The TWI Blog for the Training Within Industry Community of Practice

The purpose of the Job Relations (JR) component of TWI is to:

  • Increase Quality
  • Increase Production
  • Reduce Cost
  • Reduce accidents

So, how does JR help do that?

The following story was told by a 1st line Supervisor from a large manufacturing facility that recently attended a JR class that sheds some light on how JR does in fact “help do that”.

The business was experiencing a high demand for their product and for many months had been meeting this demand by mandating that employees work overtime hours each week. It happened that on the upcoming weekend there was to be a popular community event in which several of the work group, along with their families, had long planned to participate in. Early in that particular week the Supervisor was told by his boss that, in order to meet the ship schedule to customers, he should once again mandate that his work group put in weekend overtime hours. When the Supervisor told the work group, they were not happy and appealed to his sense of fairness. The supervisor explained to the work group that the business must be able to meet the commitments to the customers but offered this possibility: If the group could get all of the product completed within the regular 40-hour work week, and it must be high quality product, they could have the weekend off. The work group agreed to these terms and everything was done by Friday. The results were that;  a) the required amount of good product was shipped on time, b) no dollars were wasted on overtime, and c) the workers were happy to have the weekend off.

The point here is not whether this approach would work in any other company. The point is that people can, and quite often will, figure out how to get something done if they really want to do it.

So, in order to increase Quality, increase Production and reduce Cost, we want people to “really want to do it”. It is in getting people’s heads in the game, in “really wanting to do it”, that JR is extremely effective. Notice that in this really-happened example the Supervisor did not just give in. The work group still had to meet PRODUCTION requirements and meet QUALITY standards in order to be able to have their weekend off; moreover, they reduced COST!  That’s what is meant by getting people’s heads in the game.  JR is not about taking everyone to Disneyland each day. JR is about treating people with respect, while keeping them focused on the job. 

Some recent comments from JR practitioners:

a)            “The Job Relations module within TWI is the simplest, most practical and single most effective ‘people skills’ tool I have seen – ever.

I am practicing what I have learnt every day and it is adding value, and I believe will continue to do so.”

b)            In a recent JR class, one of the participants practiced using the 4-step “How to Handle a Problem” process using a situation that was currently before him. A valued employee was upset because they felt that they had not been awarded their 25-year service pin at the anniversary date. It seems that there was uncertainty as to the exact date due to a change of the way records were handled when the company changed hands many years earlier. This is what the supervisor said he decided to do and how he decided to do it:

“In the case that I presented to the class, I am proceeding with giving the employee her pin. I spoke with a few more of the older hands and they can’t nail the exact date but its close enough. My plan now is to wait until I have an executive visit the site and make a big deal out of the presentation.

Thank you for making this process so clear and concise, I was impressed with your ability to keep the program focused and moving forward, well done.”

Robert from the Dallas area asked a question on the Linked In / AME Group, 

What are the best ways to motivate workers to take ownership for quality in their processes?   (LINK)

He further inquired: “Assuming that the workers do actually know how to make a good product, what are some activities or methods of helping them to “take over” responsibility of the outputs of their respective processes?”

The comments that followed were insightful and well written such as the sample of excerpts that follow without attribution.

 “We must make sure that the process and product is clearly defined first and workable standards are in place and understood. Too often this is not the case and quality fails as much through ignorance than lack of engagement the Operators to feel ownership for the process is the best way to motivate.”

“As said before, most of the quality issues are caused by the process. In order to motivate people to take ownership for the quality of their products you should listen to what they say about the quality issues they encounter every day. But listening is not enough, you need also to show them that you understood what they say, by starting fixing the problems.”

 “Give them the opportunity to propose solutions and, if possible, give them even the chance to implement and test their own solutions (the QCC circles are a good example of people’s involvement in solving quality issues).”
“Still too many comments focus on “them” the workers. The “them” must be everyone in the organization. Good process and tools first, then good training, people support systems installed and top management taking an active role in the quality system.”

All these comments circled around TWI but no one mentioned it so, of course, I had to and contributed the following: “TWI JI or Training Within Industry Job Instruction – it seems to me – offers a formalized system for involving all levels in production in the ownership of the quality of the product. First the system asks the operators how they do their work. The resulting, agreed upon “best way” Job Instructions are then used to train everyone who does that job. This involves the operator (ownership) and removes variability from the process.”

 As I continued to read the comments I couldn’t help but be amazed that so few offered any concrete suggestions for activities or methods, most offered platitudes. I don’t mean to be critical but maybe that’s a reason why we continue to ask questions like Robert’s.

