Sustaining The TWI Programs (ES)


The TWI “J” Programs were specifically designed to be quickly and easily conducted in all types of organizations no matter their size or purpose. The fundamental skills they deliver are required and should be used by everyone in every position of every organization. To that end, the TWI Service painstakingly wrote step-by-step procedures in the form of training manuals for each of the three “J” Programs and Program Development. The programs and manuals were written, tested in the field and then re-written and re-tested. The Service was not satisfied until each manual could be successfully used in any organization.

The Service recognized that there were two main objectives required for any organizational change: use and sustainment. During the life of the Service, it was able to record how to use the programs in a fairly fine detail. It did, however, recognize that the job was not complete and as it closed its doors recorded possible changes for use in the future. The Service also detailed procedures of how to sustain the programs and they referred to these as “Continuing Use” and accordingly wrote “Follow Through” Manuals for each of the three “J” Programs. The Service recognized that both of these objectives were equally important. Obviously, one must know how to use a method before it is any value to an organization. On the other hand, if it is not used on a consistent basis, it will quickly lose its value to that organization and the time and money expended to learn the program would have been wasted. Both objectives require a dedicated effort, but initiating the “use” objective is more obvious because it includes learning. That is, it is obvious to realize that you know something now that you did not know before. Sustaining the program is less obvious, however, because it requires changing behaviors and habits. That is done over an extended period of time and by the time we have acquired the new habit, we have usually forgotten about the old one. Therefore it requires more discipline and concentrated effort. These are skill-based activities and with any skill-based activity, the practice or rehearsal required to gain proficiency can be the more difficult part of acquiring the skill. Because the Service recognized both objectives as being important, it advised selling both at the same time in one package to new organizations. However, it told its representatives that if they found a company, which had just done the 10-hours of training, it should then sell the continuing use programs separately. As time went on and data on results were being accumulated, the Service began to see that the three “J” Programs formed the basis of a productivity improvement initiative, which actually changed the company’s culture. In a statement of policy titled “How to Get Continuing Results From TWI Programs In A Plant,” C.R. Dooley, the Director of the TWI Service wrote:

“This plan deals so completely with getting production results that it is no longer just a training plan. In working with production executives, you will find the word “training” seldom need be used.”

When the programs were re-introduced into companies in the United States in the early 2000’s, the emphasis was clearly placed on the “use” objective as opposed to the “sustainment” objective. The reason for this may have been that those re-introducing TWI got their information either from the US Archives or from people who had delivered the programs before. To those getting their information from the archives, the Follow Through Manuals were an after-thought. To those who got their information from previous trainers, the Follow Through Manuals were never mentioned. Another reason for not including the Follow Through Manuals in contemporary use may be that the Programs were initially sold as “training” programs as opposed to programs that would improve overall productivity by changing the culture of an organization. Although this is what these programs are, there was no contemporary data to substantiate the claim. Management would need some proof to expend the amount of money required for a culture-changing program, while funding a “training program” is not much of a gamble. Even so, some people would immediately see the productivity potential after some gains were made while others would not see any potential at all and quickly abandon its use.

Because the TWI Programs teach fundamental skills that everyone should know and use on a daily basis and address three basic human needs, one might think that once someone learned a “J skill s/he would continue to use it. (For three basic human needs, refer to Self-Determination Theory by Edward L. Deci & Richard M. Ryan; However, change does not come that easily to some people. As a result, the ‘sustainment objective’ is as important as the ‘use objective’ and should not be assumed to exist without external assistance. One difference between sustainment and use is that the approval of a supervisor or peer is not required in order to use any of the skills in the “J” Programs. Once an individual fully understands one of the “J” Programs, s/he can use the method without prior approval or even knowledge of his or her supervisor. Job Methods would be the only “J” Program where approval would be needed to fully implement the method. Sustainment, however, requires cooperation between two or more people or groups of people and thus must be done in a more formal manner and with the approval and acceptance at various levels. Sustainment requires coaching, auditing, and coordination of activities to assure everyone is included. As a result, actual sustainment will be performed differently at different organizations. The way to sustain a “J” Program is the same way any other major program would be sustained. Examples of changes that require a company-wide change program include adopting the use of ID badges or installing a new company-wide computer system. Getting all employees to understand and use a new software requires a major program, which will be done differently at one organization or another, while the main principles will be the same.

