Appreciating Systems

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Nine different #TWI summary cards available in modern format

January 12th, 2011 Posted in Lean Tags: , , , ,

TWI created some pocket summary cards for all their training programs:

  • Job Instruction
  • Job Methods
  • Job Relations
  • Program Development

But there’s been some other cards as well. Thanks to Mark Warren who provided the scans, I’ve turned all those cards into modern versions (wording exactly as original, except for © that sometimes was removed due to lack of space).

All the preceding cards are available in PDF, plus some other cards too that you might not have known about:

  • Using Job Instruction (a guide for second line supervisors)
  • Management Problem Solving
  • Conference Leading: How to run a conference
  • Conference Leading: How to prepare for a conference
  • Discussion Leading

All these files are available on the TWI Yahoo Mailing list in the files section. Please note that you need to subscribe to the list in order to access the files; that’s a good thing since there are interesting discussions going on!

Don’t push #Lean onto #management: #coach them to pull it from you

Morning thought: I occurs to me that Lean consultants (whether internal or external) often try to push a Lean transformation onto management and most often (98% of the time) fail due to so called “change resistance”.

But it’s no wonder people resist when you try to force something onto them.

The paradox here lies in the fact that Lean experts have a detailed vision in mind of how to do it and what the final objective might be (Yeah, I know Lean is a trip and not a destination, but a one piece flow throughout the company makes for a kind of objective for me).

The problem for me is that Lean people try to force management into a vision that they don’t have in mind. Even when it’s an intellectually convincing vision, since it has not been grown inside management’s heads, they won’t accept it.

Aristotle said that to convince someone you need to use (in that order I think):

  • ethos: who you are and what credibility lies in you and your message
  • logos: what you’re going to say and whether it’s logicial and intellectually sound or not
  • pathos: an appeal to the audience’s emotions.

So, to convince people, you need to be credible, be clear in your explanation… and make people feel they want it. Not just need it. You need something from intellect. You want it from emotion. And what’s better than building a vision for creating emotions?

That’s probably why waste walks with a coach/senseï work so well. Or seeing a Lean place (or building a model line if you can) and, more than ever, continually:

  • going to the gemba to see what happen by yourself (second hand reports are intellectual, not emotional unless the reporter is good at storytelling);
  • looking at the process (not just wandering around);
  • talking to the people… just because emotions will come from interacting with others!

So, there’s no need to try to push the whole Lean management system onto management people. It’s complex and overwhelming. Bounded rationality will have them fly away (if not the double-bind you’re creating by doing so).

I think that proper coaching could help management emotionally connect with their people and see how they could help them fix the broken processes they’re trapped into. People love helping and teaching others. Only you need to provide them with the required skilled to do so (skill in the job and skill in teaching/coaching). TWI understood this long time ago. And it’s only when everybody’s started to take care of their work environment that I think you can teach them to connect processes to create a (one-piece) flow.


Why I feel #TWI documents are important for #Lean

January 11th, 2011 Posted in Lean Tags: ,

There’s a lot of excellent documents about the links between Lean and TWI archives. Probably the best of them all is “Root of Lean” from Jim Huntzinger.

We all know how it is difficult to change a company from traditional management to a Lean management organization. Unless you’re the CEO of that company, you’re doomed to fail. And even then success is never a given: it’s an ongoing struggle.

Still, not all of the people interested in Lean are CEO. Indeed, far from it. We have a whole bunch of consultants trying to Lean us and some internal people (like me) interested in Lean that see it as a clever and powerful way to improve

  • the customer experience,
  • the stakeholders’ purses
  • AND, last but not least, the employees experience.

And the magic being that it’s possible because all these three things go hand in hand. Should you see this as a zero-sum game, you’d probably fail to do Lean.

Lean is indeed a positive sum game. The more you improve one aspect of an organization, the more the other aspects should improve accordingly.

During World War II, companies needed a quick way to improve war production. That resulted in the TWI 4 programs (job instruction, job methods, job relations and program development). At the end of the war, these methods were not seen as needed as before and were somewhat forgotten (read the Roots of Lean documents to know more). Yet, they were imported to and used in Japan, especially at the young Toyota Motors company.

And that’s precisely where my personal interest in these documents is: in their status as “roots of Lean”. Because Lean evolved partly out of them, I’m interested in the learning path that may exist from TWI to Lean. For anybody that read a bit about Lean and TWI, it’s evident that TWI is simpler than Lean. And what’s fortunate for us is that they documented all their experiences and updated the different manual to reflect this.

People try to copy Toyota. It’s both a good and a bad thing because Toyota is so advanced in Lean: it’s a very good model, but also a very difficult one to replicate. By studying TWI I hope to find a maybe less sophisticated continuous improvement method but one that should be easier to start and sustain. Plus, there’s all the knowledge experience accumulated by the TWI representatives and available in the different versions of the manuals with plenty of useful dos and don’ts about setting a TWI program in a company. TWI is for me a sort of complete “how to” setup manual for improving management in companies. Upon understanding how to setup TWI programs, I hope to have an easier way to transform that into Lean.

What we have in TWI are:

  • a Management Contact Manual explaining what needs to be secured before starting anything else related to the TWI programs.
  • training manuals for trainers
  • training the trainers (“Institute”) manuals
  • reference cards
  • a method for coaching (securing training)
  • and a method explaining How to Get Continuing Results.

