Training Within Industry (TWI)

Receive special announcements, emails, events, workshops and news articles from VMEC Sign Up

Effective Skills to Attract, Train and Retain Employees 

During  World War II, success in the battlefield depended on industry’s ability to bring thousands of new workers and new supervisors into the industries making ships, planes, and weapons.  Meeting the production challenge with this newly mobilized workforce required building the capabilities of supervisors to train, motivate and continuously improve.

The method used to achieve this skill building was called Training Within Industry (TWI).  Toyota successfully uses these same methods as a foundation of their supervisory training method.  TWI programs are typically 2 1/2 hour sessions performed over either 5 continuous days or several days in multiple weeks. Since these programs are intended as a skill-building exercise, a major part of the training is student demonstrations and role playing.

During TWI-related trainings, participants are presented with “real world” problems that everyone can easily relate to at the workplace. Participants compare how these problems are usually handled to the TWI method. This “learning by doing” concept forms the key to the TWI teaching method.

You may read our “TWI Explained” blog post here and check out this Training Within Industry (TWI) recording from our Noontime Knowledge series. 

Overview of the three TWI programs offered by VMEC:

Job Instruction (JI) – Implementing a training system using the simple and repeatable Training Within Industry methods allows a company to address immediate challenges, such as:

To help companies get the greatest benefit from this train-the-trainer course, a VMEC advisor will work with each company’s participants and sponsor to identify a meaningful implementation project.  Participants can then start their project at the completion of the training to immediately practice and apply the new skills and address an important company objective.

TWI JI  was developed to provide companies with a training system to quickly and effectively train employees and track employee training.  It has 3 components:

This is a Train-the-Trainer workshop. The objective of the workshop is to train employees how to teach someone else a job using the TWI JI method.  Knowing how to do something does not mean that we know how to teach someone else how to do it, or how to track their progress.  Instructors need to clearly convey each element of a job task and why it needs to be done correctly.   We cannot have standard work without standard training.   TWI JI teaches how to document standard work with a JBS  and how to instruct others using the JBS.

More than half of the course time is  spent on applied learning to develop the skills of each attendee, including coaching on the development of a JBS and application of the TWI 4-Step Method. This learn-by-doing concept forms the key to the TWI teaching method.

Read here what some Vermont participants had to say
about their TWI training experience:

“Learning about the foundations for good relations and realizing how much of an impact this knowledge will have on our team. I am thankful to have the 4 step method as a tool now. You’ve given me new hope!”

“The demos were by far the best part. Using the process in action and hearing other suggestions that I may not have thought of was really helpful.”

“I liked the idea of having outside eyes help me solve my problem. as well as learning new and different ways to be an effective leader.”

“I really enjoyed the class. Getting feedback and ideas was very helpful. Being conscious of the 4 steps and the foundations will definitely be beneficial when issues come up in the future. Even with the class online, I felt very engaged and plan to keep the blue card/form available at all times for reference.”

“Progressively learning more as the presentations went on gave time for it all to soak in.”

“I enjoyed the way the course was laid out for remote learning and being able to still interact with both the instructors and trainees.”

I really liked making a simple process to train someone. Very exciting!”

Also, read this valuable blog, “10 Myths about Training Within Industry Job Instruction”.

Job Relations (JR) – TWI Job Relations training addresses one of the most challenging parts of the supervisor’s job – establishing and maintaining good supervisor-employee relations and dealing with problems when they arise. Training and coaching supervisors to use this proven, simple, and repeatable TWI JR methodology allows a company to:

  • Create an inclusive work environment where people of all backgrounds and experiences contribute to their full potential
  • Build trust and collaboration needed for continuous improvement
  • Have a consistent and coachable methodology for dealing with people problems
  • Increase the confidence of new and existing supervisors to effectively build strong job relations and solve people issues that arise
  • Strengthen the ability to attract and train employees with no manufacturing experience as a result of having good foundations for strong job relations and much more

To help companies get the greatest benefit from this training course, a VMEC advisor will work with each company’s participants and sponsor. Practice using the tools starts after the first day of training. The sponsor is there for support and coaching as participants apply what they have learned.

TWI JR was developed to teach good leadership skills to front line supervisors. The training was developed at Harvard University during World War II and it is still used today by some of the world’s most successful manufacturing companies.  The fundamental premise is “A supervisor gets results through people!”  There are two components to the training:

  • Foundations for how to establish good relations with your people (proactive), and
  • A 4-step method for how to handle problems when they do arise (reactive)

This workshop is ideal for supervisors and managers that are new to leadership or want a refresher on these skills. Leaders at all levels in the organization can benefit from this training as they learn a common language and methods and coach and support each other in applying the skills learned.

More than half of the course time is spent on applied learning with everyday experiences and situations to develop the skills of each participant. In addition to the instructor’s case studies, each participant completes one demonstration during the week – applying the 4-step TWI JR methodology taught to a people problem from their own work experience.

Job Methods (JM) – The aim of TWI Job Methods is to produce greater quantities of quality products in less time by making the best use of the people, machines and materials currently available. Participants are taught how to break down jobs into their constituent operations.  It will enhance most team-based continuous improvement programs by delivering a high volume of small incremental improvements from individuals.  JM provides a system to get the most out of manpower, machines and materials currently available. It conditions and develops individuals to break down a job into its details and eliminates wasteful tasks, combines and rearranges necessary tasks and simplifies those tasks that are required.