The Training Within Industry Service (TWI) was established in 1940 to help with the increased production needed to support the Allied Forces during World War II. The three programs, known as the “J” programs, had a major positive impact on manufacturing output in the U.S. during the war.
In its short 5-year existence, TWI was implemented in over 600 companies who, on average, experienced a 60% improvement in productivity. The “J” programs are:
Each “J” focuses on the relationship between supervisors (anyone who directs the actions of others) and employees. After the war the programs began to wind down in the U.S. It was recognized that Japan need support in rebuilding their industrial infrastructure. The programs developed by the TWI Service were deployed to help them accomplish the goal.
A former TWI trainer and his group were contracted and began the training process. Several Japanese agencies picked-up the training and promoted it at a national level. The massive training of TWI’s programs over the following decades in all facets of Japanese industry pushed the principles taught to become an integral part of what is known today as the Toyota Production System a.k.a., Lean Manufacturing. To this point in his article, ‘The Roots of Lean’, Jim Huntzinger writes:
What does it [TWI] have to do with modern manufacturing techniques? The answer is everything. For those who have heard of lean manufacturing, Japanese management methods, and kaizen, TWI may well be the ground zero of these modern manufacturing philosophies that have developed into the most promising methods in industry today.
After the initial deployment in Japan, TWI continued to evolve and two additional “Js” were developed:
After the war, TWI faded from use in the U.S., but during the past ten years or so, organizations are rediscovering TWI as a foundation for creating operational excellence and transforming their culture. KPC likes to think we’ve played a small part in TWI’s resurgence. We have helped many of our clients take their operational excellence to the next level by introducing TWI into their organizations using our dynamic program of hands-on learning and practice. For many organizations, the results are:
TWI can be a key element to any operational excellence initiative in almost any organization. It provides front line leaders with the skills to establish and sustain a continuous improvement culture. If you’d like to learn more about TWI and how KPC can help your organization move to the next level in operational excellence contact us and we’ll be happy to talk with you.
For more information on our TWI services, other training services we offer or if you have questions or comments, please contact us - we'd love to hear from you!
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