Measurements can make or break TWI program

Maureen Conway
Tags: business management

“That which gets measured, gets done.”This is a common saying in organizational development projects in a world of growing accountability and rising economic scrutiny. This notion emphasizes that if an activity is important to your business, it should be results-oriented, with data measuring those results. Setting up project metrics will help you get there. 

Implementation of Training Within Industry (TWI) J-Programs – Job Instruction, Job Relations and Job Methods – call for just such an approach. Champions and leaders must give attention up front to project-assessment metrics. Setting up an evaluation plan from the beginning assures that TWI outcomes will be monitored, linked to strategic objectives and measured for optimum business results. 

Three critical questions emerge for this planning, namely: 

  1. What should be measured?
  2. How do you monitor the evaluation of results?
  3. How do you report the results?

What should be measured?
Start with your organization’s strategic objectives. Linking the metrics of TWI program outcomes to the organization’s business plan is essential. Why? If TWI as a change force does not provide momentum in the direction of business goals, it will fall to the wayside and be another “flavor of the month” training program.   

Consider both hard and “complex/soft” metrics. Strategic objectives will vary from organization to organization, but all organizations should include metrics that reflect the following: 

  • human resource goals (such as employee turnover, skill development, employee satisfaction);
  • production or service goals (such as defect reporting, muda, DPMO, customer returned goods, on-time-delivery); and,
  • targeted business goals (such as lean improvements, machine downtime or replacement, costs and improved quality leading to increased sales).

How do you monitor the evaluation of results?
A TWI implementation plan must consider two evaluation cycles – formative (while the training is under way) and summative (looking back at the completed program overall). Formative evaluation is key to making adjustments during training. The outcome of these adjustments is action planning. Most adjustments arise when people “get and embrace” the training, and production impacts from other company projects or schedules, or supervisors’ support and involvement. Identify change through observation, interview-conversations and collaboration/team meetings during the rollout.  

How do you report the results of your measurements?
All projects – training or otherwise – benefit from organizational visibility and communication. TWI implementation is no exception. Use in-house communication channels – including company intranets, TWI online newsletters and word of mouth – to report successes and updates. One of the most important report-out mechanisms, however, is the executive briefing. Reporting TWI impact using data linked to strategic goals to your highest-level leaders is obligatory. The timing for such reports can be staggered along rollout milestones, but it is much easier to keep effective programs alive with top-down support than constantly “pushing up the hill” to gain attention and a foothold for continued support.

In summary, by planning measurements of the outcomes of the TWI training early on, acting on that planning throughout the training for needed adjustments, and providing data-supported outcomes in an executive briefing, you will go far to ensure the success and cultural “seating” of TWI for the long term in your company. 

About the author:
Maureen Conway holds a Ph.D. in organizational development from the University of Illinois and holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) designation from the American Society for Training and Development. An industry practitioner, she is managing director of CEG Inc., a full-service TWI provider of Training Within Industry – JR, JI and JM seminars for managers and supervisors as well strategic implementation planning services for companies. She can be reached at conwaym@mchsi.com.


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