TWI - Job Instruction

Step-by-step instructions on how to implement Job Instruction. 

What Is TWI - Job Instruction?

TWI (Training Within Industry) is a proven method for shop-floor management. It was introduced during WWII to help U.S. industry rapidly train new workers, attain quality requirements and improve supervisory skills. It became extremely successful, and adopted in Japan after the war, but dropped in the U.S. when people returning from the war objected to the program and reverted to what they were familiar with. TWI made a come-back in the U.S. recently, ironically because it was used by  Japanese companies. 

The Training Within Industry program contains five parts:

  • JS: Job Safety engages employees in identifying and eliminating safety hazards
  • JI: Job Instruction develops the ability to consistently perform a job correctly 
  • PS: Problem Solving improves the ability to solve problems on the job
  • JM: Job Methods teaches supervisors how to evaluate efficiency and improve the way the job is done
  • JR: Job Relations instructs supervisors on good communication and relationships.

Principles of Job Instruction 

  • Supervisors have the job skills necessary to train, but not necessarily the instruction skills. Job Instruction is a proven way to perform training for operators
  • Teach to a standard. Every job needs to be done in the same way if we want consistency and a common reference point for improvement.
  • Use all the learning styles. 40% of the general population has a dominant kinetic learning style—they learn best by doing or manipulating; 35% a dominant visual style, 25% is dominant auditory.
  • Regardless of one’s dominant style, learning works best when all the styles are used.
  • Trainer provides immediate feedback and correction until the job is mastered.
  • Do not give the student more than they can master at one time.
  • Follow-up after the training

Job Instruction Sequence: The 4 steps For Training New Workers 

  • Prepare and put at ease (greet and introduce yourself, state the job and why it’s important)
  • Show and Tell by trainer
    • Name the steps
    • Demonstrate while repeating the name of each step
    • Name the steps again, along with their key points and reasons for key points
    • Demonstrate while naming the steps and the key points and reasons
  • Try out by student
    • Do the job in silence (trainer corrects any mistake immediately)
    • Do job again, this time explaining each key point
    • Continue until student can perform the job correctly and explain all the key points correctly
  • Follow-up
    • Student starts normal job, placed next to experienced operator
    • If student gets stuck or has a question, the trainer is to be contacted
    • Trainer comes regularly to check on the work until satisfied.

Procedures For Job Instruction 1/4

The first thing you need to do is to identify production training needs.
  • Where are you experiencing operator-related quality issues?
  • Where are there large variations in output day-to-day or hour-to-hour? This inconsistent performance may indicate a need for (re)training and for uniformly applied standards.
  • Where have you experienced the highest turnover? This may be associated with gaps in training. 
Identify the trainers and teach them how to perform job instruction.
  • Telling is the worst way of teaching adults, but that is how most operator instruction is done.
  • Showing or demonstrating the job is another common method, but it isn’t very successful when used alone.
  • The proven method starts with structuring a job cycle into clear elements and knowing what the key points are and why they work.
  • Then following the JI sequence described in section 4/4.
Work with experienced operators and future trainers to create the Job Breakdown Sheets.
  • Identify the key points with experienced workers. 

Procedures For Job Instruction 2/4

  • What prevents injuries, safety risks, damage to tools and equipment?
  • What makes or breaks the job? Think of the “knacks” that help the person to keep the required pace for the duration of the entire shift.
  • What does the person need to pay attention to in order to avoid defects?


Procedures For Job Instruction (3/4) 

Create the Training Time Table (use the “JI Plan.xls” from the templates page). One plan per department, or per plant if the site is less than 20-30 operators.

  • Who should be trained? Enter all the names on the first column
  • For which job? Enter the jobs across the top row, one per column. If all jobs are the same, enter the different skill levels, or types of machine.
  • By what date? Enter the date by which a person needs to be fully trained for a job.
  • To spot the  training needs, look at when a person is planned to leave, change jobs, take on a new job, go on vacation or long absence…
  • You should also consider planned increases in production, new machines or processes, or difficulties meeting current production goals.

Based on the Training Time Table, is there anything you need to do before moving ahead? If so, do it—or adjust the Time Table.

Procedures for Job Instruction (4/4)

Communicate the training plan and organize the training sessions (reserve the space, the machines, the material, the training documents, etc.)


What's Next?

  • Follow-up frequently during the first few days on the job of the operator
  • Operators should feel comfortable asking for help and see that they get support
  • If you haven’t done so already, apply Standard Work to the job
  • Put in place a system to ensure that Job Instruction is sustained:
    • The Training Time Tables (aka Versatility Matrix) must be visible at all time so that it is possible to verify they are properly maintained
    • If you have a LMS (Learning Management System), make sure it includes job instruction (even though instruction may be performed by supervisors or team leads). If you don’t, make sure you keep a log of all JI sessions and participants.
  • Reflect on the following: “If the student hasn’t learned, the instructor hasn’t taught”



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