Based on what the TWI Service wrote and my own industrial experience, I have listed ten actions that are required in order to sustain the TWI programs.

  1. Top Management Backing
  2. Management Support
  3. Line Organization Participation
  4. Appointment of a coordinator
  5. Correct Use of the TWI Programs
  6. Quality Institutes
  7. Complete Coverage
  8. Coaching
  9. Reporting of Results
  10. Periodic Audits

The order in which these items should be addressed is determined by common sense, since the numbers do not reflect an order of operation. For example, the programs could be initiated by senior management and then cascaded through the organization. On the other hand, middle management might initiate the program in the area over which they have control, and then run a pilot program to gain knowledge and data. Once it has proven itself, it could be proposed to senior management and rolled out to the entire organization. Also, a coordinator could be assigned immediately or later once a few 10-hour sessions have been completed.

1 - Top Management Backing

Top management backing may be seen as the most important element of sustaining the TWI Programs because it acts as a keystone holding all the other elements together. Everyone in an organization has his or her own responsibility for a specific job, but it is the job of senior management to determine the direction in which everyone goes. Everyone in an organization follows the direction of senior management. If senior management thinks the TWI Programs should be used or should not be used, everyone will follow their lead.

As beneficial as the TWI Programs are, they do require an expenditure of time and money. Because resources are always limited, introducing the TWI Programs will require eliminating some other effort. As a result, the CEO and his or her staff should understand what is required to use these programs and what they will give in return. Only then can they make it part of the organization’s strategy. This is why it is important for everyone to understand that the TWI Programs are not just training programs, but should be thought of as employee development programs and/or culture changing programs. Once they fit into an organization’s strategy, it will be easier to make correct decisions when questions of priorities or funding arise.

When fitting the TWI Programs into the organization’s strategy, results of each of the programs should be considered when determining Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for each position. Note that these KPI’s should be based on what the programs are intended to accomplish and not what they do. For example, a KPI for JIT would be a measure of scrap reduction as opposed to the number of people trained for a certain job. For a further discussion, refer to action #5 – Correct Use of the Programs.

2 - Management Support

Since the programs take time to learn and use, people must be given that time. I have never seen any organization where any employee had one or two hours a week with nothing to do. The job always seems to fill the time allotted. It is easy enough to schedule a one time training session of five 2-hour days, but it is more difficult to schedule a daily or weekly time period when someone can write a Job Breakdown Sheet (as in JIT) or a Methods Breakdown Sheet (as in JMT) or do any of the other tasks required in using one of the programs. A comment frequently heard during the 10-hour training sessions is, “This is a great program, but management won’t give us the time to do it.” The point to consider is that the TWI Programs accomplish activities that employees are already attempting to do. JIT accomplishes a training function, but it does it in a more effective manner than is usually done. JMT furthers continual improvement by getting everyone involved. This may even require changing schedules or budgets, but people will find that the results are well worth the changes. JRT also saves time in the long run because personnel problems will be treated to a more comprehensive degree than is usually done. The initial attention to the problem may take somewhat longer, but once it has been addressed, repercussions are much less likely to occur.

At the very least, management must assign a member of senior management as a sponsor for the TWI Programs. The purpose of this position would be to clear any roadblocks that may occur while using any of the programs. Middle management will drive the programs and conflicts or different points of view will occur. Someone reporting directly to the COO must be available to handle these discussions. These responsibilities will not take a large part of the person’s time, but his or her input will be very valuable to the success of the programs.

Finally, when a person has been chosen as the TWI Sponsor or Steward, that person’s job description should be changed to include the new duties. The reason for this is so that the duties apply to the position and not the person. Thus, when the person leaves for a new position, the duties will remain active.

3 – Line Organization Participation

Line management is directly responsible for and measured on productivity and quality. Since the TWI Programs have been designed to increase both of these metrics, Line Management should take the lead in driving them. The staff functions should be totally involved and assist in any way they can, but the responsibility falls to the Line Management. For example, the Training Department may keep the Training Matrix up to date with who has been trained and who is due to be trained and when that will occur, but in meeting the productivity and quality of a given department, the line manager must notify the training manager who needs to be capable of what functions and when that must occur.