Steve Grossman,  Director

 

I was looking through a catalogue of training for business professionals and saw a number of classes on leadership skills and conflict resolution for supervisors and new managers. The courses are known to be very good and all the trainers are outstanding. The costs are what you would expect for this quality of program.  The reason I bring this up is: I wondered if these classes, in spite of their inherent value to the individuals taking them, have any probability whatsoever of transforming the organizations that participate in them? Participants almost always enjoy these training programs and come back raving about how wonderful the content was. But how often have you seen a person return from one of these classes and make a big difference in the way?  I’ll let you answer that.

It seems to me that if an organization really wants to affect their supervisors’ leadership skills and improve conflict resolution they would be better served by training supervisors and floor managers in Job Relations. 

When we talk to companies they usually tell us that their folks are all getting along just fine, thank you, and that they don’t need Job Relations. But then when we actually deliver JR to an organization, the line supervisors almost always rate this program as the one they need the most. The simple fact that there are scores of classes in conflict resolution, leadership skills, and dealing with change proves the need supervisors have for these skills.

You know, as I looked at the course outlines I was struck by the similarities between the content of many of these courses and Job Relations (JR). 

The difference is JR operationalizes the content taught in many of these courses.

1. JR teaches the supervisor how to see a problem, make a decision on whether to seek help or handle it on their own, and take action.

2. JR teaches the supervisor how to first determine the objective and to evaluate the results of their actions based on the degree to which they achieved the objective.

3.  JR teaches the supervisor how to get the facts, weigh and decide what to do based on those facts, and to take action.     

The class not only teaches the skill of how to do these things, but lets the participant practice the skills on relevant problems in their own experience and workplace.  In that way, they go back to their jobs not just with a head full of fancy ideas but with the ability to put into effect what they have learned and make a real change in how they fulfill their responsibilities.  So, let’s take a fresh look at JR.  Instead of sending a few people out for a few days, why not bring those skills into the organization, for all the supervisors, and thereby transform them and the organization.  

Steve G.

TWI Institute Survey Results

 Summary

In August 2011 the Training Within Industry (TWI) Institute undertook the third annual TWI Institute Survey.   This year the survey was expanded beyond certified trainers to include those who have attended TWI related events, ten hour classes and other consulting activities.  The purpose of the survey was to find out the following:

  • How much J training did certified trainers in companies and in consulting firms do last year?
  • Have the activities of certified trainers changed over the past year?
  • For those who use TWI in companies: What year is their TWI implementation in?
  • What TWI Institute services were used in the past year?
  • In companies: How would the respondent rate the implementation of one or more TWI programs?
  • How important is the TWI Summit to the respondent?
  •  What features of the TWI Summit are important to encourage attendance?
  • What new services would they like to see the TWI Institute provide next year?

The survey was sent via email to the 751 individuals on our contact lists.  Seven hundred and twenty-one were received. The survey was answered by 94 respondents (13 percent response rate).   The sample was a non-representative, self selected sample.    

The findings follow.

Question 1.   Over the past 12 months about how many times did you deliver a J class in your company or to your clients?

In the past year 91 percent of consultants were active.  In fact 43 percent had delivered 10 or more classes in the past year. Ninety-three percent of company trainers were also active. In the past year 68 percent had delivered 1 to 5 classes. 

Question 2.  Do your TWI activities change year to year?

Over half the consultants anticipated the same number of deliveries next year as this past year. Over a third predicted they will do more coaching and mentoring as well. Almost half of the company trainers anticipated an increase in coaching and mentoring.  Only 13 percent of the trainers (consulting and company) anticipated spending more time on logistics and management. 

 Question 3. In my company, implementation of one or more TWI processes (JI, JR, JM, JS) has: not started, is in year one, year two or year three or more.

We eliminated the responses of the consultants as they would all answer N/A. The distribution of responses among the not certified individuals and certified trainers in companies were similar. Forty-seven percent of Not Certified were first year, 35 percent were second year.  Thirty-five percent of the Certified Company group were first year, twenty three percent were second year and 29 percent third year.   Over 85 percent in both groups were first, second or third year.

Question 4.  TWI Institute exists to support the implementation of TWI. On the list below check all that apply.   In the past year which of the following have you used?

In this question all three groups responded.   The highest ranked service was the website as source of information (Average 62 percent). The second ranked service was information on the blog (48 percent). The third ranked service was information from the master trainers which tied with J classes at 39 percent.  The train the trainer came in fifth (the responses of not certified were not averaged in as, by definition, they had not used that service).   While information on the telephone came in at sixth (28 percent)  it is important to note the not certified individuals and consultants reported much greater use of the telephone for information than the certified company trainers. Finally, coaching was the least used service by respondents averaging 21 percent). 

