Improving TWI Part 8

Note: This article is part eight 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

In the previous seven posts I outlined some possible ways to improve TWI material for the 21st century. In those first seven posts I dealt with the topics of TWI Job Instruction and Job Relations. In the next three posts I will turn some attention to the topic of improving TWI Job Methods. There seems to be less interest in TWI Job Methods in the U.S. at least compared to Job Instruction and Job Relations. I think that is a shame however I am not surprised when I examine the contents of Job Methods. And I think there are some ways to improve the contents based upon what Toyota Motor Corporation actually did in Japan starting in the mid 1950’s and moving forward. I will explain some of these ideas in two separate posts on the topic.

For starters I will deal with the easy one first and get it out of the way. Just like I believe we can improve the JI and JR train the trainer practice by the creation of Job Breakdown Sheets the same concept applies to JM. So no surprise I would advocate the same practice for Job Methods. This would make it easier to learn how to teach Job Methods and rely less upon staring at the text book. I would still conduct basic ten hour training sessions however in two person teams and make sure one followed along for quality control,  etc. Nothing changes in that regard.

Also in the same fashion I think that Job Methods needs a Session 0 and a Session 6 just like the previous courses. This would explain the basic roles and responsibilities of management and give specific instructions on how to deploy TWI Job Methods after the training sessions have been completed. In that regard I do not have much to add and will simply link to the previous posts for the same concept for improving TWI Job Instruction and TWI Job Relations training.

In the next post however I will explain what is fundamentally weak with regards to TWI Job Methods and what could be done to beef up its shortcomings.