Plus, the results have been documented since the beginning and it worked. Moreover, it seems to be that TWI’s approach worked a lot more better than current Lean change management approaches in use today. Of course we have different conditions. But I definitively think TWI’s documents are worth studying.

Should you be interested in TWI, please join the Yahoo mailing list and the LinkedIn group.

#TWI #mindmap out of Interim TWI Report May 1945 Complete Set of Current Bulletins and Manuals

January 11th, 2011 Posted in Lean Tags: , ,

To all people interested in TWI materials.

Searching from the SME website, I extracted the list of the Complete Set of Bulletins and Manuals from an annex and turned it to a mindmap showing all that was produced by the Training Within Industry Service during World War II. Please note that the documents went through at least 10 different versions each, so there’s indeed more behind the scene work. But I feel this list show the most important documents to know from TWI.

In other posts, I hope to comment on the documents I’ve already read for they feature lots of insighttful advices.

The mindmap is available for all to download in MindManager format from BiggerPlate.

I’ve also created an image out of it for those without MindManager (though you can download an old viewer for free from here). Please note that I’ve created the map with the same version of the writer as that of the viewer, so there should not be any problem of compatibility. The image has been uploaded onto the Yahoo TWI discussion group (“files” section).

Update on 2011/01/18: I’ve updated the mindmap and the link as well, thanks to the work of Mark Warren that corrected and completed my initial map.

#Lean stalled? Back to #TWI basics!

December 15th, 2010 Posted in Lean Tags:

Looking around for some Training Within Industry material, I stumbled upon this article which clearly addresses the problem of Lean turnovers that fail: TWI: Training Within Industry.

The article addresses the lack of follow-through actions after an improvement have been done. Of the four-steps methods devised by Charles Allen (Preparation, Presentation, Application and Testing; this method is at the origin of Job Instruction, Methods and Relations Training), only the second step (Presentation) is usually done in companies.

People are told what to do and expected to comply. No wonder there’s “change resistance”!

  • No preparation: management does not inquire into what employees know about the job and the reasons for change or improvement. The underlying assumption is that they’re not working properly without being explained why!
  • No application: no assurance is secured of the way the job or new method is going to be applied (or whether is fit the job anyway!) or whether it’s been understood.
  • and No testing: which means that people can almost safely go back to work as usual since nobody is going to check on them (not in a spirit of control but just to be sure that no other problem occurred and that the method is indeed well suited for the job).

Of this article, I’d add another mandatory step, that goes way before improvements are done: before everything starts, actually. Which brings me back to my previous article about coaching. You need to secure top management involvement in deploying Lean for it to succeed. And that securing includes Checking that improvements are indeed coming in (among other things)!

Sheesh. The Lean deployment problems we’re experiencing today were already known (at least!) in 1913 (date of Charles Allen book on his four-step instruction method).

Didn’t we learn anything since then? In a spirit of Appreciative Inquiry, should we ask about “what worked” in deploying Lean, I guess TWI would come top of the list with a huge list of successes. Of course, Toyota really improved on TWI, especially regarding Job Methods (the improvement part). But should you only do JMT properly, you’d outwin your competitors, for sure.

Training Within Industry : Lean foundations, use it for teaching Systems Thinking?

November 16th, 2010 Posted in Lean, Systems Thinking Tags: , ,

I would like here to just make some quick notes about what are probably the origins of Lean (apart from Taiichi Ohno’s own ideas, of course).

First of all, there’s a great mailing-list on Yahoo: Training_Within_Industry. The list just awoken a few days ago and it’s always some great contributions. Mark Warren is the group’s main contributor as he’s regularly investigating US Defense archives to recover TWI documents.

What is TWI? Or, more precisely, what was it?

During World War II, a US agency named “War Manpower Commission” created a department called “Training Within Industry” whose objective was to devise some ways to improve manufacturing efficiency during war time. Indeed, because of most manpower being sent to the front in Europe, few people were available to run home-based plants, for civil and military production. And so it was sought for a way to train people not used to work in manufacturing plants (it is said such a population was mainly composed of women and black people). Moreover, with the lack of people and the need for increased production (some plants needing to produce both for civil and defense ends), a way to improve plants efficiency was also needed. Lastly, as management too had been sent to the front, newly appointed managers need to quickly learn how to manage people and keep good job relations. That was the basis of the TWI program.

Origins of the TWI program itself come from the work of Charles R. Allen, mainly his book “The instructor, the man and the job“.

And so the TWI service was created and devise four methods:

  • Job Instruction Training (JIT) that allows quick and efficient instruction of someone to a new job
  • Job Methods Training (JMT) that explains how to improve any job
  • Job Relations Training (JRT) that explains how to build and maintain good working relations between management and frontline operators
  • Program Development (PD) which details how to set up a training program to improve a plant efficiency, based on the first three methods (JIT, JMT, JRT).

(It should also be noted for completeness that another method was also designed: Job Union Relations Training, an adaptation of JRT for improved Unions/management relations).

I am not going to detail these methods here: they are all available on Internet (PDF scans of the original manuals – see my delicious TWI links for instance), but I just would like to note that Job Instruction is almost used word for word at Toyota for instructing new hires on their job. Also, Mark Warren created two books (related to Job Instruction) out of them after deep analysis of all available TWI documents (including internal reports). See the bookstore page on Mark Warren web site.

Now, what if we could design a way to teach some form of Systems Thinking using JIT, maybe that could ease its mainstream diffusion?

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