Question 5.  In my company the implementation of one or more TWI processes has is going better than anticipated, going well, going slow, at a stand still.

Those in companies who were not certified and those who were certified had similar distributions of responses when asked how TWI processes were progressing.  On average just under 80 percent responded “well” and “slow”. Few said: “Better than anticipated” and even fewer said their project was at a “standstill”.

 Question 6.  I think the TWI Summit in May is:

 Almost everyone who responded indicated they felt the TWI Summit was important or very important: The not certified individuals responded 100 percent; the certified consultants responded 95 percent; and the certified company responded 86 percent. 

 Question 7.  I will be more likely to attend the TWI Summit next May if it features: (Check top three)

The most highly ranked feature influencing attendance decisions was “good case studies”. The second was more emphasis on management and deployment. The third was TWI and Lean. The keynote speaker ranked 4 out of 8.  A workshop for certified trainers ranked 5th. J classes, JIB writing and Basics (TWI 101) were the last three with an average of under 20 percent.

Question 8.  What new service would you like to see the TWI Institute provide next year?

Thirteen services were suggested by respondents (see the full report for the list). 

Limitations

The sample, while somewhat representative, was not random and self selected.   Therefore, the ability to generalize to the entire population is limited.    

 Conclusions and Planning

The following conclusions can be drawn from the information collected.

 1. Certified trainers who responded to the survey are actively training the use of TWI for their clients and in their companies.

  2. Next year, the activity level of certified trainers should remain the same or increase based on the survey data.  

 3. The consultants and company trainers will be increasing the amount of coaching activity they engage in. 

 4. Seventy-two percent of the company respondents had not started or were in their first and second years of their TWI work.

 5. About half of the respondents indicated that their progress was going well or better than anticipated. Over one third said Slow and six percent said at a “standstill”.  

 6. TWI Institute services outside of training continue to be used. This is the value added by using the Institute.  The “hidden” use of the TWI Institute is the TWI Institute’s web site. 

 7. The blog has the potential to be an increasingly important piece of the overall services, with over 8,000 views in the past year.

 8. Master Trainers continue to provide be an important service for all groups by answering questions, making presentations and appearing at events such as the TWI Summit.

 9. Train the trainer and J classes (Initial deliveries) were used by about one third of the respondents in the past year. These continue to be the sustaining services of the TWI Institute without which the other services would not be possible.

 10. Phone information and coaching were reported as the least used services at 28 and 21 percent respectively. However, to put this in context, we do most of the telephone work at the beginning of the contact with the company or consultant and the coaching occurs after the initial delivery of training and sometimes after the Train the trainers is completed.

 11. The new services suggested by thirteen of the respondents can be grouped into three categories:

  • Classes
  • Community of Practice (CoP)
  •  Coaching

 12. This year the survey included a section on the TWI Summit upcoming in May 2012.   Ninety percent (90%)  of the respondents rated the TWI Summit as Important or Very Important.  They were asked what they thought were features of the TWI Summit that would influence their decision to attend. The most highly rated item on the list was “good case studies”. The second was how manage a deployment, and the third, TWI and Lean.  This year we will endeavor to make these three features are prominent in the program.

 The results of this years’ survey will inform planning for the rest of this year and next year, including plans to:

  • Continue to improve and refine the delivery of the TWI Institute core classes  and programs.
  • Continue to increase the amount of follow up and coaching services provided to ongoing projects in companies.
  • Focus assistance services to clients who are in the start-up and first two years of a project .
  • Accelerate improvements to features and usefulness of the TWI Institute website.
  • Blog bi-weekly, improve interaction on the blog, and improve linkages to other blogs
  • Run a least two webinars that are panel discussions on topics of broad interest to the community of practice.
  • Improve the quality of the TWI Summit breakout sessions to include good case studies, including sessions on how to best  manage a TWI deployment and the synergy between TWI and Lean

 For the full report go to www.twi-institute.org

The other day Richard Jackson asked Patrick Graupp – “When should I introduce the resaons why?”   We thought it was worth sharing the exchange with all our readers.  This question comes up  frequently in JI train the trainer sessions . 

 Richard said: “In session 2 When I am breaking down the Fire Underwriters’ Knot, I have always used the full JIB sheet on the board. I have included Reasons for Key Points. I know we are cramped for time here but I’ve thought that the Reasons are important enough to fit them in. I have still been able to meet the time markers pretty well. If Participants ask me why the Reasons column is not included in the Participant Guide, I tell them that the focus at that point is to get the Important Steps and Key Points. The reasons are really identified in the questioning to determine the Key Points. In other words, when we do a good job on identifying the key points, the Reasons pretty much fall out on their own. The Reasons are very important, but the focus at this point in the training is on getting the Important Steps and Key Points.

