- For Your Industry
38 min read
How To Accelerate Frontline Learning With TWI
Frontline supervisors are not educated as teachers or coaches.
The good news is, they can learn that skill.
Most training programs focus on training operators, and we have an opportunity to focus on training the supervisors who train the operators.
In our latest episode of The Voices of Manufacturing, we have a conversation with Patrick Graupp, Vice President & Senior Master Trainer at TWI Institute. You’ll learn how Training Within Industry (TWI) became the human-centric methodology adopted by leading manufacturers worldwide.
A full transcript along with additional resources are listed below.
- 01:40 How Patrick became a world-renowned authority on TWI
- 03:30 Why today’s economic climate resembles wartime shifts
- 06:20 The mutual admiration society of Japanese and American management practices
- 10:00 Does training success come from the trainer, methodology, or the author?
- 13:30 The magic of the TWI methodology from a time reduction perspective
- 21:00 Tactical elements of the TWI approach to job instruction
- 23:20 Why “starting with why” might not be the best approach for workers
- Training Within Industry 101 Webinar (w/Patrick Graupp)
- Breaking Down the Skills Gap: Training
- The Cost of Bad Work Instructions
- How To Choose Industrial Tablets for Manufacturing
Episode 16: The Voices of Manufacturing
Michael Muilenburg: Yeah, I'm really excited about this episode because I've been a fan of TWI and I've dabbled with it for years. And it was only in the last 12 months that we dug in a little bit deeper and said, "Let's go all in on this." I'm just thrilled to meet Patrick virtually and hear some of the backstory and some of the success stories that they've had.
Brian Sallee: It's a fascinating methodology. I don't know as much as Patrick. I've heard you referred to as a world-renowned expert on TWI. You've got a lot of people who view you as the master or the expert. But what is TWI? You want to give us a little background on what it is and how you got involved?
Patrick Graupp: Sure. Thanks for those kind words. I don't know how I became a world-renowned authority, but here I am.
So I'll give it a good shot. First of all, a little bit about my background. My mom was Japanese, and after I graduated from college way back in 1980, I went to Japan and got tied up with the Sanyo corporation. He may remember Sanyo, and, of course, in those days, the method was used by companies large and small in Japan, not just Toyota, which they learned from the Americans after WWII.
And so, when you ask, where does TWI come from? It was actually developed right here in the United States of America during World War II. As the country went into the war, we, the U.S. factories and shipyards, were going to be, as they called it, the arsenal of democracy. We were going to build and supply all of the war materials to win the war.
The problem with that, though, is that all the experienced workers were heading off to fight the war. And they were being replaced by largely inexperienced women who had never worked in a factory or a shipyard before. And this was a huge challenge to winning the war.
As a result, they required a new strategy for dealing with them. The famous Rosie The Riveter and other new people were coming into the workforce. And so they looked at that and they said, "What do we need to do differently?”
And the focus they realized was on the frontline supervisor, the person who was going to be talking to Rosie and teaching her the jobs and dealing with the issues there at the plant and helping her to be able to do them.
The job was done better, so that they could continue to improve what they were doing in terms of the war methodology. And of course, the rest is, as they say, history. It was a phenomenal success. Many historians credit TWI and of course, the whole production scene on this side of the pond, for creating this incredible production juggernaut that was able to win the war.
Brian Sallee: It's really interesting, Patrick, because I could draw parallels. We cannot compare today to what was going on in World War II, but we're going through a similar shift right now where we have mass retirements and we just have difficulty filling these open roles.
We've got low-skilled labor coming in. It's, you know, again, not the same, but it's also at this time where there's this major disruption happening to the workforce. No, we hear that all the time. And we've heard it for years now.
Patrick Graupp: In 2030, maybe even 40 plus years, and now they're coming up on their retirement and they have to replace that workforce. And, all of that knowhow and tribal knowledge, as they say, is captured in these people who will be leaving, and there's really no good way of passing that onto the next generation.
