Lean Definition

Training within Industry (TWI)

The (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 material. It was apparent that the shortage of trained and skilled personnel at precisely the time that they were needed most would impose a hardship on those industries, and that only improved methods of training would address the shortfall. By the end of World War 2 =, over 1.6 million workers in over 16,500 plants had received a certification.


The four basic training programs (10 hour Sessions) developed by the TWI were developed in an emergency situation by experts on loan from private industry. Because of the intensity of the situation, a large number of experimental methods were tried and discarded. This resulted in the distilled, concentrated set of programs. Each of the 10-hour programs had introductory programs called “ Appreciation Sessions” that were used to sell the programs to top management and introduce the programs to middle management of a company. Each of these 10- hour Session programs had “Train the Trainer” programs and handbooks called “Institute Conductors Manual” for the master trainers. The TWI service also developed a number of “Staff Only” training programs to support staff development and to improve the implementation Success,

The TWI trainers had to be invited to a factory in order to present their material. In order to market the service, they developed the Five needs of the Supervisor: every supervisor needs to have the knowledge of the work, knowledge of Responsibility, Skill in Instructing, Skills in Improving Methods and Skill in Leading. Each programme was based on Charles Allen’s 4-pont method of preparation, Presentation, Application and Testing.

The 10 Hour sessions Were:

Job Instruction (JI) a course that taught trainers (supervisors and experienced workers) to train inexperienced workers and get them up to speed faster. The instructors were taught to break down jobs into closely defined steps, show the procedures while explaining the Key points and the reason for the key points, then watch students attempt under close coaching, and finally to gradually wean the student from the coaching. The course emphasised the credo, “ if the worker hasn’t learned, the instructor hasn’t taught”.

Job Methods (JM) a course that taught workers to objectively evaluate the efficiency of their jobs and to methodically evaluate and suggest improvements. The course also worked with a job breakdown, but students were taught to analyse each step and determine if there were sufficient reason to continue to do it in that way by asking a series of pointed question. If they determined some steps could be done better by Eliminating, Combining, Rearranging, or Simplifying, they were to develop and apply the new method to selling it to the “boss” and co-workers, obtaining approval based on safety, quality, quantity and cost, standardizing the new method, and giving “credit where credit is due”.

Job Relations (JR) a course that taught supervisors to deal with workers effectively and fairly. It emphasised the lesson, “people must be treated as Individuals”.

Program Development (PD) the meta course that taught those with responsibility for training function to assist the line organisation in solving production problem s through training.

There was also a short-lived course that taught union personnel to work effectively with management

Relationship to Lean

Although the TWI program funding for application of the programs in the USA by the government ended in 1945, the US government did fund the introduction to the war-torn nations of Europe and Asia. Several private groups continued to provide TWI in the US and abroad. Channing Dooley, Walter Dietz, Mike Kane and Bill Conover( Collectively known as the four horsemen) continued the development of the “j” programs by establishing the TWI Foundation. This group was responsible for continuing the spread of TWI throughout Europe and Asia. The Director of one of the district offices established TWI, Inc, and was hired by the US Government to provide TWI training in Japan. It was especially well received in Japan, where TWI formed the basis of the kaizen culture in the industry. Kaizen, known by such names as Quality Circle in the West, was successfully harnessed by Toyota Motor Corporation in conjunction with the Lean or just in time principles of Taiichi Ohno. In fact, in the foreword to Dinero’s book “training within industry” (2005) John Shook relates a story in which Toyota trainer brought out an old copy of a TWI service manual to prove to him that American workers at NUMI could be taught using the “Japanese” methods used at Toyota. Thus TWI was the forerunner of what is today regarded as a Japanese creation.

TMI has a direct impact on the development and use of Kaizen and standard work at Toyota. These fundamental elements are embedded within the functional systems at Toyota and Job instruction is taught and used within Toyota today. The Kaizen methodology is a direct descendant of job methods, and most likely Job relations had an impact on the development and function of the Team and Group Leader structure in Toyota.

Many of the points above should look familiar to students of W. Edwards Deming: The PDCA style of training programs, the JI litany about failure being on the shoulders of the instructor, and even the JI and JM methods themselves. Deming lectures frequently included a statement similar to the JR Slogan,  “People Must Be Treated As Individuals”.

In Dineros’s introduction, he goes as far as saying that one of the key differences between more and less successful Lean projects was their focus on the “people element” during implementation.

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