Frequently Asked Questions
Very briefly, everyone can benefit from all three “J” courses, so everyone should be trained. Furthermore, since TWI should become a part of an organization’s culture, everyone should be familiar with it since knowing the subject will create more acceptance. Job Instruction (JI) teaches how to transfer knowledge, so it is universally applicable. The first employees to be trained in JI, however, should be those who will directly train others and those who will write Job Breakdown Sheets. Job Methods (JM) can be used individually and thus there is no priority here. It would be reasonable to have employees in a given location or department trained at the same time so that they can discuss their ideas with others after the training. Job Relation (JR) is valuable for handling personnel relationships and thus it also is universally applicable. It’s recommended that all employees receive JR training so that everyone knows how the organization will operate. However, it is only required for those who are responsible for handling personnel problems, i.e. supervisors.
This question follows from the one above. The short answer is that everyone should be trained because the intent is to make TWI a part of the culture. Depending on the organization’s size, turnover and growth, there may be a sufficient number of new employees to require periodic sessions. This would require some employees to be certified as TWI trainers.
I am an experienced trainer. Do I have to attend a Train the Trainer Session in order to deliver the material?
Using the TWI programs is very similar to using a set of golf clubs, a tennis racket or a saxophone. Golf clubs are a physical set of tools that one uses to play a game; the TWI Programs are a mental set of tools that one uses to solve production problems. In both cases, you can obtain manuals, which will tell you how to get started. If you want to improve your success in either pursuit, however, you should hire a coach. If you don’t have someone show you what to do, you probably will not get the results you expected. This analogy isn’t 100% accurate because many people take golf lessons on a periodic basis and that is not required for the TWI Programs. However, I believe it is sufficient to make the point that TWI consists of skill-based activities, which are learned best when someone shows you how to do them
The Japanese attempted to deliver the TWI programs without going through a Train The Trainer (TTT) program, but they were not able to do so. TWI was successful in Japan only after trainers from the USA spent six months in Japan showing them how to deliver the material. More recently, I delivered a TTT session to employees from two companies who were very enthusiastic about TWI. Two of these employees had obtained and studied the original materials. During the TTT session, both told me that they could not have delivered the TWI programs successfully without the TTT session. A main precept of TWI is “Learn by Doing”. When you are “doing” the skill, someone must watch you in order to make corrections; because without feedback, there is no learning.
You say that TWI consists of fundamental skills. How difficult can they be to deliver, especially since the manuals are already written and available online?
The purpose of the book, Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean, is to explain the TWI programs and show how they can benefit a company. It is not possible to write a book that will make a person a successful golfer because when one is swinging the club, someone else must be telling him/her what they are doing incorrectly. The same is true for the TWI Programs.
One last point concerns the original manuals. Dietz & Dooley stated in their final report that the manuals should not be static documents. They knew they could be improved. They said they left that for future generation to do. I have changed the TWI original manuals in two ways. The more obvious one is to modify the language to make it more appropriate for today’s culture. In addition, however, I have made changes that improve the learning according to the ideas of course design that have been developed in the ensuing sixty years. The key here is that I studied much peripheral TWI material so that the core content and format did not change. Many people have changed the TWI Programs with the intention of improving them. When the core content and format changes, however, they lose their effectiveness and fall into disuse. The programs I deliver from my manuals are as successful as the original programs were from the original manuals. I believe that the delivery is more appropriate to today’s participant and that leads to better learning.
The TWI programs are problem-solving tools, so it depends upon what situation is causing the biggest problem in your organization. Job Instruction (JI) teaches how to instruct and therefore how to transfer knowledge. Once JI has been started, standard work will be created and implemented. Job Methods (JM) teaches how to see waste and implement improvements. Job Relations (JR) teaches how to solve personnel problems in a non-emotional way, which results in departments running more effectively. Unless there is a significant problem in any of these areas, organizations usually start with JI. Job Instruction helps to stabilize an organization by creating and implementing standard work. In addition, it gets employees to take a closer look at their jobs. Changes can’t be made effectively unless there is a stable base from which to work.
What’s the difference between a Job Breakdown Sheet and a Work Instruction? We already have Work Instructions. Do we throw them out?
A Job Breakdown Sheet (JBS) for JI is used to organize the job in the instructor’s mind and to help him/her deliver high quality instruction. One must be made for each job that will be instructed, but accompanying Work Instructions (WI) should be kept for reference. WI’s are not a practical instrument from which to deliver training because there is too much detail in a WI. WI’s are intended to include all information required to do the job and are usually not intended as a training instrument. Note that the JBS should be made on the job and not from the WI’s. Although WI’s have much detail that’s not required in a JBS, a JBS will have information (Key Points) that often is not included in the WI. A Job Breakdown Sheet (JMS) for Job Methods will probably required more detail than is in the WI’s and thus these must be written for the job being reviewed.
The trainer does not need the JBS when s/he does the job. Since the objective of JIT is to get the trainee up to the trainer’s ability, the trainee should not use the JBS when doing the job. If the trainee needs the JBS in order to do the job, then s/he is not trained. Note that the size of the job should be limited to what the trainee can absorb at one session.
The number depends on the organization’s size, growth rate and turnover rate; however, there should be a minimum of two. Two trainers can act as backups for each other and can also review each other’s training in an effort to maintain quality. Consider that trainers should deliver a session at least once every 60 days in order to maintain their skill.
It’s extremely important that the programs be delivered in five 2-hour sessions. Each program requires a project to be done and the intervening time allows for preparation for these demonstrations. Also, people can absorb only so much material at one time. After two hours, participants will not absorb additional material and any attempt will be a waste of time. In addition, what was absorbed during one session will be subconsciously thought about during the intervening 22-hour period, which will improve retention.
Writing a Job Breakdown Sheet (JBS) for each job seems like a lot of work, especially since they should be limited to about 10 steps or so. With all that work, why do you say that JIT will save us time?
JIT will save you time because it will make sure employees are trained properly in their jobs. Much time is wasted every day by rework because people are not trained properly. A JBS must be written for each job that is to be trained, but they don’t have to be written all at once. Once a JBS has been written, in can be used top to train (or re-train) employees on that job. Most companies will review what situations cause them the most difficulty and then determine if proper training is a solution. If so, a JBS is written and delivered for that job. Then, another job is selected and the process is repeated.
Why do TWI people always talk about the history? A lot has changed in 60 years, so why is that relevant?
Much has changed in 60 years, but much also has stayed the same. The same problems exist now as they did then – trying to get more production with fewer resources. The same solutions still work – getting people properly trained in transferring knowledge, identifying waste, and solving personnel problems.
A person can be capable of delivering a TWI ‘J’ program within four to six weeks. This is an absolute minimum and additional time is usually required and recommended. The breakdown is as follows for JIT:
One week to participate in the given program. Two sessions are given so the potential trainers can participate in the first and observe the second one.
Several (2-4) weeks to study the manual, practice delivery, and coach participants from the previous week's training in writing and delivering Job Breakdown Sheets.
One week to deliver a session. Again, two sessions will be given. The candidate will observe the Institute Conductor in the first and deliver the second.
Alternately, if one attends a group session (5-7 weeks),
One week to participate , as above.
Several (2-4) weeks to study the manual and practice, as above
One week of Group Train the Trainer.
One week to deliver a session under the observation of the Institute Conductor.
The above will develop a competent JIT Trainer. Six to ten sessions will be delivered before the trainer gains full confidence.