But, more specifically, with the pandemic and, of course, all the effects that's having, we have incredible amounts of turnover that we're seeing in the workforce. It's hard to keep people motivated to learn new jobs and get people upskilled more quickly.
So all of the factors that were present during the war are still present today. And technology has changed over the decades, but people are still people. And, dealing with Rosie is no different than dealing with new people that we have coming into the workforce today. And, I think you're right that TWI is as applicable today or any day as it was when it was first developed.
Brian Sallee: Yeah, And I think Patrick, what's really interesting is you mentioned TWI has developed in the US and then brought over to Japan. And then it largely went away. Is that correct?
Patrick Graupp: Oh, for decades. And it's really interesting. First of all, let's say, not just Japan, TWI was so successful that the US government, after the war, introduced it all over the world and you. There are remnants of TWI, some longer, some shorter, in different countries, in particular, England, New Zealand, and a few places. But of course it’s in Japan, where it made the biggest impact. We know what that story looks like. It went to Japan, with Dr. Deming and his work on quality and all of those things in that era.
But what's particularly interesting about that is that a lot of the things that we consider, for example, Kaizen, or listening to workers' opinions and taking in their ideas, that humanistic approach, actually the Japanese learned from us. And that goes back to even pre-war, with Toyota investigating mass production at Ford plants, then in the postwar era and the work of Dr. Deming.
It was interesting when I first got to Japan in the early 1980s. The people that I was working with were those who grew up during the war and remembered that postwar period. And they asked me why they were, because that was in the early eighties. That's when we started. Americans started looking at you. But when the Japanese asked me, they said, "Why are you Americans so interested in Japanese management? You taught us everything we know!”
And so it's funny; it's like coming full circle, coming back to the beginning because, indeed, as you said, after the war, it was forgotten or left behind, and after the war, we didn't have the need for TWI because the rest of the world had been demolished because of the war.
Then all the soldiers came back, they got their old jobs back, and Rosie had to go back home, and that, that bright spot of history, kind of just disappeared, because we just quickly went back to where we were before.
But of course, the story was different in Japan. Before lean manufacturing, there was TWI. And, if you look at the early days of Toyota, back in the early 1950s, when TWI went to Japan, none of the things that we know of today as lean or Toyota production systems were there. They were, when they started, based on the fundamental concepts that the Japanese learned from WWI.
And so, when you look at things like lean and other continuous improvement and all those things that you know are famous, of course, from the Japanese production systems or lean, what we call lean today, you'll see that their roots are in WWI.
And that's why Michael, when you went back to seeing TWI, it was so exciting because it was like going back to the basics. When you put those fundamental building blocks back into place, everything else then starts to kick into gear and lots of good things start to happen.
Michael Muilenburg:The motivation for me digging back into the TWI archives and relearning it was actually complexity. I had operators that were just overwhelmed with the complexities of their process. And we saw this as one way of breaking that down into smaller elements, focusing on those fundamentals, and then it wasn't the job, it wasn't quite as overwhelming.
Could you comment on that a little bit? How the TWI methodology addresses very complex processes
Patrick Graupp: If you think back to the World War II era, the B17, which was the space shuttle of its day, was the most complex piece of technology, and here we have all the Rosies out there building this very complex piece of technology.
In other words, what I did then was be able to break down the job. The idea of TWI is a very humanistic approach to learning and meaning. What we need to do is break down jobs into their simplest components, and any good teacher will tell you, "Yeah, that's how you teach."
You go to those fundamental pieces and you break them down into not necessarily simple, but smaller pieces. Digestible tasks that are easy to do. And without good training, that's difficult to do, because most people in a complex manufacturing environment look at that and say, "Oh, you have to learn everything from a to z.”
And that takes three to five years, maybe more. Back then, we didn’t know if the war would be over in three to five years. We didn't have that time. And there are some very famous cases where they looked at these complex processes/ The foundational case study of TWI, and it was what they called the lens grinder cases.
