TWI Job Instructions
The field-proven best way to train people — with fast, repeatable, consistent results
While self-study has highly variable learning success —
supervisor-led TWI training has close to 100% learning success 1
History of TWI
In the early 1940's, the United States government formed the Bureau of Training War Manpower Commission to help industry quickly and reliably re-train workers to ramp up for World War II.
The results were impressive, with almost 100% of participating firms reporting at least 25% increases in production, and 25% decreases in training time, labor hours, and employee grievances.
Impressively — the TWI Job Instruction teachings have survived to this day almost completely unchanged. The pocket card carried around by Toyota supervisors today is almost identical to the original pocket card distributed by the U.S. government in the 1940's.
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Front of the
TWI Job Instructions Pocket Card...
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How to Get Ready to Instruct
Have a timetable
using the Training and Skills Matrix
- How much skill do you expect which workers to have — by what dates?
Break down the job into concise Instructor Notes
using the Job Breakdown Sheet
- List the major steps (what to do)
- The important steps that advance the work
- Small enough to chew and swallow in one bite
- Ideally with roughly similar amount of work in each step
- Start each major step with an action verb
- Pick out the key points (how to do it)
- Safety factors are always a key point
- Things that make or break the success or failure of the job
- Tricks of the trade that make the job easier to do
- If more than 5 key points, consider breaking into separate major step
- Summarize the reasons for key points (why)
Have everything ready
- The right equipment, materials, supplies, and instruction aids
- Ensure that all process documentation is up to date to accurately reflect current best practices
- Ensure that the worker has permanent and easy access to process documentation and training materials
Have the work place properly arranged
- Just as the worker will be expected to keep it
Back of the
Job Instructions Pocket Card...
we have added additional tips in grey
How to Instruct
Step 1 — Prepare the worker
- Put the person at ease
- State the job
- Find out what the person already knows about the job (or similar type of work)
- Get the person interested in learning the job
- Place the person in the correct position (usually looking over your shoulder)
Step 2 — Present the operation
- Tell, show, and illustrate each major step — one at a time
- Demonstrate again — Stress each key point, and reasons for each key point
- Written process documentation should be introduced only AFTER demonstration. (Can be at the end of Step 2 or Step 3)
- Instruct clearly, completely, and patiently
- Teach no faster than the learner can master
Step 3 — Try out performance
- Have the learner do the job — with the instructor allowing the learner to work in silence — but correct any errors immediately (so that wrong habits never start) and perhaps again demonstrate anything that wasn't fully learned
- Have the learner do it again — this time explaining each important step
- Have the learner do it again — this time explaining every key point
- Have the learner do it again — this time explaining the reasons for every key point
- Make sure the person understands. Continue until you know they know.
Step 4 — Follow up
- Put the person on their own
- Ensure that the person knows where to find (easily accessible) process documentation.
- Designate to whom the person goes for help.
Almost always the same supervisor that did the original training.
- Check back frequently to see how things are going.
- Encourage questions.
- Taper off extra coaching as it becomes evident that the person has mastered the new skill.
If the worker hasn't learned, the instructor hasn't taught
Get your own editable TWI Pocket Cards
Included with the Systems2win Lean Training templates
You can easily personalize your company's TWI Pocket Cards,
Each card is perfectly sized to be the exact same size as a credit card.
As you edit your own personalized Pocket Cards and Instructor training materials,
just be sure to comply with Charles Allen's Four Rules of Training:
- Prepare — Connect the learning experience with the learner's own experience
- Present — Present new information in small chunks
- Apply — Do it; and show that the learner can do it
- Test — Repeat without help from the instructor
Bookmark = Breakdown
Job Breakdown Instructor Notes
Excel template for TWI Job Instruction training preparation
The Job Breakdown Sheet is one of many templates for worker training that comes with the Systems2win Lean Tools bundle of templates.
The Job Breakdown Sheet,
Pocket Cards, and Timetable
are the ONLY tools specifically used in the TWI Job Instructions training method.
The Job Breakdown Sheet is intended to serve primarily (and often only) as Instructor Notes — used only by the Supervisor — to help the Supervisor prepare for and effectively deliver face-to-face training using the TWI method described above.
It is not uncommon for a Supervisor to make their Job Breakdown Sheet available to the worker, however...
If your environment is controlled by ISO 9001, or FDA, or any other controlling authority, then it is absolutely forbidden to leave your Job Breakdown Instructor Notes with the worker — unless the document conforms fully with all relevant document control requirements.
The Job Breakdown sheet is now also available as a worksheet within the Standard Work template — to make it easier to drill down to this greater level of detail within a single workbook.
Also see training for how to use bursts and clouds.
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Useful tools for worker training
Job Instructions Pocket Card — To quickly remind supervisors how to follow the TWI training method
Job Breakdown — Instructor Notes usually used only by the supervisor for training
Job Instructions — Detailed Visual Work Instructions always available for worker reference
Standard Operating Procedure — Another popular format for detailed worker training
Standard Work Instructions — Short instructions usually taped in front of the worker for constant reference
Layout Diagram — Also often taped alongside Standard Work Instructions
Cross Functional Flowchart — For processes that get handed off
Bookmark = Systems2win
Use TWI to train your people
Your supervisors can use TWI Job Instruction methods (above) to train your people to use their Systems2win tools — quickly, inexpensively, and thoroughly.
Here are a few things that Systems2win does to make TWI easier for your supervisors to teach:
Split long topics into multiple sessions
Most Systems2win tools are so drop-dead simple to use that the only training that will be required will be the Quick Start training and the help found on the Help worksheet.
Other templates might justify one short TWI session with your in-house Instructor.
A few of the "crown jewel" templates are complex enough for your in-house Instructor to consider splitting into multiple sessions. For example, if a person or team has never even used a Value Stream Map before, then it might make sense to have a couple of sessions to introduce the foundational symbols and concepts. And then perhaps have a training session for each phase of value stream mapping — rather than trying to cover the entire process in one overwhelming session.
The "crown jewel" templates that cover the most complex concepts are:
Although each one of the individual Kaizen tools are pretty self-explanatory, the way they all fit together within the kaizen process might deserve Instructor attention.
And if you are at all involved in Lean Office or Lean Healthcare, then extra training is almost always required in order to get people through the fundamental concepts of what lean is really all about, and how most of those concepts most certainly CAN apply to their "unique" challenges.
1 Success rate is close to 100% when done correctly. Success rate can be as spotty as anything else if TWI training and/or execution is sloppy or incomplete.