Line managers must also oversee the workings of each “J” Program. They must be capable of auditing a JIT instruction session (when an instructor is training someone) and reviewing a Job Breakdown Sheet for correctness and brevity. The manager should monitor the department to see that JMT is being used consistently. Note that having goals such as “one improvement per person per month” can quickly become counterproductive because improvement ideas reflect creativity, which is not predictable. If someone has two good ideas in a month, s/he may postpone one, thinking that they may not get another good idea next month. Thus everyone should be encouraged to make as many improvements as possible, but artificial quantities should be avoided.

A key element of monitoring the TWI Programs is to make sure that they are being used correctly and consistently. Whenever a problem of any kind occurs, the analysis should include whether or not it was due to human error or a mechanical deficiency. If it was human error, JRT or JIT should be applied. If it was mechanical or systems problem, JMT should be applied. In addition, the manager could also ask why these programs were not applied to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.

In order to prepare for these duties, the line manager must know each program well and use them almost daily. Knowing each program well means not only knowing how to use them, but also grasping their concepts so their use becomes intuitive and second nature. This must be done to the extent that the TWI Programs are considered the company’s program and not just training programs from the Training Department. The TWI Programs will be part of the company’s culture. This is the way we do things now.

4 – Appointment of a coordinator

Someone must be assigned to coordinate the TWI effort because “if everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.” Depending on how TWI is brought into the organization, this may start as a part-time job for someone who has a direct interest in the initial training sessions. Be aware, however, that if TWI is to be sustained, the coordinator’s position will be full time. At one company, senior management brought in the JIT program and for the first year, the executive VP was the JIT coordinator. He later reflected that that turned out to be a good decision. After they completed the initial 10-hour sessions, a decision that had been made to expand was initiated. As much as they wanted to maintain “business as usual” during the expansion, a lot of extracurricular activities were going on. The VP said that had he not been in a position to hold on to the JIT effort, it may very well have been lost in the major effort that was going on. He also said that because he was the initial coordinator, he not only learned JIT well, but he also had direct input in how it was to be integrated into their operation. He knew the company and once he learned JIT, he was able to join the two for the maximum effect. After about a year, the JIT program was running on a stable basis and he could turn over a well-run operation to someone else. This is actually a good strategy for any company for several reasons. When a member of senior management acts as the coordinator initially, TWI will have a much better chance of being sustained. The programs will be seen as a new company effort and not just “another training program.” A member of senior management will be better able to get other managers to participate in the 10-hour training sessions. Also, since the manager knows the company well, s/he can fit the programs to the company to the best effect of each of them. The manager will see first hand what is necessary to run the programs and thus can account for the programs’ needs. Being a member of senior management, the programs can be initiated as quickly as possible without the need for requests for what is necessary. Finally, a structure for reporting directly to the president or CEO already exists, so reporting of results has an advantage.

The duties of a coordinator can be many and varied. Depending on the structure and culture of the company, duties will vary widely. The coordinator would be a staff position because, as mentioned, it will end up being a full time position. The first coordinator would be the contact person who is arranging the first few 10-hour sessions. It could be the Training Manager.

Some of the duties could be:

  1. Maintaining the integrity of the programs: This is probably the most important duty and could well be shared with the management sponsor. The TWI Service recognized two factors. First that the programs could and should be improved and second that each company would mold the programs to its own culture, while keeping the basic concepts the same. When first starting, the programs will reflect the trainer’s manual to a large degree, since nothing else is known. As people become more familiar with each program, they will propose changes that may better accommodate the company’s culture and structure. When those changes are made, care must be taken that the core ideas of each program are not diminished. If the results differ from what had occurred previously, one must revert to the previous method and try another change.
  2. Arranging the 10-hour sessions: The coordinator may not be in this position when the first 10-hour session is delivered, so other people may have decided who should attend the first few sessions. However, someone must decide who is to attend the next session, the reason for the training, and when it will be held. Having a quantifiable reason for the training is important because it produces a motivation for using the method after the training is done. Whatever objectives are stated in the reasons can be reviewed in follow up after the training week. The participants and trainer must be notified. Because it is important that each participant attend each of the five sessions, someone must confirm with the participants that they will be available each day that week. In addition, the participant’s manuals and any other materials must be obtained, and the training room should be scheduled.
  3. Follow up: Feedback sheets should be completed at the end of each training week and the data should be compiled so it can be easily read. The compilations or suggestions should be given to appropriate people. The coordinator could also follow up with the participants’ supervisors to see that the intent of the training was met and to obtain any feedback.
  4. Coaching of participants: This is a duty that could be done by the coordinator when the program has just been started but handed off to another person or people as the programs are spread throughout the organization. In the case of Job Instruction, there should be several coaches who have been trained to write, critique and deliver Job Breakdown Sheets. In Job Methods, once the program has spread sufficiently, coaching could be transferred to supervisors, who should be involved with all improvements. In Job Relations, the coaching would start and remain with the supervisor.
  5. Auditing: After the initial training, audits must be conducted to see that it is being applied correctly. In Job Instruction, this would mean reviewing Job Breakdown Sheets and the accompanying instruction. Later on auditing the 10-hour sessions is appropriate. The coordinator can start doing audits and can also be involved with creating an audit plan for continuing audits. For additional information in auditing, see #10 Periodic Audits.
  6. Getting and Distributing Results: The programs should be conducted for specific reasons. The coordinator should find out those reasons and then check to see if the training accomplished the desired results. These results should be published on a bulletin board or in a company paper or flyer. This will let everyone know what is happening and why. Depending on the organizational structure, the coordinator might also maintain the training matrices (under the supervisors’ direction) and/or maintain a list of possible improvements to be acted upon using JM.
  7. Training – Delivering the 10-hour sessions: This duty would be included only if the person has been trained to deliver the 10-hour session.
  8. Facilitating groups: For Job Instruction, there are two groups, which could be facilitated. Before any training, problems that could be solved with training should be identified. It can be helpful if a group of people exchanges ideas about concerns they have and a discussion can be had about whether JIT would be an appropriate solution. When Job Breakdown Sheets have been written, consensus must be gotten and this can be done in a group also. For Job Methods, a similar problem identification group can be facilitated to organize ideas. For Job Relations, periodic meetings can be held where the method, and even situations, are reviewed.

    Note that the coordinator need not hold a meeting to identify places where the TWI Programs can apply. Walking around the facility and talking with all employees will reveal situations to the observant coordinator.

5 – Correct Use of the TWI Programs

Training is an important function in any organization because working in any organization requires the use of skills that all people may not have mastered. Either they have never learned the skill in question or aspects of the job have changed to such an extent that they are no longer competent enough to successfully use the skill to produce acceptable productivity. When this occurs, employees should be trained to bring their performance up to standard. Because this happens to a great extent, many companies have created training departments, which have the responsibility for delivering this training. A problem occurs, however, when the training department loses sight of its objective and measures its success by the number of people trained, the number of sessions held or the variety of programs offered. The correct objective of any training department is to improve an organization’s productivity by teaching employees the skills they need to perform their jobs.

The TWI “J” Programs are basically training programs and consequently, they should be used to address a given situation. The results of the training should be easy to measure since the problem and the solution have already been defined. The number of people trained or the time it took to train them are not valid measures of training results.

A problem is defined and quantified with specific parameters. If applicable, one of the “J” Programs is employed to address it. After the training has taken affect, the parameters are measured again and compared with the initial measurements. If properly applied, the results should have improved.

Using training this way has at least two advantages. First, the costs in time and materials are easy to justify because the solution is applied directly to the problem. Secondly, those involved know why they are participating and what the intended outcome is. Nothing is seen as “make work” or wasting time. The result is that the TWI programs will continue to be used since they continue to add value to the organization.

6 – Quality Institutes

The TWI “J” Programs were specifically designed so that anyone could master them without any prerequisite knowledge except perhaps knowing how to read. As a result, the core material is delivered in the first two hours. JIT has been changed in some circumstances requiring the Job Breakdown Sheet to be introduced and explained on the second 2-hour day, but in all cases, the rest of the week is spent practicing and embracing the method in question.

When many people become familiar with these programs, they often believe that they can modify them in order to improve them. The caution here is that any material added will extend the 2-hour session. That is acceptable if the increased time is acceptable with the organization. Any material deleted will reduce the effectiveness of the program. The problem occurs when the reduction in effectiveness is subtle and happens over an extended period of time. When initiated the programs can be seen to add value. As small changes are made over a long period of time, the programs are not as effective as they once were. Someone questions their use and the programs are dropped or significantly altered. When this happens, the correct action is to revert to the original format and then re-measure the program’s effect. The TWI Service’s biggest effort was spent in removing non-essential material with the result that everything in the 10-hour programs is essential for their proper delivery. Although the programs were devised almost 80 years ago, the principles they contain are still valid and should not be changed.