They had to make the lenses for the pilots in the war. And they said, "Yeah, it takes five years to learn how to do that," but they said, "We don't have five years." So they started thinking about how they could break down those jobs into their fundamental parts and then express them in very easy-to-understand ways that new operators could capture and retain.
And so that's a high-level overview of what the job instruction process is.
Michael Muilenburg: You hit on a couple of key points. You make a trainer a better trainer with the methodology. And I even go back to the author of the training documents. By following this method, you make a writer a better writer.
Patrick Graupp: That's right. And that's the part that TWI and Dozuki have in common. We're looking at how we can use these new platforms so that we need to develop skills in writing and understanding the job, breaking it down, and that takes a lot of skill. And when you do that, then lots of good things start to happen when it comes to education.
Brian Sallee: I want to go back here just a couple steps, because I think this is so impressive. I'm sure our audience, a lot of people, are familiar with TWI, but maybe not familiar with just how successful it was. And I was looking over some of the materials I received from you guys, but 600 companies around there were monitored during WWII. 86% of those 600 companies increased production by 25%. One hundred percent of those businesses reduced training time by at least 25%.
As we look at this shifting workforce, we've got people retiring, people not staying in roles very long. How do you gain a competitive advantage as a manufacturer? You've got to reduce that training time. And I think that's one of the key points here with the TWI methodology, is how can we get someone to competency quicker?
And so I'm curious. A lot of companies in manufacturing focus on job shadowing, I'm going to pair you with this other operator. Who's been doing it for a year, or in a lot of cases nowadays, they've been doing it for six months. There's just no focus on getting someone to competency.
How does the TWI method work to focus on getting someone to competency? How do you know when someone's ready to actually go out and do the work?
Patrick Graupp: That's a great question. Brian, you mentioned those incredible results that TWI got during the war. We're getting those same results today. Michael, you saw proof of that in your application at 3M, the reason and you asked the questions, “What's the secret?” “How do I go about doing that?”
First of all, as we mentioned, break down the job into small chunks and elements, even a few simple words, and there's the skill of how to write a good breakdown. But getting the simple words right is not simple. That takes lots of skill and experience.
Here’s a little side story. I was at Boeing, and I remember we were talking about making breakdowns and we had a bunch of engineers, and I said, "The work we're doing right now is really more the work of poets than engineers.”
One of my engineers threw up his hands in disgust.
"Oh, I hated English class!”
But it's really more like poetry. It's about communication. How do I find just those two or three or four words that capture the feel or technique or skill of what it is that we're trying to get done? And once you do that, then we go through a repetition process.
Since TWI was born, in the decades in between, a lot of people have done research on how the brain learns and creates memory. And, believe it or not, the TWI people really understood that even though they didn't have all the brain research. It really is about those synapses firing again. If you can get your brain to go through this repetitive process, we're creatures of habit. In that repetition, capturing those few and simple words that we've broken down, it speeds up the process of learning. It's a hands-on learning experience, and I'll be repeating the job several times.
That’s the method of TWI without getting into all the details. People see this and sometimes it's almost like magic, because it takes the learning process from weeks down to days, sometimes hours. We're seeing almost across the board a 75% reduction in the time it takes a learner to get fully up to speed. It's amazing.
Brian Sallee: Yeah, I'm curious, Michael. Obviously, you guys were looking at bringing in TWI at 3M because you had some really complex processes. How were you guys training people on those processes? Prior to TWI, what was the methodology you guys were using there? Was it mostly job shadowing or did you guys have instructor-led training?
Michael Muilenburg: Yeah, it really varied by location and by leadership. Some organizations had training departments; some had hidden three-ring binders; some had just job shadowing; follow people around, and you'll pick it up eventually.
There's been a lot of talk over the years about certifying operators and qualifying and showing that competency. And I always go back to looking at the race car pit crews that can do changeovers in seconds. It's obvious that they practiced, and we weren't seeing that in manufacturing.
I love what Patrick brought up, which is that this methodology also encourages you to practice. Over and over until you can actually follow the standard, improve the standard, repeat it over and over again without error. And I think we're just taking a more serious look at the work and saying that those pit crews have something that we don't have in manufacturing, and we need that. We need practice.
