Improving TWI Part 5

Note: This article is part five of a ten part series written by Art Smalley in conjunction with the 2014 TWI Summit hosted by Lean Frontiers. Art helped facilitate a meeting of TWI thought leaders that is held each year during the Summit. Following this meeting, Smalley composed his thoughts and opinions in a series of papers aimed to support the TWI community’s body of knowledge. Smalley’s website can be found at The annual TWI Summit website can be found

The first four posts in this series pertained to improving TWI Job Instruction training, execution, and future development. I spent more time on those items as they tend to draw the most interest from various parties and represent the majority of the TWI work going on in companies I visit. In the next three posts I will quickly go over some improvements to the TWI Job Relations training module. I will be briefer on these next three items as some of the main points are already covered.

The first step in improving TWI Job Relations is the same as Part 1 of improving TWI Job Instruction training. It takes quite a while to learn the material and become a proficient trainer.  And some people never become comfortable with the material. The first and very easy step is to create Job Breakdown Sheets for instructing Job Relations. An overall Job Breakdown Sheet can be created at a high level for Sessions 1 through 5. Then detailed Job Breakdown Sheets can be make for each section of each session. This will decrease the lead time to learn the material and instruct the class properly. Combined with presentation slides and participant hand outs it becomes easier to teach the course with a higher end result overall. 

Similarly just like I alluded to for TWI Job Instruction, Job Relations also needs a standard “Session 0”  and a “Session 6”  to be created. Just creating JR trainers is not enough to obtain excellent results for the organization or improve working relations. There needs to be defined roles for production managers,  human resources,  Union representatives (when in a Union environment),  and other applicable parties. The standard TWI JR training material does not do this as it merely focuses on teaching the JR course. Of course the case studies need to be updated as well for Job Relations for the 21st century but I get the sense that many organizations are already doing that so I will not comment on it beyond this brief mention.

So if there is an interested party please take up this challenge of improving Job Relations in regards to train the trainer instruction and deployment in organizations. I think a standard set of materials pre-deployment around roles and responsibilities and explicit details around the process of deployment of JR will help many organizations. Today that area is mostly tribal knowledge of dead experts,  external consultants,  or internal practitioners. In the spirit of TWI I would like to see development of some open source material on this topic. In the next post I will talk about one specific and much needed change to TWI Job Relations.