The most obvious and frequent modification made to the programs is to reduce the elapsed time from five days to one or one and a half days. When these programs are reduced in elapsed time, the knowledge may be retained, but the skill to actually use them will be lost. Another “shortcut” often made is to give the Training Manual to a person, have them read it and then expect them to deliver the material successfully. Although each manual is fairly well scripted, they are not comprehensive enough for someone to successfully deliver the material so that others will accept it and learn from it. A good TWI Trainer is able to explain all the material, answer all questions and concerns and convince the participants to use the method. This can be accomplished only when someone embraces the material and concepts of each program. More information about how to successfully use the TWI Programs can be found in The TWI Facilitator’s Guide, CRC Press © 2017.

7 – Schedule for Complete Coverage

The TWI Programs can change an organization’s culture but only if everyone knows about them and uses them. By “culture” we mean, “How we do things here.” That requires that employees think in a certain way and use the same language. If one person talks about “key points” and the other person does not know the term, communication will be difficult. Furthermore, the “J” Programs can be used by anyone since they address production (what someone does), improving production, and personal relationships.

Job Instruction is used for training employees on a job. Job Methods is used for making improvements and Job Relations is used for handling personnel situations. If everyone in an organization is trained in these methods, then these methods can be seen as the standard methods for addressing these issues. If someone makes a mistake in his or her job, the first question to ask is, “Was this person trained using JIT?” If someone goes to his supervisor with an improvement idea, the response should be “Have you filled out a JM Proposal Sheet or would you like help in writing one?” If a supervisor goes to his supervisor or HR with a personnel issue, the first question should be, “What’s your objective?” Production, improving production and personnel issues are three main factors in any organization and having a standard method of addressing them makes the operation run more smoothly.

Note that each person in an organization may use each program to a different degree, but all employees should participate in each 10-hour program so they have a basic understanding of each program. For example, senior management should know how to break down a job but they may not be as skillful at it as an operator who does it frequently. They should have enough knowledge to intelligently discuss the Job Breakdown Sheet with the people who use them. Everyone should know how to handle personnel issues using the JRT Method, but it will become intuitive to first line supervisors who may use it more often.

8 – Coaching

The TWI “J” Programs are skill-based activities and as with any skill-based activity, one must first learn the skill and then practice it to gain mastery. Practice by itself is not sufficient since one must practice under the guidance of a coach. Coaching is necessary because we may know WHAT to do when we practice, but we do not always know HOW to do it. There are many nuances included in skills that the novice is unaware of. Although we think that we are doing something correctly, it often requires someone looking at what we are doing to actually determine whether or not it is correct. Sometimes the observer need not be familiar with the skill or job we are performing and can base comments on logic and common sense. Usually though, the observer should be well versed in what we are doing so that the feedback is accurate and complete. It is important to remember that WITHOUT FEEDBACK, THERE IS NO LEARNING. When we first learn a skill, we give feedback to ourselves so we can improve. Then we get to a point where we are performing the skill well enough that there is no more feedback we can give ourselves. We first ask for feedback from an observer and finally from a coach; i.e an observer who has mastered the skill we are learning and knows how to give feedback properly.

Determining who should be a coach for a given program depends on the program and the organization’s structure and culture. For Job Relations, the coach would usually be the person’s immediate supervisor. A first line supervisor would coach a lead person; the second line supervisor would coach the first line supervisor and so forth. A director or VP should not need much coaching but should review personnel decisions and the use of the JR method with his or her immediate supervisor. Supervisors should also coach their direct reports in Job Methods. This means that the upper levels of management should be the first to attend the JRT or JMT sessions so that they can assist their direct reports in the method. Of course exceptions can be made. For example, HR supervision could act as coaches for JR and Industrial Engineers or people with similar skills could act as coaches for JM.

Coaching in Job Instruction becomes more involved. Since the coach must be very knowledgeable in the JI Method, a person’s supervisor may not be the best person to be a coach. In this case, coaches should be developed from the first JIT sessions so they can maximize their experience. Once a person had broken down about 15-20 jobs s/he becomes comfortable with the JIT principles. Once they understand that the technique of coaching is to identify weaknesses in application of the method, they become eligible to be JIT coaches. As with any skill, the more they coach, the better they will become at it. Consequently, depending on the structure, JI coaches can be supervisors, operators or members of the training department.