 What do you think? Should I just use the Important Steps and Key Points as shown in the manual and guide?”

 Patrick replied: “What I tell trainers here, in Session Two, is that FIRST the trainees need to learn what Important Steps and Key Points are before we get them focusing on reasons for Key Points. The reasons are a subset of the Key Points so if I don’t know what a Key Point is to begin with of course I won’t understand the reasons. So first things first, one at a time.

Like you said, though, we do find the reasons for the Key Points when we confirm, in the breakdown routine we teach in Session Two, if something can be a Key Point by asking why we do it that way or what would happen if we didn’t. So we’re not ignoring the reasons or leaving them out. But I don’t like to point these out, or put them on the board, until later in the course in Sessions Four or Five when breaking down the demonstration jobs. Doing this in Session Two would be giving them ‘more information than they can handle at one time.’

As you point out, the reasons for Key Points is one of most powerful parts of JI. We make full use of them in order to motivate workers to follow standard procedures because they know why they have to do the job that way. People will not do something that has “no meaning” (That is, there is no reason for doing it). So teach this part well by making sure they first understand Key Points and how to find them.”

What do you think?  Like this post? Let us know below.  Join the conversation – leave a comment.

Steve

The TWI Institue and Lean Frontiers started working in earnest on the 2012 TWI Summit  http://www.twisummit.com/index.html.  This  Summit promises to be the best ever. We will have a mix of case studies with from 1 to 4 or more  years of implementation experience.    The Summit will offer pre-conference workshops, and  the ten hour classes of Job Instruction and Job Relations immediately following the Summit – Wednesday through Friday.     

The keynotes will also be outstanding (to be announced later) and the location is second to none. (Gaylord Palms, Orlando http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-palms/

This is the earliest we have been at this point in the planning for an upcoming Summit, so if you have any suggestions let Steve Grossman or Jim Huntzinger know (while we still have time ) at:  sgrossman@twi-institute.org  or jim@leanfront.com

Save the date!!

You can’t implement TWI without leadership.  Here is a great example of a leader who has a plan and is bringing everyone along – slowly and carefully – to realize a successful implementation.  James McDonald, Manager of Development & Training at Libbey agreed to share his message to the project team. I especially liked his sports analogy and his understanding that TWI programs are implemented by people using skills that must be developed through practice, over time. 

Good morning Team,

 I hope you had a good weekend and were able to stay out of the heat.   I don’t know about you, but my mental wheel was spinning over the weekend, reflecting on the training class and opportunities before us.  I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with you.  We should feel privileged that we have the opportunity and responsibility for developing and executing this journey for our facility and company.

 As I stated in closing Friday, I likened last week and the upcoming weeks to a football team’s journey. 

 We’ve had our draft and you were selected.  It’s a privilege to be on the team.  We all have a very specific role on the team and we have to be accountable to the team and to each other.  We need to support, encourage and lift each other up.   Our team will only be as strong as the weakest link.

 We have just completed our initial meeting with our Head Coach (Pat Graupp) and have been shown the tools and skill sets (JI and JR) needed to win in our game of continual improvement.  These are our blocking and tackling fundamentals.   If we don’t stick to them, we’ll lose play by play and eventually lose in the game of Continual Improvement.  We were given a copy of these fundamentals to carry with us at all times.  [I will be asking to see your JR and JI cards anytime I see you!  :) ]

 Once we reviewed our blocking and tackling fundamentals, we then performed a number of walk-throughs showing how those fundamentals and techniques should be applied when running specific plays that we’ve run in the past (the jobs we brought in).   We asked questions and as we ran these plays, we saw where the new blocking and tackling techniques (JI and JR) reveal a lot of gaps on how we’ve done things in the past. No wonder we’re losing some games.

 I believe we see the need to change the way we’ve approached this game in the past and we’re committed to putting forth the time and energy to develop these skills and change the outcome of the game going forward.

 Now, we’re still not ready to play the regular season yet because we need to have more practices and play some exhibition games and we’ll be doing that over the next 1-3 weeks as follows:

  •  If you kept them – give your handwritten copies of the job breakdowns you did in the front of the class to your group leaders. I’ll stop by the group leaders and pick these up and will type them into our Libbey template.     
  •   Pick a 2nd small breakdown to perform over the next week.  I will type these up as well.
  •  Over the next 1-2 weeks, I will schedule these practice sessions with you through your manager and supervisor.   

 Finally, we will build a specific game-plan for each of the 3 pilot areas.  There will be more to come on this process.

James McDonald

Manager of Development & Training

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.