Patrick Graupp: And that's where TWI can help you. Frontline supervisors are not educated as teachers or coaches, but we can teach them that skill. So that's what TWI does. It gives them a four-step method that they can practice. And of course, embedded in that four-step method then is that cycle of repetition and practice that quickly gets new learners up to speed.
Brian Sallee: I want to just hold up right there. Because I think the key is, a lot of training programs focus on how we're going to train the operators. TWI is initially focusing on how we are going to train the supervisors to train the operators, which is correct, a step up that no one really focuses on.
Patrick Graupp: That's great. It's funny because when I talk to training staff and they say, "Yeah, we do have a kind of train-the-trainer process and it's very ephemeral. It's very loosey-goosey.”
We teach them about different styles. Some learners are visual, some are aesthetic, and some are tactile. It turns out when they look at the TWI method, it's got all of those techniques. It's all boiled down to one method. We don't talk about the theory of it. We just get into the practice. Here's the practice, follow this practice and you'll have great success.
Brian Sallee: Do trainers themselves have to be experts at the process? Do they just have to be extremely knowledgeable on how to teach a topic?
Patrick Graupp: That's a good point. Brian, because that's one of the critical pieces in the job instruction method. The trainer is going to demonstrate the job. In other words, the trainer has to be able to do the job. They don't have to be the best operators, and so that's the key point there, but they do have to be able to demonstrate how to do the job.
There are two ways of looking at this. You could say, “if I'm the supervisor or the trainer, and I don't really know how to do that job, this is a good opportunity for me to learn.”
Because if you’re going to be supervising that line or that operator, upi should be able to do the job. Maybe you don't have to be the best at doing the job, but you should be able to actually perform that job. But again, in many complicated processes these days, that's not the case.
The supervisor of the line is not the subject matter expert. The expert is not the best person at doing that job. With TWI, we can take those experienced operators and we can teach them how to do instruction. And then they become your instructors.
And that's the typical pattern. I would say that we see that in most organizations, your good operators, your experienced operators, will become your instructors, and they will take on that extra duty of giving instruction. And I think that's pretty typical.
Michael Muilenburg: I just had a flashback to my early days in manufacturing when the supervisor did know how to run the process and they probably were the experts, but the problem was they ran it their way. They remembered how they did it 20 years ago. And they weren't up on the latest and greatest, and maybe the most efficient or safe way to do it.
That's where we started to see the prevailing attitude of our operators: people on the floor are artists; we want to give them creativity. We don't want them to follow a standard. So I think once the light bulb went off and said, "We really need a standard," that's when we started getting more serious about this methodology.
Patrick Graupp: Let me just follow up on that, Michael, because we're going down a very interesting avenue. TWI has helped immensely with organizations, and most organizations that come to TWI are coming because they're struggling with standard work. They're trying to do lean and all those great things that we want to do in lean, but they're failing at the very fundamental level because they cannot get everyone to do it the standard way.
But what TWI does with this methodology, especially with what we were talking about earlier with the breakdown, is we can get our best operators, supervisors, and SMEs in a room and do that job breakdown. When they do it together, we're going to find the best of the best ways. The method provides you with a kind of modality or a technique. A format, a means by which to consolidate all those knacks and tricks and all the special timing and things that each of those operators and supervisors have and consolidate them into one way that we're all going to teach the job.
It’s a huge step forward when it comes to standardization of work, which, of course, as we all know, is the foundational bedrock of all the things that we're trying to do with continuous improvement and lean.
Brian Sallee: This is a good opportunity now. I think we've covered the background a little bit on TWI and I'm now really interested in what the methodology is. If we were to walk through, what are the components that make up TWI? Because as you're talking about job breakdown, I believe you called it.
That seems like a really effective tool to document a process and come up with a standard. So it'd be great if we could just walk through the components of it.
