Do I Need A Trainer?
The TWI Programs were developed in the 1940's in order to help defense contractors increase productivity. As other non-defense related companies learned about what the programs could do, they also wanted to benefit from them. Although the materials were in the public domain, they were not available to everyone. The Training Within Industry Service regulated the distribution of the training manuals and it did not want to put them into the hands of a non-certified trainer.
Today there is no independent certifying body for the TWI Programs and thus no valid certification. Furthermore, the original training manuals and much other of the Service's materials are easily available on the internet. As a result, many people believe they can access the materials, read them and take advantage of these simple, yet powerful programs. Why should a company hire a TWI Trainer to deliver the materials when it appears that one can do it by himself? Would not someone be better off doing that especially since there is no credible organization that will guarantee the qualifications (and thus output) of a TWI trainer?
The succinct answer is NO. But that also is based on many caveats. I will first discuss the reasons for the answer and will then note the caveats. Here are reasons to hire a qualified TWI Trainer (Institute Conductor; Master Trainer) to start your TWI Program.
ORIGINAL MANUALS NOT COMPLETE - The programs are deceptively simple, yet they are very powerful. If not used properly, the Programs either will not work or will not be very effective. The original training manuals do not contain all the information needed to use the Programs and make them effective.
COST OF TRAINER IS MUCH LESS THAN COST OF SELF-STUDY - Because the Programs are deceptively simple and the Original Training Manuals do not contain all the required information for usingthe Programs, much study must be completed before one can successfully deliver and implement any given Program. That significant amount of study must also be accompanied by sufficient trial and error. I have been studying these Programs for over nine years and have concentrated on them exclusively for seven but consider myself a student and not a master. I learn on a continual basis what these Programs can offer. The cost of hiring a qualified TWI trainer will be much less than the equivalent hourly cost of an individual learning through trial and error. In addition, the results will be better and the time will be greatly reduced by using a Trainer.
MUST BE USED PROPERLY - Depending on the organization's situation before using the Programs, few benefits may be achieved if they are used improperly. For example, if an organization is having supervision problems, reading the Job Relations Manual will give people ideas on improvements, but few changes will occur. If there has been no supervisory training, some benefits may occur. If, on the other hand, there has been some supervisory training, the greater probability is that no benefits will occur. Using a qualified Trainer increases the effectiveness of the training to the point where benefits can be maximized.
MUST BE SHOWN - The Programs were never intended to be used as "do it yourself" programs. The Service did not distribute copies of the manuals because they believed that everyone should be shown how to use them. Indeed, after the War, copies were given to the Japanese without any additional help and the result was that the Japanese found the Programs to be useless. It was only after professional trainers spent six months in Japan delivering training and setting up a framework for delivering the Programs that the Japanese started to utilize them.
UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE - The Programs can help any person in any position in any organization and thus all organizations (manufacturing, service, etc.) can benefit from using TWI . They contain fundamental skills that everyone should be using on a daily basis. If someone does not see their true value, they will dismiss them as something either that is not worth their time or as something that they already do. They will lose the chance for self-improvement.
A simple analogy is that of comparing playing the game of golf to using the TWI Programs. Both are outwardly very simple, yet both take some time to master. In golf, all one has to do is hit a small ball into a hole in the ground using a club. Gravity even helps us, so how hard can it be? When one starts playing the game, however, one quickly learns that there are many nuances we did not anticipate. How to hold the club, how to move the body when swinging the club, how to gauge the lay of the ground are all factors that influence our success when playing golf. In golf, however, we can easily measure our success by keeping score. In using the TWI Programs, on the other hand, success is much harder to quantify. We may be doing it wrong for a long time before we realize it and by that time we may have caused much damage.
Selecting a qualified trainer will take some investigation because there is no independent TWI organization that qualifies and certifies trainers and maintains the quality of the Programs. The adage "Let the buyer beware" is very true here, especially because of the internet. It is very easy for someone to quickly gain access to TWI materials and promote themselves as a "Certified TWI Trainer." A Key Point is selecting a TWI Trainer is to be skeptical, but here are some other factors to consider.
- Find out if the Trainer just delivers the 10-hour Program of if s/he also helps you use it in your organization. The intent of the 10 hours is to USE the material, so if the trainer cannot or will not help you with that, keep on looking. Discussing with you how to set up a plan to use the program can easily be included in the week of training, so additional time is not usually needed. The plan can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, but it should include a timetable, an employee list, a designated champion and so forth.
- Find out if the Trainer will help you with the Multiplier Effect. Part of this is included in the Plan, noted above, but it also includes training people to deliver the 10-hour Program. Again, ask when the new Trainers will be ready to deliver sessions. They should be ready immediately after their TtT session. Warning: Some companies offer a "Trainer Refresher Course," especially with JIT, to teach Trainers how to "make good Job Instruction Breakdowns." This is a sign that the the initial training was not proper or adequate and adds an additional cost in both time and money.
- Find out if the Trainer develops coaches for JIT & JMT. This can be done during the week of the 10-hour sessions and should be included in the training package.
- Find out how many sessions they have delivered. A competent TWI Trainer who has been trained recently will give adequate service. TWI Training, like any skill, improves with experience, so a more experienced TWI Trainer will probably perform better than an inexperienced Trainer.
- Get recommendations from several clients. Ask those clients when the training took place, exactly what the trainer did (just delivery or implementation), whether or not they are still using the Program, why (or why not) they like it, benefits gained, etc.