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Training Within Industry (TWI)

Providing essential skills of leadership for managers, supervisors and team leads
Since TWI was identified by the War and Manpower Commission in the 1940s many things have changed. The five needs haven’t and are easy to see in the people we refer to as ‘very effective leaders’. What are these needs that we require anyone who directs the work of others to exhibit daily?

At the frontline we still frequently fall into the trap of looking at our best operators or service personnel and promoting them to the next level up. As ‘doers’ they had control of their results – their own safety, quality and productivity. But as soon as they are promoted, these very same results are now achieved through other people, often the people who were their peers. Would it thus be reasonable to think that they might need to use skills they didn’t need when doing, skills they may not have previously practised? 

The five ‘Fields of Need’ of Supervisors as depicted in a 1946 TWI Bulletin are: 

Training Within Industry (TWI) -
  • Knowledge of work – the technical process and the standards of work which is under their direction. 
  • Knowledge of responsibilities – just where they fit in, just exactly what’s expected of them. 
  • Skill of working with people – needs to be able lead their people, not merely direct them. 
  • Skill of instruction – get their people to do work of satisfactory quality, at the needed production rate. 
  • Skill of improving – be able to make work improvements which make performance easier, safer and more economical. 

The order in which the three skills are developed is not prescriptive, different organisations will have different needs, service organisations will be different to manufacturing organisations. Just copying what others are doing probably won’t work. Taking core principles and skills and integrating them into your unique situation probably will work. 

Job Relations (JR): A countermeasure for leaders when they see or anticipate ‘won’t/didn’t do, doesn’t care’ 

At the centre of Job Relations is ‘results through people’.

Developing and maintaining relationships through solid foundations reduces the likelihood of problems arising and is paramount to gaining trust, cooperation and feedback. When problems do arise, JR teaches a proven pattern for handling the problem including getting the facts, weighing options, deciding, taking action, and checking results. 

Benefits from practising JR include increased productivity, improved attendance, better morale. 

Job Instruction (JI): A countermeasure for leaders when they see or anticipate ‘doesn’t know, can’t do’ 

Job Instruction is a proven way of quickly training employees to do tasks correctly, safely, and conscientiously. 

The demands of developing a flexible workforce and training employees requires standardised best practise. JI teaches how to plan for training, effectively breakdown a task and then deliver the instruction for that task. 

Developing and delivering training in this structured fashion fosters the conditions for process stability. 

Benefits from practising JI include improved quality, fewer accidents and less scrap and rework. 

Job Methods (JM): A countermeasure for leaders when they see or anticipate ‘hard to do’. 

At the centre of Job Methods is making the best use of resources available now. 

JM teaches how to break down jobs into their constituent steps in detail. Every detail is then questioned in a systematic manner to generate ideas for improvement. New methods are developed by eliminating, combining, rearranging, and simplifying steps in the process. 

JM benefits include reduced cost through productivity gains and increased capacity and throughput. 

The three TWI “J” courses, Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations, provide a very important basis for a work team in any systemised work program that will be sustained. At the heart of every work system are people and their collective beliefs and behaviours, their work culture. 

(Taken from Art Smalley’s “Basic stability” summary) 

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