Patrick Graupp: Absolutely. So let's keep on the theme of job instruction because there are some other components of TW, which I'll tell you about briefly, but first of all, we're talking mainly about job instruction, which was the first module of TW and, to this day, the most popular and most used form of DWI.
When people say TWI, they think of job instruction. And so just what we've been talking about, you. First and foremost, we will break down the four step method into four steps, emphasizing the repetition of the job, and as we go through that repetitive process,
Okay, let's do it again. Let's do it again. Let's do it again. Each time we go through those repetitions, we're going to feather in a little bit more information. So, in other words, each time we go through those repetitions, we build on our understanding of the job, and the way we do that is the breakdown that we were talking about.
The job instruction breakdown breaks down the jobs into components. What we call the important steps, or what Toyota likes to call the major steps, the key points, and then the reasons. In other words, we break down the job into the things to do. Those would be the steps. And then for each of those steps, we look for how to do it. That's what we like to call key points. And then we want to identify those reasons for those key points, why we do it that way. There's the skill. When you divide the job into the what, how, and why, and then when we teach it using the four-step method, each time we do it, we feather in a little bit more information.
That's really the secret; that's where it's very easy and straightforward for the learner to understand, even a complex job rather quickly, without getting them confused. When we do job shadowing or other forms of instruction, we tend to, with the best of intentions, overload the learner with too much information.
And all we do is make them confused, and it takes days, weeks, maybe months for them to figure it all out. But the skill of instruction then is to really look at the job, break it down into those component parts, and teach it one bite at a time. The foundational principle of job instruction is don't give a person more information than they can handle at one time.
And any good teacher will tell you. That's how you learn, whether you're five years old or fifty years old. You don't overload people with too much information. So when we do those skills and develop them and then present them in this four-step methodology, you can really train people and get them up to speed very quickly.
There is one other element of job instruction, and we call it the training timetable, which is really just a skills matrix, where we identify those urgent training needs. So, in other words, you don't try to train for every job, all the jobs all over again. That would just be too overwhelming for our trainers, but you're looking for those urgent training needs.
Where do we need to apply this method? What jobs would be practical and strategically important for us to break down and train for? And we look at it from that point of view. as well. So that’s a high level overview.
Brian Sallee: That's kind of what it's about. What sticks out to me is the why. We do it this way.
And Michael, we've talked about this a lot. We've got this shifting workforce, we've got a lot of younger folks coming into the workforce, and they want to be engaged. And oftentimes, part of what's missing in manufacturing training is there. There is no reason. It's just, this is how we do it and you're going to do it.
So I'm curious, Michael, from your experience, I know you've been a big proponent of engaging operators. What have you seen in terms of the methodology being effective in engaging the operator?
Michael Muilenburg:. I love Patrick's sequence there of, "Tell me what we're gonna do, how we're gonna do it." And then, why is it so important that we do it and do it that way?
Maybe Simon Sinek was wrong when he said it starts with Maybe it does really start with why. But all jokes aside, you gotta have all three, and I think that's what we were missing. We would tell them what to do or what the objective was or the main point, or even I used to describe it as the expected outcome, and people would know when the job was done, when they were finished, but we weren't very good at specifying how to do it and precisely how to do it.
So I love it. We feed them little bits of information, tips, and tricks at each level to get them more and more proficient. And then, of course, why is it important? Whether it's at the beginning or the end, people want to know why new employees or existing employees are going through this learning process that's on everybody's mind.
And how do we bake that right into the work instructions? I think that's what the methodology provides for.
Patrick Graupp: One of the things that the Japanese liked about TWI, and they state this; it's in the history books. They loved humans. This goes back to the beginning of our conversation, with Rosie The Riveter. Here's someone who's never had a job before, let alone in a factory; you've got to treat her differently than we did in the past.
And so by this, and we say this, people are human beings. If you don't tell me why, you're not giving me any motivation to follow that standard. And if it has no meaning, then I'll just do it my own way, because I'll just find a better way, and so in other words, by telling someone why you're really engaging them on a very humanistic level, I like to say, it's not just that you're teaching the person the job, you're convincing them that you want to do it this way. So you see the motivational aspect, and other parts of TWI address it as well.