The TWI Service listed five main points for how to coach. (Taken from the Training Within Bulletin Series: How To Get Continuing Results From Plant Training Programs; Bureau of Training War Manpower Commission; December 1944)

  1. Give reasons why the skill should be mastered. Although the reasons for developing a skill may be obvious to some, it is not always obvious to all. When a person does not fully understand why s/he is doing something, s/he may not do it properly or may stop doing it altogether. Regarding Job Instruction, the Instructor must realize that if s/he does a poor job of instructing, the operator will do a poor job at what has been taught. This can lead to many deficiencies that can affect quality, productivity, safety, and cost. If the person using Job Methods does not use the program properly, useful ideas may be wasted and not completed resulting in reduced quality, productivity, safety, or cost. If the person using the Job Relations methods is not coached properly, personnel disagreements may not be resolved, which can again affect quality, productivity, safety or cost.
  2. Understand the principles. When learning a skill, the first aspect that is learned is WHAT to do. As the person develops his or her ability, s/he understands HOW to do each aspect. It is also important for the learner to understand WHY they are doing certain actions. Only when this is done will the learner fully embrace the method that is being taught. Knowing the principles is important for the learner because they form the foundation of what it is we are doing. We usually learn under a given set of conditions and develop our ability based on those initial conditions. When conditions subtly change, we must adapt to the changes; but we can do that only if we understand the foundational principles, which do not change.
  3. Select a problem and work on it together. The person has received the 10-hour training, but it is worthwhile to first review the four steps of the method. Working on it together means that the person takes the lead in the method while the coach offers guidance and assistance. The person has also used the method at least once in the 10-hour session, but the time between then and now may be long. Coaching is not ‘telling’ but rather helping the person strengthen weak areas of the skill. This means that the coach must determine where the person is not strong and then decide how best to sharpen that aspect of the training. A good way to do this is to question the person when s/he is using the skill. “Why did you do this? Why did you not do this?”

    Coaching Job Instruction would mean creating a Training Matrix, writing a Job Breakdown Sheet and instructing using that Job Breakdown Sheet. Coaching Job Methods and Job Relations would require using the method.
  4. Ask him or her to work another problem alone. Another job, improvement or personnel situation should be identified and the person should proceed on his or her own. This will give the person confidence in his or her ability to use the method and will also form a structure to continue the coaching. With Job Instruction, the coach should review the Job Breakdown Sheet before the instruction is done and should have the person instruct the coach before instructing an operator. In Job Methods, the coach should review the proposal before it is submitted and in Job Relations, the coach should review the analysis before action is taken.
  5. Give credit for good results and good effort. Appropriate credit should be given depending on the organization’s culture. The JRT foundational point applies here: Let the person know how s/he is doing. They should also be informed that the interaction between the person and the coach will continue periodically and these will be turned into audits. As the person gains mastery in the method, s/he may offer the coach ideas or suggestions on the method.

9 – Reporting Results

The TWI programs are problem-solving tools and as such, they should show results if they are to be used continually. Training or changing processes should not be made for their own sake but to improve the organization. Quantifying results is important so the supervisor (first line, second line, manager, director, VP, etc.) concerned can determine if the effort is worthwhile and whether or not activities should be changed. Reporting of results is important because, in the philosophy of visual management, everyone can see what is happening. Note also that it is important to publish results on a consistent, frequent basis. When results are not published, it is easy to forget the cause and effect relationship that the programs have on organizational productivity. Many organizations have multiple initiatives operating at any one time and it is easy to misplace a cause for an effect. The TWI Programs will not be sustained or supported by management if the main reason we are using them is because “we like them.” Data creates the justification for continual use, but only if people are aware of it.

In addition, when results are published either in a newsletter or on a bulletin board, competition can be stimulated. New ideas breed new ideas. Of course results would be published only for results in JI & JM.

