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  The NIST Manufacturing Extension Program for Kentucky

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Leadership Operating in a Lean Business Environment

In the first article of our Leadership series the question was raised, “what ‘system’ of Supervisory education have our leaders completed?” We then briefly explained the highlights of our Leadership Light and Training Within Industry modules. Artilce two provided  a deeper dive in the former  while in this article we are discussing  Training Within Industry (TWI).

Training Within Industry

Training Within Industry, TWI, is a set of “hands on” Leadership tools that give managers essential skills required to operate in a Lean business environment. By learning how to maintain positive employee relations, train others quickly and correctly, improve processes, solve problems and establish standardized work, participants gain a systematic approach to become a better Leader. Supervisors, Team Leaders, and anyone who directs the work of others needs TWI as an essential element in their development. Manufacturers around the world including the Toyota Production System rely on this proven set of Management tools to support their Supervisors.

“3 Legged StoolGraphic

The 3 modules included are Job Instruction, Job Methods and Job Relations. As with AKA’s Leadership Light Series, TWI is delivered in 4 hour blocks of time. In those workshops we looked intrinsically at the Leader to uncover areas strength and weakness when compared to thousands of other Leaders. TWI on the other hand, provides the extrinsic tools needed by Leaders. The first 4 hours of each workshop deliver:  

  • 4 Step Method
  • Standardized Format
  • Pocket Card
  • 2 Case Studies
  • Lecture and overheads with exercises to reinforce learning
  • Workbooks for each participant 
  • Ample time for discussion and interaction

Once enabled with the tools, the second 4 hours allows the participant to present to the group their assignment or project. This gives them the opportunity to apply what was learned in the workshop, share with the other Leaders and receive group feedback along with individual evaluation and coaching.

Job Instruction

The first of three modules of TWI is Job Instruction. This interactive workshop teaches participants how to conduct successful on-the-job training using the Job Instruction (JI) method.

 JI was originally developed during World War II to help quickly and effectively train manufacturing employees who had never before been in the workforce. Most recently, Job Instruction has been used by numerous companies as a key part of their Lean transformation.

Upon completion of the workshop participants will:

  • Utilize the Job Instruction method to design and deliver on-the-job training.
  • Create a Job Instruction Breakdown Sheet defining the major steps, key points and reasons for each segment of an operation.

Identify each logical segment of an operation.

“Brain Lobes Graphic

  • Identify key process points (i.e. things that might make or break the job or that might injure the worker) as well as “knack” points (i.e. things that make it easier to do the job) to help speed the learning process.
  • Communicate the reasons for performing the operation in defined ways so that the trainee understands not just the “how” but also the “why.”
  • Conduct appropriate follow-up after the initial training is complete

Not only will one discover how to create a Job Instruction but also how to instruct others properly though role playing. Knowing that people learn 3 ways, could you be suffering turnover because our managers have not yet learned how to reach everyone.

Job Methods

This workshop teaches participants how to improve the way jobs are done so that greater quantities of product can be produced in less time by making the best use of people, machines, and materials currently available.

The Job Methods workshop serves to indoctrinate participants with an “improvement” frame of mind. It teaches them how to identify opportunities for improving the way jobs are done, generate improvement ideas and put the ideas into practice. During the workshop, each participant will apply the new skills he/she has learned by developing an improved method for performing the way a job is

done in his/her own workplace.

“Assembly Line Graphic

Upon completion of the workshop participants will:

  • Break down jobs into their constituent operations.
  • Constructively question job details in a systematic manner.
  • Generate ideas for improvement.
  • Develop new job methods by eliminating, combining and rearranging those details.

Job Relations

This eight-hour workshop, also delivered in two 4 hour blocks, teaches participants the foundations of positive employee relations.

“People on Platform Graphic

Participants in the Job Relations workshop gain problem solving and relational skills that will help them prevent problems from arising. Participants will also learn a proven process for resolving problems when they do arise. During the workshop, participants will practice using what they have learned by confronting and responding to real-world situations.

Upon completion of the workshop participants will:

  • Give constructive feedback and credit.
  • Tell people in advance about changes that will affect them.
  • Make the best use of each person’s abilities.
  • Earn employees’ loyalty and cooperation.
  • Resolve problems using a proven process of getting the facts, weighing options, deciding, taking action and checking results.

What people are saying about the AKA workshops:

“Very insightful, opens up your way of thinking regarding... processes” 

“Informative and personally made me look at other ways of doing things”

“It gave me a guideline to use to improve myself.”

“Very helpful and I will be able to use this on a daily basis.”

History of TWI

The Training Within Industry (TWI) service was created by the United States Department of War, running from 1940 to 1945 within the War Manpower Commission. 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.[1] By the end of World War II, over 1.6 million workers in over 16,500 plants had received a certification. The program continued post-war in Europe and Asia, where it aided reconstruction. It is most notable in the business world for inspiring the concept of kaizen in Japan.

Making it Yours

To start the ball rolling for your company, you will want to inquire about AKA’s Training Within Industry (TWI) services, or any of our Leadership Development Services. AKA also offers other “Best Practices” programs for manufacturers in Kentucky such as Growth Programs, Continuous Improvement Programs, ISO Quality Programs, etc.   Contact Kurt Felten, our marketing specialist, and have him set up a time for you to meet with one of our experts.  Kurt can be reached at (606) 620-0076 or via email at You can also see our AKA website for more information.  Just go to

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