We're trying to engage the person. So simply telling someone to do it this way doesn't work very well. Yeah, so you know, what they, the founders, were able to capture was really a much more effective way of getting at people's deep-down motivation and intrinsic value.
And of course, that's what the Japanese grasped onto and just, of course, ran with that. Then there's just lots of other elements, but it really starts with that. Why, and that's really one of the critical aspects, but going back to the other thing that you said, Michael, When we say why, when you tell someone why up front, typically, why is where you get into a lot of the words, the explanations, and the complexity of it. All the complexity of it really gets into the reasons, right?
So if you put those things up front, all you do is make the person confused, and so on. Leaving the why until last.If you're teaching a job, if we go through those repetitions, we start with, "First you do this, second, you do this, third, you do this, fourth, you do this, show them the job from start to finish, no details."
And they're like, okay. And they're watching. This is, remember, something new. And they're like, "Oh, okay. Yeah, first you do this. Then you do this thing. Okay, let me show it to you again. Okay, when you do this first piece, here's how you do it. Make sure you go, "Oh, like this." " Be sure you're going, "Okay.
You can see the learners’ eyeballs getting big. Okay, they're watching and just absorbing all of this. No reasons, no why or wherefore, just very simple and straightforward. You're gonna do this and you're gonna do it like this.
And then you go through that. We've now seen it from start to finish twice. We've seen some of the details, and then we do it again. Now, after they've seen it two or three times, then you can say, "Okay, now let me tell you all those whys and wherefores.” And that's typically where you're going to get a lot of words, a lot of lengthy explanations, because, you know, you can't explain it in just two or three words.
That's where one of my colleagues likes to say, that's where you have permission to talk. That's where you can let loose and get into the details. But you see, you've saved all of that explanation for the end instead of at the beginning. So now, by the time you get into all those whys and wear forces, I understand the process and I understand what those critical pieces are.
So I'm not going to get confused when you get into all the whys in the wear force, but it's really that “why” is such a critical piece. And of course, that's the part that Toyota grasped onto and just insists on their frontline workers understanding why they're doing what they do.
Because without that, I can't really be assured that the learner, the worker, or the is going to do it just by following the standard each and every time. What's interesting,
Brian Sallee: Then why, as you're walking through that example with me, you're building curiosity? I'm getting more curious, and so yes, you're almost developing the mindset of the worker to be curious, and then exactly to drive continuous improvement, because now they know why they know we need to do it this way. Now I can start to think about, well, okay, within these constraints. That's right. We have to do it this way because of this. How can I improve the process?
And of course, that's one of the bedrocks on which the Toyota product system is built is what we call lean. They'll say, "Yeah, If the operator doesn't understand why they're doing it that way, then they can't think they were doing the work conscientiously.”
In other words, I'm teaching them to do the work conscientiously. In other words, I'm thinking about what I'm doing. And so, if something changes, they think, oh, I can do this better. Here's why I have to do it this way. But gee, if I did it like this, oh, now we're one foot into the kaizen process.
Michael Muilenburg: So Patrick, what I heard was, if you want a really long conversation, start with why. If you start with the how, then why do you develop curiosity? I really like that. And the word that comes to my mind is also respect. You're showing a lot of respect to your trainee, to your employee, by just not overwhelming them with too much information.
And yet, over time, building the story, and really valuing them as an individual, saying, "Boy, I really care about you. I want you to do this. I want you to have a deep understanding.”
When maybe this leads to a question: how do we improve it? I think it leads 'em down the improvement path as well, which I think is also very respectful. What do you think? Yes. What am I doing wrong? How would you improve the process? So can you talk a little bit about the improvement process in TWI?
Patrick Graupp: That's right. So there was another module. Let me backup a little bit. There were actually three original modules to TWI’s job instructions, which we've been talking about at length here; the job relations, which was a leadership model; you know how to deal with people; you know how to build strong relationships.
