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The Training Within Industry (TWI) service was created by the United States Department of War, running from 1940 to 1945. The purpose was to provide consulting services to war-related industries whose personnel were being conscripted into the US Army at the same time the War Department was issuing orders for additional matériel. It was apparent that the shortage of trained and skilled personnel at precisely the time they were needed most would impose a hardship on those industries, and that only improved methods of job training would address the shortfall . By the end of World War II, over 1.6 million workers in over 16,500 plants had received a certification.
The four training programs developed by TWI were developed in an emergency situation by experts on loan from private industry. Because of the intensity of the situation, a large number of experimental methods were tried and discarded. This resulted in a distilled, concentrated set of programs.
The TWI trainers had to be invited to a factory in order to present their material. In order to market the service, they developed the Five Needs of the Supervisor: every supervisor needs to have Knowledge of the Work, Knowledge of Responsibility, Skill in Instructing, Skill in Improving Methods, and Skill in Leading. Each program was based on Charles Allen's 4-point method of Preparation, Presentation, Application, and Testing.
The four programs were:
- Job Instruction (JI) - a course that taught trainers (supervisors and experienced workers) to train inexperienced workers and get them "up to speed" faster. The instructors were taught to break down jobs into closely defined steps, show the procedures while explaining the Key Points and the reasons for the Key Points, then watch the student attempt under close coaching, and finally to gradually wean the student from the coaching. The course emphasized the credo, "If the worker hasn't learned, the instructor hasn't taught".
- Job Methods (JM) - a course that taught workers to objectively evaluate the efficiency of their jobs and to methodically evaluate and suggest improvements. The course also worked with a job breakdown, but students were taught to analyze each step and determine if there were sufficient reason to continue to do it in that way by asking a series of pointed questions. If they determined some step could be done better by Eliminating, Combining, Rearranging, or Simplifying, they were to develop and apply the new method by selling it to the "boss" and co-workers, obtaining approval based on Safety, Quality, Quantity, and Cost, standardizing the new method, and giving "credit where credit is due."
- Job Relations (JR) - a course that taught supervisors to deal with workers effectively and fairly. It emphasized the lesson, "People Must Be Treated As Individuals".
- Program Development (PD) - the meta-course that taught management how to develop a training and improvement program
There was also a short-lived course that taught union personnel to work effectively with management.
Relationship to LeanEdit
Although the TWI program was abandoned at the end of the war, the instruction methods were introduced to the war-torn nations of Europe and Asia. It was especially well-received in Japan, where TWI formed the basis of the kaizen culture in industry. Kaizen, known by such names as Quality Circles in the West, was successfully harnessed by Toyota Motor Corporation in conjunction with the Lean or Just In Time principles of Taiichi Ohno. In fact, in the Introduction to Dinero (2005), Mike Rother relates a story in which a Toyota trainer brought out an old copy of a TWI service manual to prove to him that American workers at NUMMI could be taught using the "Japanese" methods used at Toyota. Thus, TWI was the forerunner of what is today regarded as a Japanese creation.
Many of the points above should look familiar to students of W. Edwards Deming. The PDCA style of the training programs, the JI litany about failure being on the shoulders of the instructor, and even the JI and JM methods themselves. Deming lectures frequently included statements similar to the JR slogan, "People Must Be Treated As Individuals."
Why it disappeared from the United StatesEdit
One theory for the disappearance of TWI within the U.S. after the war is the simple fact that North American industry faced little serious competition in 1945. With no competition to an efficient industry, few saw the need to continue to improve. At the same time, foreign industries had been decimated. The defeated countries needed to establish new industry but to reject the old culture. For that purpose, TWI trainers were brought to Europe by the occupying forces there, and to Japan by Macarthur during the occupation.
- Dinero, Donald (2005), Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean, Productivity Press, ISBN 1-56327-307-1
- Imai, Masaaki (1986), Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, ISBN 007554332X
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