The TWI Blog for the Training Within Industry Community of Practice

Archive for December, 2012

Good help is easy to find

Why is it that so many companies that begin to implement Job Instruction (JI) on their own soon bog down far short of achieving the results they had anticipated?

It’s self-evident that a company needs to keep improving if it is to be healthy and profitable into the future. One way of improving a business is by stabilizing and standardizing company processes to significantly reduce variation and increase predictability of Quality, Product Delivery, Cost, and Safety performance. In its’ search to standardize and improve, a company finds references to the use of TWI and Job Instruction (JI), especially in the popular books about how Toyota or other successful organizations operate.

Once a company finds out about TWI and decides that Job Instruction can help them, there are two possibilities open to them. They can seek the help of experts, like the TWI Institute, or they can attempt to implement JI alone. One feature of Job Instruction is that the ideas seem so simple it can be tempting to think that just a “Go ahead” from management will suffice for people at the ground level to grab hold of them and successfully implement. Evaluating TWI from a distance can be a little like watching a professional golfer strike the ball. It looks like such a simple and fundamentally balanced game – but just try doing it without the discipline of practice that follows well-established and time-tested techniques along with guidance of an experienced instructor and the results will almost always be disappointing.

Some companies implement JI on their own and succeed.  Same thing in golf; some people can be very successful with almost no help. Hall of Fame Golfer and six-time major champion Lee Trevino was great without ever having taken a lesson in his life. But then again Lee has claimed to have earned extra money as a youth by challenging competitors to rounds of golf where he used only a shovel and taped-up 32-ounce glass Dr. Pepper bottle. Most of us have a much better chance of bettering our scores with lessons from a professional.

Two matters in which companies often fall down in attempting to implement JI without help are:

Lay out a Plan that can be reasonably supported. Selecting a good pilot area is very important as is getting the right people on board. A company should select areas that are manageable and that the company recognizes need improvement. Selection of quantifiable key performance indicators within the pilot area is important because that is what the company should focus on improving and how the company will be able to judge success. When the TWI Institute helps organizations at this stage, the ground work is laid for focus of improvement.

Provide sufficient Skills for the trainers and line supervisors. In order for a company to be able to train their people in the best way to perform critical tasks, they first must have the skill to breakdown the jobs into bite-sized teachable tasks in a way that is easy for operators to understand and remember. When the TWI Institute provides training for Company trainers and supervisors, the Company can be sure that a Certified Trainer will follow the tried-and-true instruction format that has been so successfully used by thousands of organizations across all types of cultures and types of businesses. Good training and the Follow Up provided by the TWI Institute gives the Company every opportunity to get great benefit from the training as will be borne out in the improved Key Performance Indicators.

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