labor expended. This is especially true when working on high rise buildings. Therefore, it is necessary that team members understand each job has unique situations which require the team to fully explore options available to eliminate unnecessary material handling.

In fact, on larger projects it is strongly suggested that a material handling project plan be considered. Each contractor on the site is continually receiving material on a daily basis. Do they know before the material arrives where the material will be placed? If not, how many times will it be moved before it gets to the installation location?

On jobs where pipe needs to be transported via elevators, there are problems with the size of the pipe vs. the dimensions of the elevator. On one job, the crew was basically hand-stacking the pipe, one-by-one, vertically in the elevator and at the same time risking damage to the elevator with each piece of pipe moved.

A better way for handling pipe in elevators was needed, so three members of our team put their heads together, brainstormed some ideas, and came up with a winning solution. Pictured below is a pipe cart modified to haul 10' no-hub cast iron pipe so that it clears a 6'-6" elevator door height. The cart can then crank up to allow more floor space inside the elevator but still clear its 8' interior depth.
There are many daily work tasks that are worth taking a second look at the way they are being done. Just like these three employees did, if you use some ingenuity and maybe bounce ideas off your team members, you'll most likely figure out a way to make your job easier and more productive. What have you tried in the last several months to improve your material handling?
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Available at: www.wcmfg.com
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Available at www.amazon.com or www.wcmfg.com 

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:

  • Safely
  • Correctly
  • 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?  

Job Breakdown Sheet


  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 - rubrich@wcmfg.com


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.




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This Lean newsletter is the result of the collaboration of three organizations:
Grunau Company
Ted Angelo, Executive Vice President

Quality Support Services, Inc.
Dennis Sowards, President


WCM Associates LLC
Larry Rubrich, President


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  WCM Associates LLC, 2012. All rights reserved.
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