Front line employees are the best when it comes to improving front-line processes fast. Dedicated improvement staff, on the other hand, generally are not. Despite this, companies often rely for improvement on a handful of ‘improvement experts’, such as Blackbelts and Lean managers. These organisations miss out on enormous untapped creativity and the opportunity to dramatically accelerate process improvement.
But front-line teams need support in developing their improvement skills. Developing these skills and making sure they are practised consistently to improve process performance is one of the most important duties of supervisors and process improvement experts. And to do this effectively, they themselves must undergo a skills transition: supervisors must become effective improvement coaches.
When front-line teams develop improvement skills, and supervisors and improvement experts become effective improvement coaches, we unleash creativity and dramatically accelerate process improvement.
TWI Job Methods (TWI JM) is an excellent toolkit for senior managers who want to make this happen.
Why are our process improvement efforts often so slow?
The involvement of front-line people is essential to ‘getting to the bottom’ quality and productivity problems. Just relying on dedicated improvement experts means we utilise only a small fraction of the improvement potential of our staff.
Front-line people are key to developing countermeasures, and debugging and stabilising the process once improvements are made. They live and breathe their processes every day. There are simply many more than dedicated improvement staff: more brains, deeper process know-how, more ideas, more capacity to experiment and implement. And we they need them to buy into any changes for improvements to work.
No matter how good and highly motivated our dedicated improvements experts are, they are simply no match for the collective power of front-line teams.
Managers who rely on experts to bring about improvement create a creativity and improvement bottleneck… no chance of fast-paced improvement, no matter how hard they work!
Therefore, improvement experts and supervisors must transition to a new coaching role with new improvement and coaching skills.
How can we successfully accelerate?
TWI Job Methods (TWI JM), the foundational technique originally applied for Kaizen-style continuous improvement, provides a powerful pathway for getting the ideas out of our people and their help in putting them into effect quickly. By ensuring TWI JM is used systematically with front-line teams, senior managers can accelerate the pace of improvement in their operations and achieve marked improvements in staff morale.
One of the principles of successful lean improvement is simplification. This is because in operations (as in life), most things that are complex just don’t stick. The challenge is to find an improvement method that is simple yet does not lack engineering depth & scientific rigor. And it needs to be easily scaleable, so we can involve a lot of people quickly.
To engage front-line people in fast-paced improvement, our method must be simple, yet with depth and rigour, and scaleable.
TWI Job Methods (TWI JM), a high-impact improvement skill training program, was developed to allow companies to quickly accelerate improvement.
TWI JM develops the supervisor skill in developing and coaching their teams in:
studying and analysing their process,
generating many improvement ideas quickly,
testing and implementing solutions, and
checking impact and adjusting where necessary
Like all Training within Industry Methods, TWI Job Methods is a 4 step improvement routine (see image) that comes with a handy pocket card and a highly standardised training package. Each step has valuable guidance on what to look for and how to improve. As teams practise the improvement pattern, they quickly get better and faster at improving. And with this, they quickly start generating Return on Training Investment (ROTI) for your organisation.
The TWI Job Methods improvement pattern is quick to teach and easy to learn using our standardised TWI JM foundation training. This way, supervisors and front-line teams can start applying and practising straight away with the guidance of a certified and experienced trainer.
How can we get help in getting started with TWI Job Method?
At the Supervisor Academy we help you develop High Performance Supervisors and raise your operations performance. We develop essential leadership skills and support companies world-wide in embedding these skills into their daily operations practices.
Our time-proven training programs develop not just awareness and knowledge but practical, hands-on skills that your front-line leaders apply straight away to generate hard, fast results and build long-lasting habits that transform their way of leading and working.
The standardised TWI training format also provides consistency in content and delivery when you decide to bring the TWI Job Method training delivery in-house, with dedicated company trainers located in Learning and Development or Operations Excellence departments.
The Training within Industry Train-the-Trainer program quickly develops your in-house trainer skill in delivering and coaching the TWI Job Methods skills. Having in-house TWI Job Methods trainers allows your organisation to quickly scale-up the application of TWI JM across your entire organisation, and with this, rapidly engaging a large number of front-line staff in continuous improvement.