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Training within Industry: The missing link of lean

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Today organizations are aiming for lean gains using TWI techniques originally developed in the 1940s.


Before learning more about TWI, please prepare yourself to think in a radically different way about continuous improvement. If you are working on a lean conversion, but have not heard of Training Within Industry (TWI) or If you think there is something missing in your lean transformation, there probably is, and it that something is probably TWI thinking.

TWI is a series of three training programs that teach fundamental skills everyone needs if she/he is to be successful. It gives your managers the skill to transform the culture of your organization, regardless of industry; manufacturing, healthcare, construction – anywhere a person does a job. “TWI helps a company or an organization change its culture to that of lean. It doesn’t give all the lean answers [but] what it does do is get everyone thinking the same way,” says Don Dinero, principal of Round Pond Consulting Service and author of Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean. “TWI gets to the fundamentals that allow you to start thinking in a lean way.”

TWI is an essential element of Lean and continuous improvement programs around the world including the Toyota Production System.

What are the training programs?

Each of the J-Programs (J meant “Job”) was delivered in its standard and repeatable form to others who, in turn, repeated the process — delivered it in its standard and repeatable form. The programs address the processes of instructing people on the best way to perform jobs, continuous improvement, and improved communication and leadership skills. Below given are the three J-programs:

• Job Instruction – Transfer of Skills

• Job Methods – Reduce Waste

• Job Relations – Personal Relationships

This article focuses on the first J-program i.e. Job Instruction.

Job Instruction (JI) was the TWI J-program rolled out first. Training was the most immediate need. The job instruction shown below was directly based on Charles Allen’s 4-step training method, which dated from early from the 20th century. The objective of job instruction was to teach supervisor how to develop a well – trained workforce. If they are skilled in instruction, supervisor can reduce defects, rejects, rework, accident and damages to tools and equipment. But the supervisor are not skilled in instruction, no matter how knowledgeable or skilled they are in the work itself, they cannot effectively pass it on to others. Human errors go unchecked and uncorrected.

Job instruction teaches supervisor how to breakdown jobs for instruction. JI thus develops skill making work easy to understand. Step 1 emphasizes first preparing an operator to learn, followed by properly demonstrating work using a job breakdown which identifies its important steps and key points. As trainees progress to performing trial runs, the instructor observes them; than tappers of coaching while continuing to follow-up.

TWI (Job Instruction) How to Instruct


Put the person at ease
State the job
Find out the person already knows
Get the person interested in learning the job
Place the person in correct position


Tell, show & illustrate one important step at a time
Do it again stressing Key points
Do it again stating reasons for key points
Instruct clearly, completely & patiently but don’t give them more information than they can master at one time.


Have a person to do a job – correct errors
Have the person explained each important step to you as they do the job again
Have the person explained each key point to you as they do the job again
Have the person explain reasons for key points to you as they do the job again
Make sure the person understands
Continue until you know they know.

Step – 4 FOLLOW UP

Put the person on their own
Designate who the person goes to for help
Check on the person frequently
Encourage questions
Taper off extra coaching & close follow up

How to Get Ready to Instruct

Before instructing people how to do a job:


Who to train……
For which work……
By what date……

  1. BREAK DOWN THE JOB           

List Important Steps
Select key points
Safety factors are always key points


The proper equipment, tool, materials & what ever needed to aid instruction


Neatly, as in actual working conditions

Acknowledgement:  Courtesy: TWI

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Author: Kaizen Institute - India!

Kaizen Institute – India is part of the Global Kaizen Institute operations. Kaizen Institute was established by Sensei Masaaki Imai, the GURU of Kaizen. He wrote the 1st book 28 yrs ago and that is when it all started . We operate in 30+ countries today and have over 400+ coaches helping more then 600 organizations Learn, Apply, Sustain – Kaizen/ Operational Excellence. In India we have two physical offices – Pune & Ahmedabad and 27 coaches in all.

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