I was asked by a moderator in a private message to explain what TWI is. As someone wanting to be a positive, contributing member to this group, here's why TWI is an interesting story from a historical perspective, but has as much value today as it did 60-years ago and how it's tied to Lean principles.
During WWII we shipped a skilled industrial workforce to battle. You can only imagine the position we were in, needing to rapidly supply the war effort through the manufacture of planes, jeeps, tanks, guns, ammunition, etc. The replacement workforce was, in many cases, housewives with zero industry experience (see Rosie the Rivetor) and otherwise "green" workers.
The U.S. government realized that to supply the war effort, something needed to be done to give this workforce necessary skills... quickly AND consistently. Channing R. Dooley took the lead with 3 others, which became known as "The Four Hoursemen".
With Dooley's oversight, the War Manpower Commission launched the Training Within Industry Service. Companies were not forced to adopt TWI in their plants, rather they had to ask for it.
Many programs came out of their work, but the more recognized training modules were Job Instruction, Job Methods, and Job Relations. Each TWI module followed the PDCA formula. The aim of these modules was to provide front-line supervisors with necessary skills to train their green workforce.
Job Instruction (JI) gave supervisors skills in HOW to communicate how a job was to be performed. It taught supervisors to breakdown a job into "Important Steps" and supported by "Key Points". This helped the supervisor train the worker more quickly, consistely, and it led to work being done the same way by every worker.
Job Methods (JM) gave supervisors skills in how to analyze a job, looking for ways to improve it using existing tools, machines, and people.
Job Relations (JR) gave supervisors leadership skills. It helped them deal with the people-side of supervision, seeking to prevent relational problems BEFORE they happend, or effectively handling them AFTER they happened.
THE WAR ENDED
During post-war occupation of Japan, during much of Deming's work over there, TWI was introduced to Japanese industry. The goal in the U.S. Governments work in Japan was to help it achieve prosperity, in hopes of staving off Communism. Many other countries were introduced to TWI and to this day, still use it. South Africa, New Zealand, and Thailand, for instance.
One of the companies that adopted the TWI Program? Toyota. Today, Toyota uses the JI program in its original form and is credited by Toyota executives for their ability to sustain gains and achieve standardized work. The JM program evolved into what is now known as Toyota's Kaizen method for continuous improvement. The JR program also evolved, but elements of it are still seen today. JR principles are credited for Toyota's "no-blame" culture.
So why is it just now that industry is again beginning to talk about TWI? Now that many companies have spent 10 years or more on their lean journeys, they are realizing they're not receiving the same results as Toyota. Because of this, researchers have been searching for what is unique about TPS. Kaizen, Kaikaku, 5S, etc. etc. have been uncovered as a result.
TWI IS "NOT THE ANSWER"
Like many of the "tools" of Lean, TWI is not THE answer, but it is yet another puzzle piece in helping understanding TPS. Modern companies in the U.S. have shown in the past few years that training time can be dramatically decreased, quality problems can be reduced because of standardized work, improvements can be made AND sustained, and worker relations can foster a healthier culture.
I know this is a cursory explanation of TWI. MUCH more information can be found by simply Googling Training Within Industry. There are case studies found at www.twi-institute.org
(not my organization). There's also a recent article written by Bryan Lund who is implementing TWI at Energizer Battery Manufacturing. http://www.sme.org/cgi-bin/get-newsl...AN&20070410&4&