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Training Within Industry: The J-Programs

Three training programs, frequently called "J" programs (J stands for "jobs"), comprise Training Within Industry (TWI), along with a fourth program called Program Development. The three J programs are:

Job Instruction (JI). JI training teaches supervisors how to instruct the people doing the jobs. This training includes explaining to workers why their jobs are important; breaking down the job into logical steps and key points, and teaching the correct method of performing the task; confirming that the workers can do the task on their own; and following up to confirm that standard work is enforced. John Shook, senior advisor for the Lean Enterprise Institute, says Toyota still teaches job instruction in this fashion with little modification to the program.

Job Methods (JM). The Job Methods program was developed to provide management with a tool whereby supervisors could acquire skills in improving methods, according to the original training materials. JM can be described as the kaizen and continuous improvement component, says Patrick Graupp, senior master trainer at the TWI Institute and author of The TWI Workbook: Essential Skills for Supervisors. [Graupp and LEI's Shook participated in an IndustryWeek Webcast about TWI, Foundations of the Toyota Production System: Establish Standardized Work & Sustain Your Lean Initiative with TWI Training]. Key to the JM training is teaching supervisors how to make the best use of the people, technology and resources available right now.

Job Relations (JR). Original training materials describe job relations as a tool to help supervisors acquire leadership skills. This tool recognizes that job relationships are an important component of a supervisor's job and provides instruction about how to address "people" problems, such as morale issues or grievances. While personnel issues may prove an uncomfortable part of a supervisor's duties, Graupp notes that "without the cooperation of the people, not much is going to get done." The original JR manual outlines a four-step process for meeting job relations situations that says: 1) get the complete facts about a situation; 2) weigh and evaluate the facts; 3) take action; and then 4) check the results of those actions.

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