That respect for people, and how to build relationships, is very closely related to job instruction. Then, very interestingly, job methods, which was the kaizen, or improvement piece. And it is very interesting because people today imagine kaizen as, "Oh, it's a Japanese thing."
But actually, kaizen was introduced into Japan, this idea of continuous improvement, with the TWI methodologies. That was the original Kaizen in Japan.
And basically, again, it's a four-step methodology that was introduced to help supervisors find improvements. Lean people would recognize it. It's a way of analyzing the job, getting the details, and then questioning those details.
And seriously considering why we do it this way. And if it is necessary, then where would be the best place? What about here? What about there? Who's the best person? What if we had this person or that person? When's the best time to do this first or last? What's the sequence so that we're not walking back and forth?
It's just a questioning methodology, and we write it down. And the key here is that the answers to those questions are our ideas. So we have an idea generation methodology where you can just get an endless stream of ideas when you get into questioning. Of course, that's the skill of it.
And that's what we've taught and practiced in TWI classes, how you question those details and then come up with these ideas, in which case, we try to eliminate and combine and rearrange and simplify the details of the job. So it's really a very step-by-step methodology.
Everyone can participate in this in order to find better ways of doing the job. And, again, I want to emphasize, we Americans were doing this in the 1940s. This is not something we learned from the Japanese.
Brian Sallee: Patrick, As we work towards closing out this episode, I would love to hear how you guys are working with manufacturers. What's a common scenario? A manufacturer calls up the T Institute. What are they dealing with? What's going on that gets them to reach out to you guys?
Patrick Graupp: I agree. Honestly, like I said a little bit earlier, it's because they're struggling to find standard work.
That's the overwhelming reason why people find and come to TWI. They look at the Toyota work and they say, "Gee, we've been doing this lean for years now; why aren't we like Toyota? And then they do a little research and think, ‘Oh, here's that missing link’” That missing piece, we haven't been able to instruct our people properly.
And what we recommend in an engagement is to really start with a pilot project. Try it out in one area or one process that you're struggling with, and you'll be surprised. We were doing some work during the pandemic with a spirits client and they were struggling because, of course, people were out, not coming in because of the pandemic.
It turns out that people drank a lot of wine and alcohol during the pandemic. So they had to. They couldn't keep it on the shelves, and they needed workers. They were coming up with brand new lines, completely new lines, new equipment. They brought in people to train them, and they just had incredible success.
They had one line, which they were calling the vertical startup. They literally put a brand new line in the first week of operation. They were hitting all their targets. They literally turned the line on and it ran, which is almost unheard of in manufacturing, to have a brand new line just start up immediately.
And it was an incredible success. And then they did it again. And now it's barely become part of their regular way of training people. You know it's succeeding when people start asking, are you going to, are you going to “jib” me on that?
We call it the "job instruction breakdown" that we've been talking about. It's sometimes referred to as a jib. So the workers, as it's now a verb in gall wine, ask, "Are you going to jib me?" Meaning, are you going to teach me? And the answer, of course, is yes. And then okay. Yeah, I want to learn that there is a motivational part.
Yeah, if you train me, I want to learn that job. I want to do it. I have confidence that I'll be able to do it. And so, really beginning with one area, one line, one specific process, perhaps that is unstable or giving you trouble, because the best way to introduce TWI or any methodology, of course, is to let people see how it works.
And when they see the value of it, they'll want more. And then it almost creates a life of its own, where people say, "Oh yeah, we need that. We need that part. When are you going to train us?” And it generates that kind of motivation for people to come and learn the method, and yeah, we've seen a lot of success with it.
Brian Sallee: Patrick, this has been a fantastic episode; I believe we're only scratching the surface of understanding TWI and how it might be used in manufacturing. We're going to definitely do a follow-up episode sometime in the fall where we'll dig in further with you. But this has been great and I appreciate your time.
And Michael, thank you as well.
Patrick Graupp: Thanks for having me, and just as you can tell, I really love talking about TWI, so I'll look forward to our next conversation.
Written by Brian Sallee
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