Friday, July 25, 2014

Training Within Industry, How a Sense of Urgency Accelerates Teaching

Training Within Industry (TWI) Service was created by the US Department of War, War Manpower Commission, in 1940 when the U.S. knew it was going be in WWII, to help factories that held government contracts increase production of materials needed overseas to win the war. Because of the draft, which reduced the factory work force, and a need for even more workers, factories had to literally hire people off the streets, people with no experience in the required jobs. Those people needed training and quickly

TWI met the challenge by first creating Job Instruction Training (JIT). Factory managers underwent a ten-hour training (2 hours per day for 5 days). After training, they were equipped to teach their supervisors how to train their workers, one-on-one, how to do skilled jobs, e.g., lens grinding. But it was not ordinary training like existed before. Through JIT, a new worker would be completely trained in a fraction of the time. In the area of Job Instruction, TWI did that with two tools. There were four steps for each tool. These steps were written on a pocket card carried by supervisors at all times.

Tool 1: How to Get Ready to Instruct

One: Have a Time Table (a training schedule for all employees)

Two: Break Down the Job (explanation to follow)

Three: Have Everything Ready

Four: Have the Workplace Properly Arranged

Tool 2: How to Instruct

One: Prepare the Worker (find out what he knows, introduce the job)

Two: Present the Operation

Three: Have Worker Try It (Learn by doing)

Four: Follow Up

There are actually three tools. In How to Get Ready to Instruct, the supervisor learns to make a Job Breakdown Sheet (JBS), a one-pager that had all necessary information for training one, particular job. So each operation had a JBS. The JBS had three columns, Steps (What to do), Key Points (keys to doing something correctly, e.g., ¾ turn of the screwdriver), and Reasons (rationalization for each key point).

In step two of How to Instruct, the supervisor demonstrated the job, calling out the steps, key points, and reasons. In step three, the worker mimicked the supervisor, also calling out the steps, key points, and reasons. One might think this is wasted time but it actually sped up learning because the worker was practicing doing the job correctly, and learning how and why he was doing what he was doing.

After JIT, TWI added two more programs, JRT and JMT. JRT (Job Relations Training) taught supervisors how to build good relations with workers, key to having happy workers who like to come to work and work hard. JMT (Job Methods Training) taught the factories how to install a continuous improvement system, using worker suggestions, which in time developed a culture of “How Can We Make This Better?”

There are many who say, TWI had a huge part in winning WWII. Why did it work? It worked because of great leadership but the number one reason may be, there was urgency. We needed to win a war and there was no time to waste.

I have known classroom teachers and sports coaches who teach with the same urgency and they are all extremely effective. Why teach with urgency? There is a war to win for the students. The enemies are: Ignorance, Poverty, Prison, and Pregnancy, to name just a few. 

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