Sostener los programas TWI

     Los programas TWI (Training Within Industry) contienen los métodos de aprendizaje y las herramientas de resolución de problemas que han sido recocidas y organizadas durante los últimos 60 años. Tanto antes como ahora se los promociona como programas de 10 horas y en realidad lo son. Pero tal como la lección de golf de 1 hora necesita tiempo y esfuerzo adicional para que valga la pena, los programas TWI de 10 horas también requieren tiempo y esfuerzo adicional para ser útiles. Tanto el tiempo como el esfuerzo valen la pena porque los programas TWI cambian la forma en que la gente piensa sobre su trabajo. Los programas hacen posible el trabajo estandarizado y suscitan la creatividad en los trabajadores. Estos beneficios en sí no solamente hacen que sean atractivos sino que además sean necesarios para el éxito.

     Pero habiendo dicho esto, sigue siendo necesario dedicar mucho esfuerzo y disciplina para iniciar y sostener los programas. Piense, por ejemplo, que decide cambiar el idioma en que se comunica su organización. Digamos que todos en su organización hablan y escriben en inglés y se decide que a partir de ahora todos deben hablar y escribir en swahili. Existe un gran parecido entre este ejemplo y la implantación de los programas TWI. El resultado en los dos casos debería ser un cambio cultural de la organización. Esto significa que cambiaría la manera en que los trabajadores se comportan y como entienden su trabajo. También es importante que todos los trabajadores acepten y usen este cambio en su trabajo para conseguir el máximo éxito posible. El cambio no puede ser restringido a algunas personas o departamentos, ya que cualquier departamento exitoso depende de todos los demás departamentos. Además de la necesidad de involucrar a todos, la implantación de TWI debe tener la aprobación de la Dirección y formar parte de la estrategia general de la empresa. Tenga presente el ejemplo del cambio de idioma mientras repasa los siguientes requisitos para sostener los programas TWI.

1. El respaldo de la alta dirección:

Los programas TWI cuestan tiempo y dinero y serán una cosa adicional para los trabajadores. El presidente y los directivos no sólo deben conocer la existencia de los programas sino que deben incorporarlos en su estrategia general. Si el presidente y los directivos opinan que es sólo un programa formativo más, los programas no tendrán el respaldo que se merecen. Pero si se dan cuenta que es una herramienta de resolución de problemas y de cambio cultural que crea una base para el éxito, darán su apoyo tomando decisiones correctas cuando surjan preguntas acerca del programa.

2. El apoyo de los mandos:

Ya que los programas toman su tiempo, la gente necesita que se les de este tiempo. La Instrucción y la Mejora de Métodos deben ser consideradas parte del trabajo de cada persona. Han de modificarse los presupuestos y los calendarios. La recompensa será grande pero se ha de pagar un precio por ello.

3. Participación de la planta:

Todos pueden beneficiarse personal y profesionalmente del uso de los programas TWI pero al principio no todos los estarán usando. Cuando un grupo de trabajadores empiece a usar uno de los programas, los mandos intermedios de planta (todos los supervisores) encargados de este grupo deben participar activamente buscando indicadores y resultados. Después de todo, son ellos los responsables de la calidad y la productividad. Los mandos deberían participar en las sesiones de 10 horas para tener experiencia con los programas. Es difícil comprender bien el programa si no se ha participado en un curso. Esta participación cambiará también “El programa formativo del departamento” en “el programa de nuestra empresa”. Esta es la forma en que hacemos las cosas ahora.

4. Informes sobre los resultados:

Los programas TWI son herramientas para la resolución de problemas y como tales deben ofrecer resultados si se quiere que sean usados constantemente. La formación o los cambios no deben hacerse “por hacer” sino que deben hacerse para mejorar la organización. Es importante cuantificar los resultados para que los supervisores (en planta, mandos intermedios, gerentes, directores, presidente, etc.) puedan determinar si el esfuerzo vale la pena y si debería haber cambios en las actividades. Los informes sobre los resultados son importantes porque en la filosofía de la gestión visual (visual management) todos pueden ver lo que está sucediendo.

5. Asignación de un coordinador:

“Si todos son responsables, nadie es responsable”. Debe asignarse a alguien para coordinar el esfuerzo de implantar TWI. Sus tareas incluirán (pero no se limitarán a) lo siguiente:
      1. Organización de los cursos de 10 h
      2. Comprobación de quien participa y cuando
      3. Seguimiento con los supervisores después del curso para ver como se usa y ofrecer soporte

          en caso de necesidad (incluyendo ayuda para establecer y auditar el programa)
      4. Recopilación y distribución de los resultados
      5. Coaching de los participantes de los cursos en el uso del programa
      6. Impartir los cursos de 10 h si fueron preparados para ello
      7. Conducción de los grupos de Hojas de Desglose (para conseguir acuerdos), de los grupos de

          Hojas de Mejora para conseguir acuerdos en caso de mejoras más grandes, y de grupos de

      8. Ayudar a la gente a identificar los problemas que pueden ser solucionados o reducidos

          usando los programas

     En la mayoría de los casos será un puesto a tiempo completo, pero al principio puede ser más razonable que la persona vaya asumiendo las responsabilidades gradualmente, conforme los programas se vayan expandiendo en la organización.

