The TWI (Training Within Industry) Programs contain learning disciplines and problem solving tools that were collected and organized over 70 years ago. At that time and today also, they are often promoted as 10-hour training programs; and indeed, that?s what they are. However, just as a one-hour golf lesson requires additional time and effort in order for it to be worthwhile, the TWI 10-hour programs also require additional time and effort to be useful. The time and effort are well spent however, because the TWI programs change how employees think about their jobs. The programs enable standard work and they help spark creativity in employees. These benefits alone make them not only desirable but also required for success.
Having said that however, it still takes effort and discipline to both initiate and sustain the programs. Consider changing the language you use in your organization. Say, for example, that everyone in your organization speaks and writes in English and the decision has been made that everyone will now speak and write in Swahili. There are many similarities between this scenario and implementing TWI programs. The result in both cases should be that the organization?s culture has changed. That is, the way employees behave and approach their work will have changed. Also, it?s important that all employees accept and use the change in their work in order to make it as successful as it can be. The change can?t be relegated to a certain few employees or departments, since any successful department is dependent on all others. In addition to having everyone participate, it must have management approval and be part of the overall company strategy. Keep the language change scenario in mind as you review the following ten requirements for sustaining TWI programs.
1- Top management backing
The TWI programs cost time and money and thus will be an addition to employees jobs as they perform them now. The CEO and his/her staff should not only be aware of implementing the programs, but s/he should also make it a part of the overall strategy. If the CEO and staff believe it is just another training program, it won’t have the backing it deserves. If, however, they realize that it is a problem-solving/culture-changing tool that forms a foundation for success, they will support it by making the correct decisions when questions arise about the programs.
2- Management support
Since the programs take time, people must be given that time. Instruction and Methods Improvement must be considered to be a part of each employee’s job. Budgets and schedules must be modified. The rewards will be great, but there is a price to pay.
3- Line organization participation
Everyone can benefit personally and professionally from using the TWI programs, but initially not everyone will be using them. However, when a group of employees starts using one of the programs, the line management (all supervisors) attached to that group should take an active interest by seeking metrics and results. After all, they are responsible for quality and productivity. They should also participate in a 10-hour session so they have experienced the programs. Unless a person has participated in a program, it is very difficult to have a deep understanding of them. This also changes it from being ?The Training Department’s program? to ?our company’s program. This is the way we do things now.
4- Reporting of Results
The TWI Programs are problem-solving tools and as such, they should show results if they are to be used continually. Training or making changes should not be made for their own sake but to improve the organization. Quantifying results is important so the supervisor (first line, second line, manager, director, VP, etc.) concerned can determine if the effort is worthwhile and whether or not activities should be changed. Reporting results is important because, in the philosophy of visual management, everyone can see what is happening.
5- Appointment of a coordinator
If everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. Someone must be assigned to coordinate the TWI effort. Tasks would include:
•arranging for the 10-hour sessions,
•seeing who is included and when,
•following up with supervisors after the training to see how it is being used and to offer input as needed (includes helping set up an audit program),
•getting and distributing results,
•coaching others in use of the programs after the training,
•delivering the 10-hour programs if they have been trained to do so,
•facilitating JBS groups (for getting consensus), JMS groups for getting consensus on larger JM improvements, and JR groups,
•helping people identify problems that can be solved or reduced through the use of the programs, etc.
In most cases this would be a full time position, but initially it may be more reasonable for a person to accept the responsibilities as the programs spread throughout the organization.
6- Quality Institutes for Instructors
Discipline must be maintained in delivering the 10-hour programs so that quality does not diminish. As people become familiar with the programs, it becomes easier to attempt to ?simplify? or ?condense? them. A good trainer realizes that the programs are as simple and dense as they can be and any changes would be made in augmenting them when fitting them to an organization. In no case should any of the main principles be altered because that would decrease their effectiveness. For example, the amount of material a person can absorb in ten hours over five days is greater in quality and quantity that can be absorbed in ten hours in one day. Periodic audits should be conducted on the 10-hour programs to verify that standardization is maintained. Non-standard training leads to non-standard work. If there is any question on the quality of the training institute (10-hour training), check with the Institute Conductor who trained the trainers.
7- Schedule for complete coverage
The TWI programs can change an organization’s culture but only if everyone knows about them and uses them. By ?culture? we mean, ?How we do things here.? That requires that employees think in a certain way and use the same language. If one person talks about ?key points? and the other person does not know the term, communication will be difficult. The TWI Coordinator should make sure that the entire organization receives the 10-hour programs (as applicable) and that refresher sessions are scheduled as needed.
8- Coaching to get continuing results
Once an employee has been through a 10-hour program, s/he will require some coaching to enable them to be proficient in using the method. Having been through the 10-hour program, each participant will have been coached in creating and delivering a Job Breakdown Sheet. They will be knowledgeable but not proficient and thus coaching is required for the employee to sharpen his/her skills. Coaching is not ?telling? but rather helping the employee to strengthen weak areas of the skill. That means the coach must determine where the person is not strong and then decide how best to sharpen that aspect of the training.
9- Correct use of the TWI Programs
All training should be considered to be a problem-solving tool. We should not train for the sake of training but to address a particular problem. Therefore, when we measure the success of the training, we measure how well the particular problem has been solved and not the extent of the training. If the problem has been solved and we do not anticipate it returning, the training is no longer necessary and should be stopped.
10- Conduct Periodic Audits
Once everyone has been trained in a given job, it is usually necessary to follow up periodically and see that it is still being performed according to the standard. People who have done the job before another way will have habits that must be broken before new ones can be formed. Someone should be assigned to periodically view the job and determine that the standard is being followed. The Training Matrix is a good tool to use to keep track of this. If a person has performed the job according to standard several times over the period of a month or two, you can be fairly certain that the person will continue to perform it that way. One must not make the assumption that because someone has been properly trained in a job s/he will perform it according to the standard. If standards are important enough to spend time and money on training, they are important enough to follow up with an audit.