If you’ve been involved with lean for a while you have probably started to see some discussion on "training within industry" or TWI.
TWI consists of three standardized programs that teach the essential skills needed by all people responsible for the work of others, regardless of their industry: Skill in Instruction, Skill in Improving Methods, and Skill in Leading. The program was developed in the United States to quickly teach people the skills needed to increase production to unprecedented levels in support of WWII. The program was discontinued after the war when US companies focused almost single-mindedly on getting product out of the door. TWI then traveled to Japan to where it played a vital role to quickly rebuild their industrial base. Components of TWI are credited by the Japanese as the foundation for Kaizen and the Kaizen Teian suggestion system and the TWI program continues to be an integral part of the Toyota Production System.
This oft-forgotten pillar of lean is starting to see a comeback as more companies realize that the human side is a requirement for "real lean." Training helps embed knowledge and improvement far deeper than a simple application of lean tools such as 5S. Bob Wrona of the not-for-profit Central New York Technology Development Organization has developed the TWI Institute to help coordinate the deployment, or really re-deployment, of TWI throughout North America.
We believe that a renewed focus and understanding of TWI is critical to implementing "real lean." Therefore Superfactory is proud to be one of the founding sponsors of the first TWI Summit to be held in Orlando on the 5th and 6th of June next year. The Summit is being put on by the two guys who have created the extremely successful Lean Accounting Summit series and are among the most passionate lean people I know, Jim Huntzinger and Dwayne Butcher.
I’d encourage you to learn more by visiting the TWI resource page on Superfactory and to attend the TWI Summit next year.