6. Los “Institutos de Calidad” para los formadores:

     Para que la calidad de los programas no baje debe mantenerse una disciplina en la impartición de los cursos de 10 h. Conforme la gente se familiariza con los programas, cae en la tentación de simplificar o condensarlos. Un buen instructor se dará cuenta que los programas ya son lo más simples y densos que se puede, y cualquier cambio que se haga será añadiendo contenido para ajustarlo a las necesidades de la organización. Ninguno de los principios básicos debe ser cambiado, porque esto disminuiría la eficacia del programa. Por ejemplo, el material que puede absorber una persona durante 10 horas de curso es mayor, en calidad y en cantidad, si se hace en 5 sesiones de 2 horas repartidas en días consecutivos, que lo que se pueda aprender durante 10 horas en un día. Deberían llevarse a cabo auditorías periódicas de los programas de 10 h para verificar si los estándares se mantienen. Formación realizada de forma no estandarizada dará como resultado un trabajo no estandarizado. Si existiera alguna duda sobre la calidad de la formación recibida por los instructores, consulten con el formador de los instructores.

7. Calendario para un despliegue completo:

     Los programas TWI pueden cambiar la cultura de una organización pero sólo si todos los conocen y usan. Entendemos como “cultura” el cómo “hacemos las cosas aquí”. Para esto hace falta que los trabajadores piensen de una cierta manera y que usen el mismo lenguaje. Si una persona habla de los “puntos clave” y otra persona no conoce este término, la comunicación será difícil. El coordinador de TWI debería hacer que todos en la organización participen en los cursos TWI, y si es necesario programar sesiones de refuerzo.

8. Coaching para obtener resultados continuados:

     Una vez que un trabajador haya participado en un curso TWI necesitará coaching para ser competente en el uso del método. Durante el curso cada participante aprende a crear y usar las Hojas de Desglose. Por tanto, tendrán los conocimientos pero no serán competentes y será necesario ofrecerles coaching para que desarrollen sus habilidades. El coaching no significa explicar algo sino más bien ayudar al trabajador a desarrollar las áreas en las que es más débil. Esto significa que el coach debe determinar las áreas en las que el trabajador necesita mejorar y decidir cuál será la mejor manera de desarrollarlas.

9. El uso correcto de los programas TWI:

     Toda acción formativa debería ser considerada una herramienta para la resolución de problemas. No se debería formar por formar sino para solucionar un problema concreto. Por esto, cuando medimos el éxito de una acción formativa, debemos ver como se ha solucionado el problema y no la duración de la formación. Si el problema ha sido solucionado y no prevemos que vuelva a aparecer, la formación ya no es necesaria y podemos finalizarla.

10. Llevar a cabo auditorías periódicas:

     Una vez que todos en una sección hayan sido formados en una tarea específica, habitualmente es necesario un seguimiento periódico para comprobar si la tarea se sigue realizando según el estándar. Las personas que antes hicieron la tarea de otra forma tendrán que “romper” con sus anteriores hábitos antes de asimilar los nuevos. Alguien debe ser asignado para revisar periódicamente cómo se realiza el trabajo y determinar si se siguen los estándares. La Matriz de Formación es una buena herramienta para hacer este seguimiento. Si se ha comprobado que una persona ha realizado el trabajo según el estándar varias veces durante uno o dos meses, podemos estar seguros que esta persona lo seguirá haciendo de esta forma. No debemos asumir que por el hecho de recibir una formación adecuada, alguien realizará el trabajo siguiendo los estándares. Si los estándares son tan importantes para dedicarles tiempo y dinero, también deberíamos dedicar un esfuerzo para conservarlos haciendo las auditorías.

__ Translated into Spanish by / Traducido por Agata Pawlukojc, TWI trainer, c4w, Barcelona, Spain.


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