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Basic stability starts with a well trained workforce. Basic supervision skills is essential for  employees to know their jobs very well including how to further improve the skills and capabilities of work teams. An industrial training program that the U.S. used during WWII called Training Within Industry (TWI) is essentially a tool to manage an effective workforce. It had three specific job training components for production supervisors - job instruction, job methods, and job relations.The 3 TWI “J” courses, Job Relations, Job Instruction and Job Methods provide a very important basis for a work team in a lean program that will be sustained. At the heart of every work system are people and their collective beliefs and behaviours, their work culture. The TWI “behaviours” played a powerful shaping force very early in an organization's improvement journey. Long before there was value stream maps, kaizen events, pull systems etc. there were the TWI foundation elements on the  work floor as producticed by Toyota part of the Toyota production System known to some as Lean Manufacturing. These foundation elements gave stability and predictability in the work being done.  Each component was a ten-hour course that taught practical supervision skills. 

There are 3 core concepts of lean that the TWI J programs provide, and which J program supports which core concept. The 3 core concepts of lean are:   Respect for people.   Standard work.   Continuous improvement.


Respect for people has a fundamental presence in any truly successful work area where performance is high and improvement is continuous. You cannot go out and tell someone to “respect people”. Respect is an outcome of doing something. Job Relations provides that vehicle of doing. Job Relations teaches the Supervisor 4 foundations of good relations – 4 things that should do every day that will promote good relations. Job Relations also teaches the Supervisor a 4-Step method for resolving people problems when they do arise. If the Supervisor is committed to applying the 4 foundations, and to using the 4-Step method when problems do arise, respect in his work area will be there, it will take care of itself.


 A well trained workforce is a workforce that follows standard work. Standard Work is a description of how a process or activity should be done (in order to get the “desired results”). Standard Work will define the most efficient method currently known to produce the required output using available equipment, people, and material. It is a tool to measure how we are doing something, to refer to when we want to make a change, and is a basis for training. 

Job Instruction (JI) provides the Supervisor with a long proven method for doing just this – training their workforce to follow standard work. Standard Work is not a “set of rules that must be followed forever”. It is “the best way we know how today”. 


Genuine continuous improvement is just that, continuous. It is not sporadic events to introduce “lean tools”. Genuine continuous improvement requires a vehicle, a method, a way of thinking for the Supervisor of the work area. TWI Job Methods (JM) is that vehicle, that method. The method allows the selection of the right (lean) tool at the right time in the right place based on robust examination and questioning of the job as it is done currently.

JM is a practical method to help the Supervisor produce greater quantities of quality products in less time by making the best use of the Manpower, Machines and Materials now available. 

The three essential supervisory skills (as defined in the Training Within Industry Program) are key to getting the operational results all organisations seek. A good supervisor must be a good leader. The desired results from operation stem from the actions of immediate leaders, supervisory means anyone accountable for the work of others, it can apply to leaders of people or leaders of leaders as well. 

The Training within Industry programs are provided through the partnership with TWI Institute HQ and TWI Institute Australia & New Zealand Global Partner. 

About Training within Industry Institute:

TWI Institute  http://twi-institute.org   TWI Institute Australia & New Zealand http://www.vwaust.com


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